Poor Man's Jambalaya

Course : Cajun
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---seasoning mix---
4 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper -- (cayenne)
1 teaspoon gumbo file -- (i.e. file powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 tablespoons margarine or oil for frying
1 pound more or less of ham -- diced, firm and lean is best.
1 pound smoked sausage -- diced (Eckridge)
---vegetables and rice---
1 1/2 cups chopped onions.
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers -- (may substitute red bell peppers for color if they are cheap)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced or chopped fresh garlic
2 cups uncooked rice (Uncle Bens converted)
4 cups chicken stock

Preparation / Directions:

Total time, including chopping, approximately 2 hours. Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 one cup appetizers. mix seasoning into a small dish and set aside. Heat large cast iron skillet (Dutch oven) over medium high heat. Add margarine or oil. Add the ham and sausage; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, seasoning mix and garlic. Stir well, lower heat to medium and continue cooking until browned -- about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often and scraping pan bottom well. Stir in the rice and cook 5 minutes, scraping pan bottom occasionally. Add the stock, stirring well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer covered about 35-45 minutes until rice is tender and until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally toward the end of cooking time.

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