As I stepped back in my kitchen to check on the Jambalaya, the aromas I smelled as it simmered took me back to my childhood. My Dad didn’t cook often when I was a little girl. But when he did it was always a treat. I think he didn’t cook much because my mom was such a great cook. Anyway I always loved it because when he cooked it was going to be something different. Also I always liked what he chose to make especially the Jambalaya.
The thing is he only cooked Jambalaya once a year . Leaving me always begging him to make it more often but whenever I got some I was so happy. My Dad was always very creative when it came to cooking and he always did something different every time he cooked it. Another thing I loved that my Dad cooked was his lasagna (coming up in my next issue) and his vegetables. I never was a vegetable lover but if he cooked them I would try them and most of the time I loved them. One of the reasons I think men make such great cooks is they are willing to try something different.
When it came to food and foolishness, my Dad is always my partner in crime. I remember when I was about 4 years old and he picked me up from Kiddie College, my nursery school on my birthday and we also picked up my birthday cake. No one was home when we got there and he says to me do I want to eat the frosting off the cake I was like yes! We ate all the frosting off the cake and my Mom was pissed. Told us we were selfish and everything. We laughed because everyone was angry but it was delicious. On holidays when my Mom was cooking if food came up missing we always knew it was him.
Back to his chef skills. So he was about 7or 8 years old when he started cooking . His mom taught him to sew, cook and clean. My mom was, and is his favorite chef. Next to her he loved her mama’s cooking. But he also enjoys Ainsley Harriott and Bobby Flay. His favorite meals to cook are fried Fish also spaghetti and meat sauce because it is easy and filling. Now that I’ve gotten you familiar with my Dad. Let’s explore this Jambalaya recipe
• cooking oil
• Cajun seasoning,
• Smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
• boneless skinless chicken breasts
• Ham cubed
• 1 onion diced
• 1 small green bell pepper
• 2 stalks/ribs celery, chopped
• garlic, minced
• crushed tomatoes
• ground black pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• red pepper flakes
• Cayenne powder
• Worcestershire sauce
• 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice short grain, long grain, or brown
• 3 cups chicken broth
• raw shrimp/prawns tails on or off, peeled and deveined
Season and Sauté sausage, chicken, and ham in cooking oil. Add In the onion, bell pepper and celery until onion is soft and transparent. Add the garlic Stir in the tomatoes; season salt, pepper,red pepper flakes ,Cayenne powder,, Worcestershire sauce, and the Cajun seasoning and bay leaf .Add in the rice and chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium. Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, while stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp until they are cooked completely. Remove bay leaf.Then remove from heat and serve.
-Nikita Robinson Cooking With Purpose