Thursday, March 27, 2014

National Spanish Paella Day - Mar. 27th; Chef Giada De Laurentiis

Chef Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis became a professional chef after studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, working in several LA restaurants, including Spago, but she got her start in her family’s Italian kitchen and grandfather’s restaurant. Her Everyday Italian cooking show has won an Emmy, and she has authored a number of cookbooks, and has recently written “Recipe for Adventure” stories for children.

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March 27th is Spanish Paella Day. Paella is a one-pot dish, as many cultures have. It seems to have originated in the Valencia region of Spain, but different regions have their variations. Jambalaya is almost certainly a descendant of paella, from the Spanish settlers in the Caribbean, and then into New Orleans with a Creole influence.

My husband's uncle offered this recipe for his version of Jambalaya: 

1/4 C. olive oil
1 lb medium shrimp
Creole seasoning (follows)
1 chicken
1 1/2 lbs andouille sausage
2 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped bell pepper
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped thyme leaves
1 C. chopped tomatoes
6 C. water
2 C. rice
salt and pepper
1 C. chopped green onions
1/2 C. chopped parsley

Directions: Peel and de-vein shrimp. Cut the sausage into 1/2” cubes, and the chicken into 8 pieces. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Season shrimp with Creole seasoning and sauté until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp and set aside. Season chicken pieces with Creole seasoning. Add remaining oil to Dutch oven and when hot, add chicken pieces and sauté until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add sausage and cook until browned. Add onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, bay leaves, cayenne and thyme and cook until vegetables are wilted, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and water and return chicken to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add rice to pot, stir well and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes. Add shrimp, green onions and parsley to Dutch oven, mixing carefully, and continue to cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Directions: Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yields 2/3 C.

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