Shrimp Jambalaya

Course : Cajun
Serves: 6
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1 cup coarse chopped yellow onion
2 medium garlic cloves -- peeled and minced
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
3/4 cup finely diced celery
4 tablespoons bacon drippings
3 tablespoons minced parsley
6 ounces smoked ham -- cut in 3/8-in cubes
1 large bay leaf -- crumbled
1/2 teaspoon crumbled leaf thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- (or to taste)
1 can tomatoes -- (1 lb, 14-oz)
1 can tomato sauce -- (8 oz)
1 3/4 cups cold water
1 3/4 cups uncooked converted rice
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp -- raw, shelled, deveined

Preparation / Directions:

SET A LARGE KETTLE (not made of iron) over moderate heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery in the bacon drippings for 8 to 10 minutes until they are limp and golden. Add the parsley, ham cubes, bay leaf, thyme and cayenne pepper. Sauté, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the salt, tomatoes and their juice, tomato sauce and water. Simmer the kettle, uncovered, for 5 minutes, breaking up any large clumps of tomatoes. Adjust the burner heat so that the mixture simmers gently. Stir in the rice, cover the kettle, and boil the rice for 40 minutes. Add the shrimp, tossing the mixture lightly to distribute them evenly. Cover the kettle and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until the shrimp are cooked through, the rice is done, and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste the jambalaya and add the cayenne pepper and salt, if needed. JEAN ANDERSON PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK

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