Friday, October 14, 2016

Jambalaya

Seafood Jambalaya.
 I have been making this same Jambalaya recipe for a couple years now. I got it from a friend online. It's fairly easy to make. I never posted the recipe because there is a bit of eyeballing and tweaking when doing this on the stove top for me. Sometimes I need more water, sometimes less. It's got a lot to do with how tight fitting your lid is on the pot, how much evaporation happens each time, stuff like that. It's not that it's a hard dish to make, it's that it's a hard dish to give concrete measurements for. You'll find that the more you make this the easier it is to tell just by looking in the pot how much stock or water is needed for  rice that isn't too wet. You also don't want it to be crunchy. The plate above I made on the stove top with a medium grain rice. The plate below I made in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Both methods take about the same amount of time, maybe a bit less time in the Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker Jambalaya.

Here are my pros and cons for each method:
Stove top pros:
You can open it up and peek in to see if you need more water.
There is a bigger surface area to saute in.
The flame on a stove top is easily adjusted.
It's under the vent hood.

Stove top cons:
You have to watch it, it can burn on you.
I'm not very good at making rice on the stove top.
Getting a true simmer and not boiling all the water away too fast can be difficult if the stove isn't easily adjusted.

Instant Pot pros:
Contained environment- meaning it's sealed and there's no evaporation or trying to compensate for that.
The pot will turn itself off at the time cooking time is done.
It's convenient to be able to walk away and not worry about it burning or the water evaporating and burning the food.
It cooks rice better than I do.

Instant Pot cons:
You can't set it under a vent while sauteing if you don't have an outlet nearby.
If it's on the stove top you have to be careful you don't accidentally melt the bottom of the Instant Pot. The base isn't meant for heat!
The pot is deep, so if you are short like I am you need a step stool.

It's kind of a wash really. Both methods are great, both work well. I prefer the stove top for the browning, but not having to watch for scorched rice is a biggie. I will most likely make Jambalaya in my Instant Pot from now on because the rice is more predictable coming out of it.

Make your own Creole Seasoning, it's easy and flavorful.
 Creole seasoning. This is important because it's what is going to flavor everything else. You can buy this from the store. If you have a favorite, use it. I make my own and keep it in a jar. It's great for eggs, baked potatoes, tater tots, chicken, fish, seafood and more. I don't add salt. I like to salt my food as I cook it. If I were sprinkling this on potatoes I would mix salt in and use it as a sprinkle. There isn't a ton of heat in this because my youngest can't handle it. I'm working her up though, haha.  Make this seasoning to your taste with these components.

Jambalaya is a red spicy pilaf, but you can make it as saucy as you'd like with more broth.
As far as liquid to rice measurements, I usually estimate by looking in the pot. For blogging and writing a recipe I do my best to be precise. After you've made this though, you'll find that like with most cooking a lot of it is done by sight. Looking at the picture above, I would say the liquid level is right and I would continue. If there were pieces of chicken I would have added a little less water, as chicken tends to give off juices. Not a huge deal, but when using a pressure cooker that doesn't let off steam it can be the difference between a mushy gooey mess, or a pilaf where the grains of rice are cooked but not clumped together.

Just three minutes! But don't forget to factor in pressure release time and time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
Cook time in the Instant Pot is three minutes on high. Because the pot will already be hot from sauteing all the meats and vegetables it shouldn't take long to come up to pressure. I stir in the shrimp and scallops and place the lid back on to warm them back up before serving.

Ready for seafood!
  Before stirring in the shrimp I remove the bay leaf and add more stock or wine if needed. Now is also the time to season to taste. Salt, pepper, Creole seasoning. I like celery salt.

Instant Pot seafood stock.

You can use chicken stock if you don't have seafood stock for this. Water would be okay also, in a pinch. I posted my Seafood Stock recipe at the bottom of this post.

Freezer Tip: Freeze stocks and soups flat in bags, they are easily stacked or filed in a basket in the freezer. They also thaw quicker! You can also use mason jars that are marked "freezer safe".

Jambalaya 

Instant Pot Method (8-10 servings)
Ghee, olive oil for browning meats
7 ounces Andouille sausage links, sliced (198 grams)
3-4 boneless chicken thighs, (about 540 grams)
1/2 small onion, diced (220 grams, about 1 cup)
1 bell pepper, diced (130 grams, about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (140 grams, about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced (7 grams)
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 ounce) can no salt diced tomatoes, with juice (411 grams)
4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning-recipe follows (6 grams)*
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced (about 40 grams)
2 cups long or medium grain white rice, rinsed and drained (400 grams)
2 cups seafood stock or chicken stock (salt free) (480 grams)
1/2-1 cup white wine, water or stock **
10 ounces shrimp (280 grams)
12 ounces scallops (340 grams)
Celery Salt, or regular salt
Pepper

