Mardi Gras

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”

by Shawnda on February 13, 2015

in Cajun,Cauliflower,Chicken & Poultry,Mardi Gras,Pork

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

Let the good times roll, y’all!

It’s not Fat Tuesday yet but don’t let that stop you. I sure as heck didn’t let it stop me from whipping up a monster pot of chicken and sausage jambalaya. I found it to be the perfect opportunity to try out cauliflower “rice” on the family.

Their verdict? Well, they did let me live to share the recipe. Soo…

Mom: MMMMmmmm
Jason: It’s a little different. And it doesn’t taste much like cauliflower. [That is a win from him.]
Landry: I NEED SOME MILK! [I’ll return my Mother of the Year trophy, stat.]

I never know where to draw the line with her. Because this is the same little girl who took snagged a serrano pepper straight off the plant and took a bite out of it and had absolutely no reaction. None. ZERO.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

So cauliflower rice is not rice at all. It’s fresh cauliflower florets that have taken a ~15 second low-speed spin through the food processor so that the size and appearance looks rice-ish. But the flavor? All cauliflower.

I happen to adore cauliflower (Exhibits A and B. And C.). I can actually remember the first time I ever ate raw cauliflower: it was the summer after my freshman year in high school (because cauliflower didn’t come in a can), and it was served like we serve every other veggie down here in Texas: with half a squeeze bottle of ranch dressing.

Raw cauliflower can be pretty strong and cooking it will really help reign-in the flavor. And cooking it in a big pot with caramelized vegetables, sausage, chicken, garlic, and bay leaves? The cauliflower is mostly masked by the stronger flavors of the jambalaya.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

The one real difference between the original recipe and the cauliflower version is the amount of liquid you’ll use at the end of the recipe. The original recipe adds a bunch of chicken stock and water, which the rice would then absorb. With the cauliflower, you’ll only add as much chicken stock as you need to reach the consistency you’re looking for. Where I’m from, the jambalaya isn’t overly soupy so I tried to add as little as possible but as you can see, I did have some standing liquid.

Enjoy it. We sure did. It is a little different but it is every bit as delicious as a more traditional rice version.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower "Rice"

Hearty chicken and sausage jambalaya made with cauliflower "rice."

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive or your cooking oil of choice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions, dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne/red pepper
  • 1lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning*
  • 1 1/2lb chicken, cut into 1-in cubes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, sliced into florets (will make 3-4 rounded cups of "rice")
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • *Tony's has salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, onion, and at least oregano. If you can't find it, season the chicken with at least salt and pepper before adding it.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, white and light green parts of the bunch of green onions, salt, and cayenne. Stirring often and keeping the lid ajar, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes.
  3. Scrape the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often and keeping the lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles.
  4. Season the chicken with Tony Chachere's.
  5. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, add the florets to the bowl of a food processor. Chop on low for 15-20 seconds, until the cauliflower is small and resembles rice.
  7. Add the cauliflower and 1 cup chicken stock.
  8. Cook and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times, until all of the cauliflower has softened. If necessary, add additional chicken stock (I tried to add as little as possible so I wouldn't have a ton of standing liquid).
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the dark green onions and serve.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Estimated time: 1 hour

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Let the Good Times Roll!

by Shawnda on March 3, 2014

in Cajun,Mardi Gras

King Cake Cupcakes

Happy Fat Tuesday Eve! Who else has a pot of red beans going in the crockpot and King Cake dough rising in the oven?

No?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

King Cake Cupcakes – can’t be trusted with an entire king cake? Try 18 smaller ones. (Choking hazard plastic baby optional.)

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya – The only recipe for jambalaya that you and your family will ever want. It’s that good.

Red Beans, Sausage, and Quinoa

Red Beans, Sausage, and Quinoa – a healthier version of the Fat Tuesday staple.

Dirty Quinoa

Dirty Quinoa – (giggle).

Crawfish Mac & Cheese

Crawfish Mac & Cheese – Because mac & cheese never goes out of style.

Crawfish Eggs Benedict

Crawfish Eggs Benedict – The morning after a crawfish boil doesn’t have to suck.

Crawfish Fettuccine

Crawfish Fettuccine – And neither does dinner the next night.

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Crawfish Boil

Crawfish boils are kind of a big deal here in Houston. And by kind of a big deal, I mean how much more fun could a person want to have besides drinking beer (ahem, grapefruit margaritas), standing around a gigantic pot filled to the brim with corn, potatoes, crawfish, and scary amounts of cayenne pepper.

All that’s turned out onto a large table covered with newspaper. Suddenly, it’s the ultimate, informal family style experience.

Crawfish Mac & Cheese

I’ve developed a new appreciation for crawfish this year. You see, I’ve always had this thing with crawfish… or against crawfish.

Really, my thing has to do with getting to the actual crawfish. It’s not the most appealing thing. But a few grapefruit margaritas seem to take care of all of that and I found myself peeling away.

Crawfish Boil

My friend Harmony says peeling crawfish is therapeutic. And I’d agree… all the way up until my fingers began to burn. And that really just meant it was time for another margarita.

Crawfish Boil Spices

Harmony sent us away with a bunch of leftover crawfish and the orders to “make something awesome” with it. And something awesome we made.

I whipped up my favorite stove top mac & cheese and added the leftover crawfish and the spicy corn cut away from the cob. If you already think that a pile of spicy crawfish is pretty much a perfect food on its own, try it in a big bowl of carbs, covered in a light cheesy sauce.

The rest of the leftovers went into the freezer until I have the chance to make something awesome for Harmony :)

Crawfish Mac & Cheese

Crawfish boil leftovers get new life in a creamy stove top mac & cheese.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz macaroni pasta
  • 4 oz white cheddar cheese, grated (don't use pre-shred)
  • 4 oz fontina
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I use 0% Fage)
  • Tobasco
  • 1 Tbsp Creole (or other spicy brown) mustard
  • 1 cup leftover crawfish tails
  • Kernels from 1-2 leftover corn cobs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced dark green onions, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni pasta for 8-10 minutes in salted water, until al dente.
  2. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining the pasta.
  3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  4. Add 1/4 cup pasta water, the yogurt, several dashes of Tobasco, mustard, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
  5. Stir in remaining cheese, one small handful at a time to prevent clumping, adding additional pasta water as necessary to thin the cheese sauce.
  6. Stir in crawfish and corn kernels, and serve immediately topped with green onions.
  7. To reheat, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Add a tablespoon or two of skim milk or water to thin the sauce, if necessary.

Notes

Yields: 3-4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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