Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mardi Gras Jambalaya: Easier to Make than To Spell!

Shrimp and Turkey Sausage Jambalaya
Last week was Mardi Gras--or more accurately named--Fat Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday is how I like to think about it because it's a reason on a Tuesday night in February to splurge with mouthfuls of sausage, shrimp, and rice!

Last year for Mardi Gras, I made a southern, Louisiana tradition: Low Boil.  Mostly, I made this because it is easy, delicious, fairly low in WWPoints, and is about the only southern dish I know how to prepare.

Fried Apple Pie Roll-ups
This year, I felt a little more adventurous, so I tried making Jambalaya for the first time.  The pro's of Jambalaya?  I had practically all the ingredients already, it makes a ton, and it seems to be a fairly healthy dish if you substitute the rice for a brown (or other high fiber) rice and the sausage for turkey kielbasa. The cons?  Well, it is a lot of steps, and if you don't follow the recipe carefully, it can be difficult to pull off.

So I mentioned that I "nutritioned up" the original recipe.  This much is true, however, I followed the dinner up with fried apple pies, so I think I cancelled out my efforts.  Regardless, both recipes are here.  If I was judging my own cooking on this one, I think I deserve to be thrown some beads!

Shrimp and Kielbasa Jambalaya


1TBSP olive oil
1 pound turkey kielbasa sausage
1TBSP butter or lowfat margarine
1 white onion, diced
1C diced celery
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced (I used mini-sweet peppers)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1C diced tomato
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2TSP diced oregano
1TSP thyme
1 small can of tomato paste
6C chicken stock or bouillon
3C long-grain or brown rice, rinsed
3 bay leaves
2TSP salt
1TSP ground black pepper
6 to 8 dashes Tabasco hot sauce
1/2C chopped scallions, divided
3/4C chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/4C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound medium or large shrimp


1. Heat the oil in a black iron pot over medium heat, add the kielbasa and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set aside. 
2. Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot/pan and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. 
3. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well. 
4. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. 
5. Add 1/4 cup of the scallions, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice and the shrimp, and stir well. 
6. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya steam, for 15 minutes, before serving.

7. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions and 1/2 cup parsley, and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.

Fried Apple Pie Roll-ups


12 small tortillas (I use Don Pancho)
4  small or two large apples (abut 2 heaping cups), peeled and diced
1TBSP butter
1 lemon, juiced
1/3C sugar
2TSP ground cinnamon
1/2TSP ground nutmeg
1/4TSP all-spice
1/8TSP salt


1. Combine butter and diced apples in a pan and sautee over medium heat until slightly softened.

2. Add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.  Stir well and cook on low about 5 minutes.

3. Spoon about 1/4C of the apple filling into a tortilla a roll like a burrito.  Seal by placing some of the liquid from the apple pan on the edge of the tortilla.  It's so sticky it will seal it shut.  Repeat until you have filled all the apple pie rolls.

4. Cover the bottom of a pan with a small portion of canola oil.  Heat on high.  Once ready, fry the apple pie rollups in the pan, about 1-2 minutes on each side.

5. Serve hot, and top with whipped cream or ice cream for extra deliciousness.


  1. I am trying this tonight. I can’t wait. I found you via pinterest. I amnow following.

  2. I've been coming to the Crazy Cajun for over 15 years. We love the atmosphere and always have a great time New Orleans Bar and Grill.