Ragin’ Cajun Jambalaya

August 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

This spicy shrimp Ragin’ Cajun Jambalaya is made from scratch and is super tasty and quick to prepare!  Definitely one of my go-to meals when I am in a pinch that’s a family favorite.

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 The jambalaya that I am sharing with you today is more of a southwestern and south-central jambalaya because it is Cajun and not Creole. Now the further away you get from New Orléans the less they use tomatoes but I put tomatoes in mine anyway. To me, it’s just not jambalaya without tomatoes. This meal is also a one dish dinner which I love, one dish means less clean up which is a definite plus with no dishwasher! Feel free to substitute chicken instead of shrimp, sausage instead of chicken, or throw all 3 in for an even bigger celebration!

imagesZatarain’s Jambalaya mix out of a box was a staple of mine for weekday dinners. It was  quick, easy and cheap. That was until I we moved to the smallest village in the world and they didn’t carry it here. So instead of stocking up at Walmart every time we drove an hour to get to the city, I decided to make my own version… and have never looked back since. My husband loved it! He couldn’t even tell the difference, in fact, he asked me why it was so much tastier this time. 🙂 I love it when that happens. More importantly I can control the ingredients that goes into it which means no preservatives or additives. That makes me happy.

This is the ingredient list on the Zatains Jambalaya box:

“Ingredients: ENRICHED LONG GRAIN PARBOILED RICE (IRON PHOSPHATE, NIACIN, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, AND FOLIC ACID), DEHYDRATED VEGETABLES (ONION, BELL PEPPER), SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, SOY SAUCE (100% SOYBEAN), DEXTROSE, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, SOYBEAN OIL (TBHQ ADDED AS A PRESERVATIVE), PAPRIKA, GARLIC, SPICES, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, CHILI POWDER, CARAMEL COLOR, SILICON DIOXIDE (FLOW AGENT). “

That is a long list of ingredients in my opinion. And as soon as I see soybean oil I cringe. I try to avoid soybean oil at all costs. Two problems with this one. First, partially hydrogenated soybean oil can be found in almost every processed food .  Hydrogenated = trans fats. Second, the majority of soybeans are genetically modified. We do not want GMO‘s in our body. Take a look at my ingredient list and you tell me which jambalaya you want to feed to your family.

This jambalaya is sooooo flavorful. I love spice and I love lots of flavors so brace yourself. Nothing bland about this take on a New Orléans classic.

Shrimp is my absolute favorite!   Huge protein in shrimp, along with Omega 3s, and lots of iron.

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Saute up your veggies. It’s the holy grail, minus the carrots. Celery, onion and garlic. And then add your tomatoes, Worcestershire, and hot sauce .

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Add your rice (I’m a huge basmati fan) and water and simmer, simmer, simmer… don’t forget to add the shrimp with 10 minutes or so left of cooking time. After 15 minutes or so, lift the lid. If there is still leftover liquid, keep the lid off to let evaporate. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with green onion and garden parsley!  Serve with your favorite hot sauce at the table and don’t forget your favorite cold beer.

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Ragin’ Cajun Jambalaya

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

500g raw, peeled and deveined shrimp

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 bay leaves

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup rice

3 cups water or stock

2 teaspoons Worcestershire

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 -2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, depending on taste

salt and pepper

2 chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions:  Heat olive oil over medium high heat in skillet.  Saute garlic, celery, and onion 2 -3 minutes until fragrant and softened. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire, hot sauce and Cajun seasoning. Carefully stir in rice and add water or stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the water. Add shrimp in the last 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with green onions and fresh parsley.

 

 

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