Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, more commonly known as Mardi Gras. I’m not from New Orleans, but I spent enough years in the Deep South to have this celebration in my soul.
Being able to toss beads or join in the festivities on Bourbon Street this year, I knew I had to do something to feel like I’d truly honored the day. I dug around in my kitchen and came up with the basic ingredients of a traditional Jambalaya.
Usually, this dish contains ham and/or shrimp, and/or chicken, and/or sausage. The only thing I could come up with this time was one lone sausage, so that’s what I used. Fortunately, when I added about a cup of black-eyed peas leftover from New Year’s Day, I found pieces of ham.
You can add the seasoning for your own taste, but I like spicy!
My Version of Jambalaya
Into a slow cooker, I put:
1 can non-fat chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large sliced spicy sausage
1 cup Jasmine Brown Rice blended with Wild Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 diced garlic cloves
2 diced baby bell peppers (from my garden)
½ large onion, diced
A handful of chopped parsley (from my garden)
2 broken bay leaves
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
All of this cooked for 4-5 hours on high. The last 30 minutes, I put in the pre-cooked black-eyed peas. I think you could put it on low for 8-9 hours if you wanted to leave it all day. Any bean can be added, but somehow the black-eyed peas seemed more in keeping with New Orleans.
“Laissez les bon temps rouler” (let the good times roll), as any good New Orleanian would say, until the beginning of Lent.