Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jambalaya Casserole

Prepare yourself to fall in love ... the first time I made this, I was really apprehensive because this is a recipe that is built to make THREE casseroles and it's jambalaya - you kiss a lot of frogs before you find a keeper, I've found.

Jambalaya Casserole

From "Best of Country Casseroles"

3 large onions, chopped
3 large green peppers, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced (do not be afraid ...)
1 1/2 c. butter
3 lbs. cooked smoked sausage (I use turkey to cut back on fat ... see 1 1/2 c. butter for explanation)
9 c. chicken broth
6 c. uncooked long grain rice (I used brown ... it worked fine)
3 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped **
1 1/2 c. chopped green onions (I omitted because I didn't have any ... it was fine)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 T. hot pepper sauce

Be easy on yourself - if you have a food processor, pull it out from its dusty perch and use it to chop your veg - a couple pulses should do - you don't want to puree your onions, peppers, celery and garlic. But you don't want to be eating whole garlic cloves either ...

Once chopped, sautee veg in butter until they are crisp-tender. (Not sure what it means - I think you will 'divine' whether it's good to go or not.) Put into a very large bowl and stir into remaining ingredients.

This is enough to make three casseroles. You'll want to bake the jambalaya in shallow, greased casseroles, but I just used regular Tupperware to freeze what I didn't immediately bake. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45-30 minutes or until rice is tender. (MAKE SURE YOU COVER OR THE RICE WILL NEVER COOK!)

**Variation: When I first made this casserole, I didn't use fresh tomatoes - I used diced tomatoes and saved the juice from the cans to use as liquid in this dish. And if I can read my scribbles from the first time around - you're going to want 2 cans of diced tomatoes (or 3 ... I like tomatoes) and decrease the chicken broth to 7 or 8 cups.

Disclaimer! This stuff freezes well, but if you don't thaw the casserole before you cook it, it will take FOREVER to bake. So make it easy on yourself - thaw it.

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