Saturday, February 25, 2006

Celery and The VRC

When I saw this week that Alysha had chosen Mardi Gras as the theme for this weeks VRC (Virtual Recipe Club), I knew what I had to submit. The idea was to contribute something that was from the city of New Orleans. There are so many things to choose from. Beignets, Okra, and Gumbo immediately come to mind. But wait! I do posesss in my repertoire an authentic award winning Muffuletta Burger, perhaps that would be my choice this week. Oh no. This week I chose to submit the recipe that Andy requests the most, yet seldom receives. There is nothing on the planet like Jambalaya. Such a simple dish, but so complex in flavor. It us comforting and warming, and perfect for a night at home. And on the bonus side, it really is a dish to use up those odds and ends laying around. For me, this was a no-brainer. I still have celery, tomatoes, and peppers screaming to be used. And fortunately, our butcher was running a special on authentic Lousiana Style Andouille Sausage. Seriously, the food of the Gods. When I informed Andy I was making this without shrimp tonight, he looked so crestfallen, I had to acquiesce and run to pick some up. So here we have it, Jambalaya in all its glory and splendor.

This particular recipe hails from that oh-so famous King of Cajun cuisine, Emeril Lagasse. Regardless of what you may think of his show and his increasingly annoying schtick, the man knows his stuff. Now I will say that the recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of his Original Essence. I have tried to make this jambalaya with other seasonings, and they just don't cut it. I don't use his Essence much anymore myself, but this recipe alone is worth the 3 bucks for the bottle. Put it in your freezer and pull it out just for this recipe. Trust me on this. The only change I have made to his recipe, is that the one I originally pulled off of Emeril:Live called for Chorizo sausage. A good sausage, in and of itself. But andouille is soooo wonderful if it is made right. It just tastes like Louisiana. It has so much flavor packed into one tiny sausage, and it finishes with that cajun heat that makes every bite even better than the last. So you could use chorizo if you can't find andouille.

Tonight to accompany, I also tried my hand at finishing off my celery challenge with a recipe found here. Celery and Apple Salad is a great way to use up some celery lurking around. All the flavors mingle together perfectly, and this is good enough to be company worthy. The only change I made was that I didn't have any walnuts, so I added a handful of craisins instead. And although the craisins are a tasty addition, I can taste the walnuts when I taste the salad, and next time they will be added. And there will be a next time. Thanks Alanna!

And now for something new. Today I spent some time creating a new blog to post just my recipes for easy searching. If you look over on the sidebar, you will see a link to Treasure Trove. That is where I will be posting my recipes from now on. Eventually I hope to go back and put all of my recipes from Tummy Treasure on there, but that is a daunting project, so I will just go forward for now. I will post a link for each recipe for all of you for easy look-up. Hopefully everything will work out okay. And please let me know if it doesn't!

Tonight's recipe: Jambalaya

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