Today is the first of at least three posts I’ll be sharing with you this week out of my new Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible cook book. The folks at Smithfield sent me a copy during my move to Mississippi so I could quickly adjust to southern cooking at its best. After taking a few weeks to cook up some of the recipes, I’m in love. Moreover, I’m much more confident with southern cuisine!
In her book, Paula takes the time to explain what southern cooking is all about. Having been born, raised, cooking and eating in the south, she knows her stuff! Then, she (with the help of her coauthor, Melissa Clark) divides the chapters up by their different courses, beginning each with an introduction that outlines her favorites while providing her personal experiences and tips. And, no, the entire book is not all about butter, bacon and grease. There are some surprisingly somewhat healthy dishes, too!
The first recipe I want to share from the book is Jambalaya. I’ve already made this a few times in the short month we’ve been here. Ben absolutely loves this dish, while I like it as well, but can’t take much of its heat. So, if you’re like me and can’t handle too much spice, you might want to turn it down a notch by reducing or eliminating the cayenne pepper, or choosing a more mild sausage. I also left out the shrimp, because although I do like different types of cooked shrimp, I didn’t feel like putting the money into an ingredient I don’t love.
You’ll love how quickly and easily this dish comes together! The most tedious part is measuring out the rice mix ingredients, but you can always make that ahead of time and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months until ready to use.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back with another Paula recipe and then make sure you come back Friday for a chance to win your own copy of Paula’s new book!
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 Tablespoon beef bouillon granules
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1/2 pound fully cooked smoked sausage, such as andouille, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
In a medium bowl or canister, combine the rice, onion, parsley, bouillon, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and bay leaf. Stir to fully mix. (This mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)
In a Dutch oven or a large heavy bottom saucepan, combine the rice mixture with the rest of the ingredients, minus the shrimp. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf and serve while hot.