Sunday, July 7, 2013

East Texas Six Pepper Jambalaya

My East Texas Six Pepper Jambalaya

If you’ve ever travelled through East Texas on the way to Louisiana, there is such an array of culinary delights, from Tex-Mex to Barbecue to Cajun cuisine.  Back in the mid-to-late nineties, I installed practice management systems for a living.  Florida, Georgia and Texas were my territory. 

I am not shy when I travel alone about taking myself out to dinner.  I take a good book, or some work, and bury myself in that while I get to enjoy a nice, relaxing meal after a long work day.   My tip to you if you travel on business;  Skip the room service.  It’s over-priced.  Go ask your concierge for a nice, local place where you don’t have to drive too far.  Often they will recommend a place within walking distance if you want to have a cocktail or two.  It’s a great way to experience the culinary treasures that reside in the various regions of this great county. 

AND...  you meet great people.

Back to my recipe:


I grow my own peppers on my patio garden each summer.  This recipe gave me an excuse to use them, as well as a little of this and a little of that I had in the refrigerator. 

My husband, Dan, makes the best traditional Jambalaya recipe I’ve ever tasted.  This is a close second.  I used his cooking technique for the perfect rice.  You will note I used the natural flavors of the peppers and very little added salt in this dish. 

The heat level on this is just nice; it’s hot enough to make you crave another beer or glass of sweet tea, but not so hot that you couldn’t add a little more hot sauce if you like it really spicy. 

Dan loves this dish.  He thinks the combination of the chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage give it a lot of “substance.”  You won’t go hungry. 

The list of ingredients looks long but I promise you, this isn’t complicated at all. Most of these things you probably already have around the house or could purchase on your next trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store. 

I used my late mom's favorite stew pot for this recipe.  It's very well... seasoned.  It's likely as old as I am.  I am sure they don't make these pots anymore for obvious reasons.   Hey, I've been eating out of it for 50 years and I'm still you be the judge.

Oh, and you will love the way I slipped the extra veggies into this dish.  Devious, I am, I am!


BTW- I am going to begin suggesting wine pairing notes with selected dishes, starting with this one. 


Serves 6

1 tbs. olive oil
Butter flavor cooking spray
24 slices (1/4 inch thick each) Kielbasa or turkey Kielbasa
2/3 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper, seeded
1 slightly dried fresh cayenne pepper, seeded and cut into three pieces
¼ cup (or one small) Poblano pepper, seeded and diced*
1 banana pepper, chopped*
1 large Jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped*
1 green Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped*

*Note:  the entire quantity of the last four peppers - minus the bell pepper and the Cayenne - should be about ½ cup chopped when combined.

2 tbs. butter
1/3 cup fresh corn
1/4 cup minced carrot
1/3 cup Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
1 1/4 cup chopped celery
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 cups long grain white rice
1 beer, 12 ounces or non-alcoholic beer (something light)
1 cup organic vegetable broth
1/2 cup water plus one cup reserved
1 tsp. Creole Seasoning
1 tsp. paprika (regular)
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp. seafood seasoning
1 chicken breast (5 ounces)
coarse sea salt, to taste
freshly ground cracked pepper, to taste
1 dozen medium pre-cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp. blackened red fish seasoning (optional)
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice (optional)



Add olive oil and a generous amount of butter flavored cooking spray to a heavy Dutch oven.  Add in the Kielbasa.  Brown on both sides for about four or five minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside until ready to use.  Do not cover.   You do not want the Kielbasa to steam and continue to cook and dry out.


Add more cooking spray to the pan.  Add the bell pepper, cayenne, Poblano, banana pepper, Jalapeño and Serrano to the pan.  Cook for about three minutes until softened.


Add in the butter, the corn, onion, and celery to the pan with the peppers.  Cook for about three minutes until the butter melts.  Stir to make sure the vegetables aren’t sticking to the pan.

Remove the three pieces of Cayenne.  Dice up one of the pieces and return to pan.  Discard the other two.  (If you want this spicier, you can include all three pieces diced).


Add in the garlic, the rice, beer, vegetable broth and the 1/2 cup of the water.  Add the Creole seasoning, paprika, dill weed and seafood seasoning.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.  DO NOT open the lid to the Dutch oven.


While the stew is cooking, sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Grill or pan sear until cooked through to 170 degrees.  Let rest and slice into bite sized pieces.


Sprinkle cooked shrimp with the red fish seasoning and the lemon juice.


Once the Jambalaya is cooked, remove the lid.  Add the remaining cup of water and gently stir in the Kielbasa, the cut up chicken and the shrimp.


Suggestion:   Serve with green pepper hot sauce on the side. 

Wow and double wow!

Wine Pairing Note:  Surprisingly, this dish even pairs nicely with a California (not too much oak) Chardonnay (very cold).  Suggest Rex-Goliath Giant 47 Round Rooster Chardonnay.

Wine pairing suggestion is not an endorsement.  No product supplied to blogger. 

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