Maybe it's the time of the year.
Maybe the cold weather brings out the desire for something pungent, spicy, and filling.
Or maybe, as in our case, we've just got some nice canned tomatoes to put to good use.
Jay over at Red Gold Tomatoes was nice enough to send us a sampler pack of tomatoes to try out in preparation for the Great Burp! Tomato Giveaway (don't forget to enter to win before January 26th). This sampler pack is just a taste of what three lucky winners will have delivered to their doorstep, but it gave us some pretty lovely goods to work with.
Our sampler contained a can of diced tomatoes; two cans of petite diced tomatoes; a can of petite diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano; a can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles; and a can of diced tomatoes with roasted garlic & onion. Seriously. We couldn't wait to put these beauties to good use.
Fortunately, the freezer and pantry both came to our rescue. We had some fantastic roasted turkey in the freezer.
And we also had a package of chicken andouille sausages...
... and a pound of lovely pink shrimp... all the fixin's for a nice, hot pot of jambalaya...
So, I grabbed a few of our favorite vegetables out of the fridge,
and sauteed them up with a few carefully selected spices, some canned tomatoes, and a few cups of chicken stock...
And before I knew it, I had a tantalizing batch of jambalaya steaming over the stove.
A few things, for starters:
- Jambalayas come in all sorts of shapes and sizes -- brown creole jambalaya, red jambalaya, saucy jambalaya, and dry jambalaya. This one just so happens to be a red cajun-style jambalaya with plenty of rich, red sauce.
- This jambalaya can be made just as mild... or as spicy as you like. We're a couple of chile heads, but you don't need to feel compelled to follow our lead. In fact, we encourage creativity when it comes to cooking, so feel free to do as you please.
- Jambalaya normally makes use of some nice converted rice. We happen to prefer something a bit more out of the ordinary... some nice, whole grain barley.
For another, barley offers an incredible nutritional profile. It knocks other grains off the charts with its fiber content. Just one cup of barley offers you over 50% of your daily fiber intake. It also covers at least half of your recommended daily intake of selenium (a nice immune system booster during the cold & flu season), and is a decent source of phosphorus, copper and manganese. If you're really interested, you can geek out on the profile here.
We love the chewiness of a bit of whole grain in our jambalaya... and we just adore how the barley soaks up all the incredible flavors of the tomatoes and spices. But, don't say we didn't warn you. It also contains a healthy dose of tryptophan. So, prepare for a nap after this warm, snuggle-inducing dish.
Gotta have some? ... We thought so!
Burp! Jambalaya with Barley
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