Jambalaya is one of those fairly quick one-pot meals which is really good for using up leftovers. It is basically a rice dish with paprika and chorizo, tinned tomatoes, various vegetables and either chicken or prawns or both. The joy of jambalaya is that you can flavour it however you like – if you want it to be a bit warm, add a chilli (or chilli paste) and/or some tabasco. You can also add sun-dried tomatoes,carrot, zucchini, fire roasted red pepper strips or any other pickles that you may have in the fridge.
This is my standard recipe, but please feel free to adapt it to your taste.
1 large onion, sliced or chopped how you like it
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 cup approx of rice
1 chorizo sliced
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 stock cube (once you have added the tomatoes, you can make up the stock cube or powder in the empty can)
1 tablespoon paprika
half a stick of celery sliced
half a capsicum (any colour) sliced
a few sun dried tomatoes sliced
8 raw tiger prawns chopped or sliced
1. Boil the kettle. Fry the onion, chilli and chorizo slices (in a large high-sided pan or wok) in a little olive oil for a few minutes, add the capsicum and celery plus any other hard veg that you are including.
2. Sprinkle with paprika and stir fry for a few minutes.
3. Add the rice and stir it around for about 30 seconds. Add the tinned tomatoes. Dissolve the stock cube in the empty tomato tin with some boiling water (this will capture any left over tomato juice). When you hold the can, be careful because it may be very hot where it conducts the heat of the water – add the stock to the pan.
4. Stir well – the rice will begin to cook and absorb the liquid. Now add the mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes.
5. It should take approx 12 minutes to cook depending on your rice, taste the rice as you go along to see how it is doing.
6. When the rice is almost done, add the prawns – they should only take a few minutes to turn opaque.
7. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. When you serve it, the rice should be cooked, and there should be a small amount of rich tomato gravy. I like mine sprinkled with deep fried onions (you can buy these ready made from your asian supermarket).