RAGIN’ CAJUN JAMBALAYA
by Rita Monette
Jambalaya is a favorite meal for Nikki Landry. Without the wine of course, because Nikki is the main character in my YA book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.
This is the closest to my mom’s recipe I could find. I see some recipes where they serve it over rice. The rice should be steamed with the ingredients (as shown) for best flavor.
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup chopped celery
1 lg. bell pepper, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs. sliced sausage (kielbasa or andouille)
2 lbs. cooked shrimp, chicken, crawfish, or any combination
2 tbsp. olive, vegetable oil, or bacon drippings
1 cup fresh, chopped tomatoes, optional
1 ½ cup uncooked long grain rice
3 cups chicken or seafood stock
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. black pepper **
1 tsp. white pepper **
1 tsp. cayenne pepper **
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. file
1 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Place a large, heavy pot on the stove at medium to medium high temperature, sauté sausage in oil until well browned; drain well.
Add chopped onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper, saute until almost tender.
Add seasonings and continue to sauté for 1 minute. If desired add fresh, chopped tomatoes.
If using chicken, add cooked chicken pieces to take up flavors.
Add chicken or seafood stock and rice. Turn heat down to gentle simmer and cover for about 20 to 25 minutes.
If using cooked shrimp or crawfish, add at the end of cooking time to prevent breaking down.
Add hot sauce to individuals taste. Serve with favorite wine and French bread.
**Whimps use ½ teaspoon each of black, white, and cayenne pepper; “Cajuns” use 2 teaspoons each.
While your jambalaya simmers, take a peek into young Nikki Landry’s life.
Papa says every legend starts with a truth. But what is the truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island?
Moving is nothing new for ten-year-old Nikki Landry. Her fisherman father relocates their raggedy old houseboat several times a year in search of better crab fishing spots. However, their latest move has brought her to a mysterious bayou where she feels like something is watching her and her beloved dog Snooper from a nearby island. But when Papa tells her about a local legend that something sinister might be living nearby and stealing the souls of dogs, she fears for her constant companion’s life. Join Nikki as she seeks to discover the truth behind the legend…before it’s too late.
To read an excerpt from The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, please click HERE.
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and paint. Five long years later, Musa Publishing offered her a contract for her debut middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, which also includes her artwork. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. Rita now resides with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.