Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jambalaya and Bread Pudding

The true mark of my advancing age is that I hate eating out now. It's expensive, the food is usually pretty mediocre and I have to hope that my 3 1/2 year old will behave long enough for us to enjoy our meal (or get a sitter which adds to the cost). Once a month or so Jamey picks out something that he wants and I cook it up. It's usually a nicer meal that requires more work than the typically daily fare and it usually packs a lot of extra calories as well. It's fun for our family. We do a variety of different stuff and Alyssa always gets to help in some capacity and Jamey enjoys the eating and the time in the kitchen with his girls. This week we had Jambalaya and Bread Pudding. It was fantastic! Here are the recipes in case you want to try it yourself! Much better than anything we would have eaten out and we have leftovers. I did half both recipes because they make a ton and we still had leftovers galore!
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (from Esquire Feb 2011 edition)
(We have tried several of Esquires recipes and so far have loved them all!)
1 stick plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs diced and andouille or other smoked ready to eat sausage
3 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp mined garlic
4 lbs roasted chicken skin and fat discarded
1 qt chicken stock or low sodium broth
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 sprigs fresh thyme tied together with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ground coriander
4 cups uncle ben's original rice
1 bunch scallions chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and start chopping
In a large pot (at least 8 quarts with a tight fitting lid) melt butter until foamy over medium high heat add andouille and cook stirring occasionally until lightly browned 5-10 minutes
Add onions, celery, bell peppers, salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent 5-10 minutes add garlic and cook until fragrant
Add chicken, chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, hot sauce worcestershire and coriander. Stir to combine. When liquid comes to a simmer add rice, cover and transfer pot to preheated oven. Cook until rice has adsorbed all of the liquid and is tender 30-40 minutes. Do not remove lid before 30 minutes to check quickly for doneness as you will interupt the steaming process. Remove from oven discard thyme bundle and bay leaves. Add scallions and stir to combine. Salt to taste. Serve in bowls with extra hot sauce on the side. Serves 10-12

The Best Bread Pudding (Paula Deen
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs beaten
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups italian bread cubed (allow to stale in a bowl overnight)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
1 egg beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brandy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9 pan. Mix together sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and allow to sit for 10 minutes. In another mix and crumble brown sugar, butter, and pecans. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle brown sugar mixture over top. Bake 30-45 or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce mix sauce ingredients in saucepan and stir until sugar is melted. Pour over warm bread pudding.