Full Dinner Menu: Pasta Jambalaya and Orange Cookies

Pasta Jambalaya_Snapseed2

My goal with the dinner menus is to have a quick meal planned that doesn’t taste quick and uses fresh foods, versus over-processed frozen or microwave dinners. I think this one really meets that test. It’s full of great flavors and fresh vegetables. And the Orange cookies are a quick dessert, but you can always substitute fresh oranges for a healthier alternative.

On the board:

  1. Pasta Jambalaya
  2. Broccoli
  3. Orange Cookies

Pasta Jambalaya

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 4 oz smoked sausage, sliced (I like Andouille)
  • 4 oz shredded Mexican 4-blend cheese

saucepan Continue reading

Mmm… jambalaya

DSC_0483 (1600x1060)It’s rainy today here in Beautiful Southern Illinois™ and so I passed some time looking around for something to fix for dinner.  Found some of the Andouille sausage I made a while back and thought jambalaya might hit the spot.  I try to link to this guy whenever I can, he’s my goto guy when I do anything Cajun-style.  The link goes to a jambalaya recipe that informed my take on it today, you could do worse than spend a little time looking over his recipe collection.

Jambalaya

DSC_8514 (1600x1060)We haven’t had a jambalaya in ages.  Anything Creole or Cajun I make it a point to look in on what NOLA Cuisine has to say.  I wandered through the jambalaya recipes and put this one together this morning with Andouille, shrimp, and crawfish tails. It started on the stove and finished in the oven, taking about 35 minutes, uncovered, at 350.  Cornbread muffins make a nice side:DSC_8520 (1600x1060)I always use the recipe on the round box that Quaker yellow corn meal comes in as a base, these also have cheddar cheese, minced fresh jalapeno, and a thinly sliced green onion, white part and all.  A half recipe yielded 4 muffins. I used 1 whole egg in the half recipe, and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

Mmm…jambalaya

I had a handful of brown rice in the cupboard I wanted to use up so I used it in this classic Cajun dish.  The dish was designed to use up odds and ends of fixings, and nothing can be really considered out of bounds, be it muskrat, raccoon, shellfish or etc & etc.  Nothing outre in this one, never fear!  

Emeril has a popular recipe that I used as a guide today.  Brown rice can be a pain to cook, so I did it apart from the rest of the dish, using my rice cooker on the brown rice setting.  I dumped the cooked rice into the pot atop the veggies and let it come back to heat before adding the chicken.  Tossed in some tasso just because I had some, along with the Andouille.

My shrimp was already cooked, so I added it the very last thing before serving, giving it enough time to warm through.  Since our patio cherry tomato bushes are producing well I halved a bunch of those instead of chopping a regular tomato.  They were very good in this.

 

 

 

 

 

Fat Tuesday -Pasta Jambalaya

A quick and easy jambalaya flavored dish for Fat Tuesday.  Serve with corn bread and broccoli or spinach for a quick dinner.

 

Pasta Jambalaya

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 8 oz sliced carrots
  • 4 oz smoked sausage, sliced
  • 4 oz shredded Mexican 4-blend cheese

saucepan

 

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.  In saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion & pepper.  Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, chilies, beans, carrots and sausage.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, add pasta and let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with cheese as garnish.