February offers many reasons to celebrate, but our family has added another, and possibly our best to date. At the end of January I became a grandmother to the most beautiful baby in the world. By the time the dust settled, it was February and we were home loving this sweet baby. I've spent two weeks on the grandmother mountain top, and it's a breathtaking place to be.
Oh, yes, there was incredible joy and celebration when our children were born--joy that continues to this very day. But to see our daughter and her husband become 'Mama and Daddy' overnight exceeded anything I've ever experienced. Their caresses soothe the questions and wonder of this little fellow. His eyes strain to make sense, his toes beg to be kissed, and meanwhile the sound of his Mama's voice mesmerizes him; his Daddy speaking 'bebe nino' in his ear stills him and he feels safe and loved. He's beautiful, he's wonderful, and we are so blessed.
Jambalaya, Shrimp or Chicken
1 T extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. Andouille Sausage, sliced into quarter inch rounds
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. Smoked paprika
1 (8oz.) box Jambalaya Mix (I used Zatarain's)
1 (15oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
16 oz. peeled and deveined large shrimp or 1 cooked deli chicken, bones and skin removed and meat shredded
Shredded Monterey jack and mild cheddar cheese as garnish
Add the olive oil to a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage, onion, celery and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Add paprika and stir to combine.
Add contents of Jambalaya box, the can of tomatoes (don't drain) and two and one-half cups water. Bring to a nice simmer, cover and low simmer for 25 minutes, or as directed on the box.
If using shrimp, add to the rice mixture during the last six minutes of cooking.
If using chicken, add during last few minutes, just long enough to heat through.
I like the finished jambalaya to be loose, not as liquid as soup, but still loose. Add a little more water or chicken broth if needed.
I know that some frown on using cheese with any seafood, but this is delicious garnished with a nice serving of shredded cheese.
Serve in soup bowls or even mugs.
You can add extras, like sauteed onions and peppers, or change out chili beans for the black beans, chili seasoning for fajita seasoning and ground beef for ground turkey, but this is how we like it. If you don't have an iron skillet, use regular skillet to prepare turkey, seasoning and added cans of beans, corn and tomatoes. Then transfer to casserole dish and top with cheese and prepared cornbread mix.
2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. Ground turkey
1 packet (1.12 oz.)Fajita seasoning (ie McCormick's)
1 can (15 oz.) seasoned black beans, drained
1 can (7 oz.) Mexican corn, drained (this is a Green Giant product, but you can use any canned corn)
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes NOT drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, or a mixture of your choice
1 box (8 oz.) cornbread mix, mixed according to package directions
Preheat oven to 425°.
Mix cornbread according to package directions.
Spread cheese evenly over tomato mixture in iron skillet. Top with prepared cornbread mix, spreading the mix evenly to edges of pan.
Place in oven and bake until cornbread is fully cooked, the time your cornbread mix recommends, usually about 25 minutes.