Laissez les bon temps rouler

8 Mar

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I suppose this is a product of anticipating a reason to eat, drink and be merry on a Tuesday – as opposed to having just another boring Tuesday night at home, cooking and doing laundry or something – but I’ve been craving a lot of Creole and Cajun food. I have a favorite local Louisiana-Southern restaurant, Acadiana, and a few new Louisiana-themed restaurants and cafés have popped up in the DMV like Bayou Bakery and Bayou (not related to each other). I’ve never had a proper po’boy, so that’s on my list of “Must Noms,” and it’s been so long since I’ve had beignets that I’m thisclose to buying a fryer and making them myself.

Please don’t let me start frying things. That’s just bad news bears all around.

This is not a beignet post, but I would like to say that in my household growing up, we did partake in some Louisiana-style cooking. Granted, the extent of it was when Mom would get in the mood for beignets, and she’d pull out the boxed Café du Monde mix.  I actually haven’t seen those boxed mixes anywhere here, but it is available online and probably available in places like Tuesday Morning and World Market. It was always such a treat when she made them, and she made them quite well, powdered sugar and all. They’re the best when still warm, and the sugar sticks to your lips after each bite. My mouth is watering just thinking about those beignets, and now I’m determined to get to Bayou Bakery since I hear they’re excellent there. However, that requires me to trek to Arlington and I rarely ever go that far into Virginia these days. But maybe beignets are worth it.

What I don’t have to venture far for is a homemade version of my favorite Creole dish, jambalaya. I found it on one of my bookmarked food blogs, Eat ,Live, Run, while searching for quick and easy recipes to make after work. It takes about an hour for the jambalaya to actually cook after it’s been prepared, but it’s worked out on a couple of nights where I managed to finish prep by 8, then watch How I Met Your Mother or Glee or something, and then it’s ready by the next viewing hour. That makes me sound like I watch a lot of tv.

Failed roux? I don't know. It worked out anyway.


I actually made this when I was sick 2 weeks ago, and it was a nice reprieve from the same old soup, soup and more soup.  It’s simple, flavorful, and it’s still great as leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s probably even better chased with some beignets.

Spicy Jambalaya – Slightly adapted from Jenna’s recipe on Eat, Live, Run


  • 3/4 lb andouille sausage – I used chicken “andouille” sausage, which was equally tasty and a bit healthier
  • ½ lb shrimp – I threw some shrimp in the last time I made this and I liked the addition of the seafood. Shrimp absorbs the flavors in this really well.
  • 1.5 tbsp canola oil – I’ve had to add another tablespoon of oil, because I used chicken sausage, which didn’t emit much oil at all. So I added more oil to create enough liquid for the roux. But if you use regular Andouille sausage, 1 tablespoon is probably enough.
  • 1.5 tbsp flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped – I like my jambalaya kind of chunky, so I added another stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Heat oil in a dutch oven (I don’t have one so I used a heavy pot) over medium high heat. Brown sausage and then remove and set aside. If using chicken sausage, the version I used was pre-cooked, so it only needs to cook for a few minutes.

Add the flour to the oil and make a dark roux by cooking the flour over medium high heat until golden in color, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula. (It should be a thick but stir-able mixture). Add the chopped onions, celery and parsley to the roux and toss well to coat. (The first time I made this, the brown flour just stuck to the vegetables – I don’t think it was a proper roux…). Cook for about six minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for thirty seconds more.

Add the water, tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about one hour, until rice is cooked and sauce is thick. Fluff it up with a fork, and add hot sauce to your liking.


4 Responses to “Laissez les bon temps rouler”

  1. tinkerbelle86 March 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    that jambalaya looks awesome, thanks for sharing

  2. Angela March 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I love jambalaysa, and I love that you used brown rice! I’ve only ever used white rice to make this, but I bet the brown would be delicious (and more nutritious as well). Great post.

    • TheNoviceNosher March 11, 2011 at 12:21 am #

      Thanks Angela! Brown rice made a great substitute – I eat mostly brown rice these days so I’m always happy to find a good tasting brown rice recipe.

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