Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Crock Pot Jambalaya
Today is Fat Tuesday, the climax of Mardi Gras, which a season of carnival, feasting, and merrymaking prior to lent, which begins tomorrow.
I loved all the Mardi Gras parades, which occur for several weeks, all over town. The parades are hosted by Krewes, which are groups whose main purpose of existence is organizing and participating in parades and balls during carnival. Most, if not all the floats in the parades are made by Blaine Kern Studios, and are breathtaking. The Krewe members ride the floats and toss beaded necklaces and dubloons to parade goers who raise their hands and shout, "Throw me something mister". It really is fun and exciting.
Some of the parades I saw were the Krewe of Endymion, the Krewe of Thoth, The Krewe of Bacchus (Charlton Heston was the King of Bacchus the year I attended, this year it is Andy Garcia), the Krewe of Proteus, the Krewe of Orpheus, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and the Krewe of Rex.
And there was the food. New Orleans certainly has a cuisine of its own, and one to be proud of. Jambalaya is a versatile Creole dish which combines cooked rice with a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and almost any kind of meat, poultry, and shellfish. The dish is quite spicy!
Crock Pot Jambalaya
(inspired by Steph of Plain Chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 - 4 plump garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 quart canned tomatoes with their juice (I used home canned)
1 pound cooked shrimp
Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the crock pot. Add all the spices and herbs. Add the chicken broth and stir well. Cover the mixture with sliced sausage, then the tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Add the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Serve with rice and pass the Tabasco sauce.