  1. Heat Instant Pot on SAUTE mode, HIGH/MORE.
  2. Once pot registers HOT, add ghee or oil and cook the shrimp and scallops until almost cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add more ghee or oil if needed and brown the sausage, and chicken in batches.
  4. Set the meats aside, leave the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add more ghee or oil if needed and saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until caramelized and brown, but not burnt. (You may need to turn the Instant Pot off and turn it back on to SAUTE MEDIUM/NORMAL)
  6. Stir in rice and cook for about 60 seconds.
  7. Add bay leaf, diced tomato, Creole seasoning, sausage, and chicken, stir and scrape off any browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  8. Add 2 cups seafood stock, and 1 cup water/wine/stock. 
  9. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, select MANUAL, HIGH pressure, THREE minutes.
  10. After the cycle is complete, wait 10 minutes.
  11. Release remaining pressure after ten minutes by turning the vent to open. Stir and season to taste.
  12. Stir in shrimp and scallops.
  13. Close lid and let sit for 5 minutes to warm shrimp and scallops through.
* Use as much or as little of the creole seasoning as you like, start with less. You can always add more after tasting.
**Use less or more of this one cup of wine, water, or stock depending on how wet you like your Jambalaya to be, it should be like pilaf and not a soup though.
**** If I don't have chicken on hand I add extra sausage. Please note that chicken releases some juice, so you may want to use less wine (1/2 cup) if you are using chicken.

Jambalaya 

Stove Top Method (8-10 servings)
Ghee, olive oil for browning meats
7 ounces Andouille sausage links, sliced (198 grams)
3-4 boneless chicken thighs, (about 540 grams)
1/2 small onion, diced (220 grams, about 1 cup)
1 bell pepper, diced (130 grams, about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (140 grams, about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced (7 grams)
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 ounce) can no salt diced tomatoes, with juice (411 grams)
4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning-recipe follows (6 grams)*
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced (about 40 grams)
2 cups long or medium grain white rice, rinsed and drained (400 grams)
3 cups seafood stock or chicken stock (salt free) (720 grams by weight)
1/2-1 cup white wine, water or stock **
10 ounces shrimp (280 grams)
12 ounces scallops (340 grams)
Celery Salt
Pepper
  1. Heat a dutch oven on medium high heat.
  2. Add ghee or oil and quickly saute the shrimp and scallops until almost cooked. Remove and set aside.
  3. If needed add more ghee or oil and brown the sausage, and chicken in batches.
  4. Set the meats aside, leave the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add more ghee or oil if needed and saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until caramelized and brown, but not burnt on medium, turning to medium low if the onions start burning.
  6. Stir in rice and cook for about 60 seconds.
  7. Add bay leaf, diced tomato, Creole seasoning, sausage, and chicken, stir and scrape off any browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  8. Add 2.5 cups seafood stock, and 1 cup water/wine/stock and bring to a boil.
  9. Once the stock comes to a boil, put the lid on the dutch oven and turn the heat down to simmer.
  10. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
  11. After 15 minutes, check the rice to see if more stock or water is needed.
  12. If the rice needs more time to cook place the lid back on the dutch oven and cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in shrimp and scallops.
  14. Close lid and let sit for 5 minutes to warm shrimp and scallops through.
* Use as much or as little of the creole seasoning as you like, start with less. You can always add more after tasting.
**Use less or more of this one cup of wine, water, or stock depending on how wet you like your Jambalaya to be, it should be like pilaf and not a soup though.
**** If I don't have chicken on hand I add extra sausage. Please note that chicken releases some juice, so you may want to use less wine if you are using chicken.

Creole Seasoning

5 tablespoons Paprika (34 grams)
2 tablespoons granulated Onion (13 grams)*
2 tablespoons Garlic powder (15 grams)
1 tablespoon whole Black Pepper (5 grams)
1 tablespoon Basil (4 grams)
2 tablespoons Oregano (4 grams)
2 teaspoon Thyme (2 grams)
2 teaspoons Cayenne (2 grams)

Makes 82 grams
  1. In a spice grinder, grind the black pepper until finely ground.
  2. Add the remaining spices and pulse a few times to mix. 
  3. Store in an airtight container. 
  4. As there are no preservatives or additives to make this free flowing keep it away from moisture so it doesn't clump.
  5. I keep this salt free so I can control the amount of salt throughout every recipe I use. Adding salt will help keep this a little more free flowing, add according to your tastes.
If using onion powder use less, about 1.5 tablespoons

Seafood Stock 

5-6 cups Seafood bones and shells*
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 onion, peeled and split
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 handful of parsley and/or cilantro stems
1 bay leaf
Water

  1. Wash seafood bones and shells.
  2. Heat oil to saute the seafood, you can also roast these in an oven.
  3. Add black peppercorns, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, cook until fragrant.
  4. Add and saute the seafood for 5 minutes, stirring as needed.
  5. Add remaining ingredients. Filling the pot to the "max" line with water.
  6. Close the lid and cook on HIGH/MORE pressure for 120-240 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. (This is a big time difference, I do 240 minutes, but 120 works if you don't have that kind of time.)
  7. Strain though a fine mesh sieve or a colander lined with coffee filters. Discard solids.
  8. To cool stock quickly for freezing or refrigerator, set the stock in a bowl and put the bowl in an ice water bath.
  9. Freeze or refrigerate if not using right away.

Seafood bones and shells: Shells and heads from shrimp, crawfish, lobster. shells from crab, and/or fish skeletons and heads.

What a crazy long post huh? If you made it all the way down here, thank you! I hope you'll try this recipe, and let me know how it goes!
Thanks for reading Give Peas A Chance!
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