City of New Orleans

February11

I’ve got New Orleans stuck in my head.  Likely for a number of reasons: 1)  I just finished reading a book that I loved called “The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Calder” (written by Rebecca Wells of Ya Ya Sisterhood fame) which was partially set in New Orleans 2) we were rooting for The Saints in the Superbowl this past weekend and 3) because just this morning, a reader requested our jambalaya recipe.

My husband and I have always dreamed of seeing three US cities: New York, manhattan2New Orleans and San Francisco.  Only the latter remains on our “to see” list.  We were blessed to travel to New Orleans the winter before Hurricane Katrina and saw the city in all of her beauty.  We only spent 24 hours there but it was jam-packed with eating and merriment. 1stPlaceSanFranciscoCableCarsWe stayed right in the French Quarter at the Hotel St. Marie where we started the evening when our group met up in their cozy lounge.  We soon spilled onto Bourbon Street where we just had to stop for “Huge Ass Beers To Go”.  We had dinner in the outside patio at Tujague’s on Decatur St. – a restaurant established in 1856, where we had a delicious feed of fried catfish.  Next stop was at another restaurant for Jack Daniels and just shucked Oysters.  We continued onto “The House of Blues” for amazing music and ended the evening at Pat O’Brien’s for a cocktail aptly named “The Hurricane”.

The next morning we shopped the Riverwalk Marketplace for Louisiana Hot Sauce and continued to the French Market to watch pralines being made and then to sample Po-Boy and Muffeletta sandwiches.  Just this weekend, we picked up De Luca’s Alba brand’s Muffeletta-Olive Salad Mix to bring back the taste of New Orleans.

We cooked a pre-trip dinner party to get us all in the New Orleans mood.  This was the first time that my husband made his now famous Jambalaya recipe.  It was so popular that a year or so after the trip the group reassembled for a Fat Tuesday party and we served it again.  Now it is a favourite “make ahead” dinner when the guys are heading out to the lake for a cross-country ski weekend.neworleans

The recipe was originally located on a New Orleans website but has been modified to include local kubasa sausage: Doug’s Jambalaya:  Heat a liberal amount of oil in a deep & heavy pan.  Sautee 1 diced onion and 1 minced garlic clove and then add 1 lb. peeled and diced kubasa sausages (or substitute an equal amount of diced ham).  Add 1 small can of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce to taste, Creole seasoning to taste (can substitute Tabasco to taste).  Add  ½ each, diced green, red and yellow peppers and 10 small banana peppers (with ends cut off).  Let simmer until the onions and peppers soften.  Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1-2 cans of water.  Let it come to a slow boil and then add 2 cans of red beans, 1 can niblets corn and 1 T parsley flakes.  Boil again and adjust seasonings.  When sausages rise to the top, add 15-20 whole, peeled jumbo shrimp (approx. 1 lb.) and simmer for 20-30 minutes more. Serve over rice.  Note: diced chicken breast can substitute for the shrimp or we like it with shrimp, chicken AND ham and kubasa.


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