Nearly everyone was ready to put 2020 behind them.  And, here at WBKR, we're celebrating the start of 2021 with a brand new year of What's Cookin'?  It's our weekly cooking segment where we give you delicious recipes to try at home- brought to us by some of the best local cooks in the area.  Our friend Patty Millay is certainly that.  And, today, Patty is serving up a delicious way to roll into the New Year.  Here's how to make her New Year's Jambalaya.

From Patty:

Happy New Year Ya'll!  I am starting 2021 with Sass and Seasoning!  I wanted to make you something that is easy to do and has enough flavor to hold up to the challenges of your day.  There are tons of recipes for Jambalaya and I've read the all!  In the end, I did what I normally do - winging it!  Recipes are largely for inspiration anyway!  I started with the "trinity" and then went my own sassy way!

NEW YEAR'S JAMBALAYA

2 boxes Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
4 stalks celery
1 bunch green onions
1/4 small red onion
1 stick butter
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups of water
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 bags instant white rice
1 lb smoked sausage
1 lb diced ham
1 lb medium shrimp
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

This all starts with your biggest stock pot you own!  (Next year, I'm asking Santa for a bigger one!)  Make your trinity by dicing your celery, peppers and small red onion.  I'm not an onion fan so I only used 1/4 a small onion.  If you love onion, add the whole thing!  Add the trinity and one stick of butter to your stock pot with 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer until tender.  This takes about 15 minutes or so.
Add remaining chicken stock, the two cans of diced tomatoes (including the juice) and 2 cups of water - bring mix to a boil.  Add the Zatarains, cover and turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Watch your liquids and add additional water as needed.  The rice in the Zatarains will soak up a good bit of your base.
While you are simmering your base, slice and brown your sausage and drain off excess grease.  Dice your ham and cut the tails off your shrimp.
After a thirty minute simmer, add the sausage and ham.  Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Reduce to a low simmer for an hour.  Stir frequently and keep your liquid levels up.
Chop the green onions while your one hour simmer is going and set them aside for a final garnish.
Add shrimp and simmer for 15 minutes then serve. Make your white rice in the microwave while your shrimp is tendering.  I like to serve my Jambalaya over a bed of white rice and sprinkle the green onions on the top.  It makes a pretty presentation and is extra filling for my family.
I have to confess that this recipe got bigger than my stock pot so I split it into two pots.  No big deal, just keep going and it'll all come out fine.  My house smells heavenly and I am so happy to serve this to my family tonight.
You can switch up your veggies as you like.  My hubs love okra but I drew the line on that addition. You can also change your meats to what you have on hand.  Chicken is great in this too - I just used what I had in the freezer!  Luckily our garden produced an abundance of peppers so I was in good shape even before the grocery run.
I'm on a mission to make 2021 a year of fabulous and this dish is right at the top of the list to kick off our new year!  I wish you and yours health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead!
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