Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dinner Party #3

For this third edition of "Cooking Adventures with Annabel," we decided to attempt jambalaya - something which I have never eaten before. Annabel also really wanted to try fried plantains (again - never had them) and I decided that corn bread would compliment the jambalaya quite well.

I'll warn you in advance, we took the easy way out on the corn bread by using a mix. After last week's labor intensive Indian meal we weren't feeling so ambitious. However, we did improve the mundane mix by adding a couple tablespoons of chili powder and about a half cup of cheddar cheese before baking.

The jambalaya was quite tasty, but next time I think I'll use less chicken broth than the recipe called for. We actually ended up pouring some out because the rice was getting so saturated. That being said, neither of us were sure of the texture of authentic jambalaya. Our rice ended up bordering on risotto texture. Who knows if this is "correct" but it sure was tasty!

Cajun Jambalaya
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Food Network

  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock **This seemed like way too much. Next time I'd try 2 cups.
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced **used smoked pork sausage
  • Salt and pepper

In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

The plantains were simple to make and really delicious. They will definitely be seen again on my dinner table.

Fried Ripe Plantains
Recipe courtesy
Tyler Florence, Food Network

  • 4 yellow plantains
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • kosher salt


Cut the ends off the plantains and cut them into 2 pieces. Peel them and slice them in half lengthwise. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 1/4 cup oil and fry the plantains slowly until they are browned and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve.

I almost forgot about dessert!! This recipe was so delicious. It was supposed to be light, but all we had was whole milk for the pudding (we weren't really all that dissapointed...). I'm sure it would be delicious with low-fat milk also. The only criticism that I have is that this dessert needs a better title! Any ideas?

Cool, Creamy Chocolate Dessert
Recipe courtesy
Cooking Light



  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
  • Unsweetened cocoa (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.

To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.

Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

I love jambalaya - its a one pot meal! I hope you can submit this to the NOLA/cajun blogging event I'm hosting (and maybe even win the blogging event giveaway prize!) Details can be found here: http://www.ismyblogburning.com/chef-spotlight-nola-chefs