Jambalaya

This Creole-inspired Jambalaya recipe from Where the Wild Cooks Go by Cerys Matthews is bursting with flavour from smoked sausage, paprika, cayenne pepper and thyme. A hearty midweek meal recipe.

Introduction

The holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking is onions, bell pepper and celery. Add these smoky sausages and rice, and you have the wonderfully named jambalaya. This version is akin to red jambalaya, the Creole type, which includes tomatoes. The Cajun type omits these and gets its colour from browning the sausages. 

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
6 smoked sausages/ hot dogs, vegetarian if you prefer. (If you don't have smoked sausage, use smoked paprika to give you the smoky jambalaya flavour.)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ green pepper or 1 small one, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 large, fresh tomatoes, diced - or 1 tin tomatoes
½ tsp paprika (change for smoked paprika, if you're using unsmoked sausages)
¼ tsp thyme
½ tsp cayenne (or more if you like a kick)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
200g rice brown basmati (or brown long grain)
1l vegetable stock

Essential kit

You will need a large wide frying or sauté pan.

Instructions

Heat a large wide frying or sauté pan over a medium heat. Add oil and fry the sliced sausages. Remove and leave to one side.

Add the onion, green pepper and celery to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then stir through the tomato. 

Add the spices and bay leaves, along with a really good grinding of pepper and a couple of pinches of salt. Mix well. Return the sausages to the pan and stir in the rice. 

Pour in ¾ of the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, only stirring when absolutely necessary. After 10 minutes, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through (it'll be less if using white rice). If at anu point the mixture is looking really dry, add a bit more of the reserved stock. 

Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Serve with hot sauce on the side. 

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