JambalayaPosted: October 2, 2006
As a way of broadening my culinary horizons, my goal has been to try a new dinner recipe each week. I don’t always accomplish this; for example, last week I was too busy to pore over my cookbooks so we made our tried-and-true pasta primavera and grilled some chicken. Hubby isn’t interested in the entire recipe selection process, so I usually narrow it down to two choices and then ask for his opinion. This week, the two options were Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya from Cooking Light or a Potato, Beef, and Tomato Stew that I learned from my mother. I selected Jambalaya as an option because we were at the Elephant Bar earlier in the day and Hubby mentioned that Jambalaya sounded good. However, the ingredient list for this recipe is relatively long and there would a good deal of chopping and measuring involved. And it was Hubby’s birthday so it seemed a little mean to have him spend hours in the kitchen with me. So I offered the Potato, Beef, and Tomato Stew as the other option because it is one of his favorites. I was fully expecting Hubby to choose the Stew because: (1) he loves it, and (2) it would be much, much simpler. But he surprised me – even after looking at the recipe, he picked the Jambalaya.
From start to finish, it took us about an hour and a half, but Hubby and I are both slow choppers even with help of the food processor. We bought Aidell’s Cajun-Style Andouille sausage, which was okay, but next time we would use one of Aidell’s other flavors that we like better. I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough, so instead of adding 1.5 teaspoons of finely chopped jalapeno pepper, I told Hubby to chop the entire pepper and throw it all in. Whoops. Fortunately the result wasn’t disastrous – the Jambalaya was spicy but still yummy. I think this recipe is a keeper that will be great for the coming cold winter nights. And I was happy because throughout the evening Hubby mentioned several times how fun it was cooking the Jambalaya together!
Overall, I’m pleased with our progress in cooking. I feel like we are taking small but steady steps toward expanding our recipe repertoire and being more proficient in the kitchen. A year ago, my idea of a home-cooked meal was to boil frozen ravioli and mix it with a can of Prego. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that. But now, are much more willing to take the time to create our meals instead of simply heating them up. And I don’t know if we could ever go back to the old way of doing things.