One Pan Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage

snow dog

It snowed today…again. And in the last 2 weeks school has only been open for 2 days. In other news, Travis built what he calls a “snow dog”. Which of our dogs does it resemble the most?

Randolph and our house

Our house from the road. Usually a pretty tropical scene but…ahhh…not today. But the boys had fun playin’ while I watched from the warmth of the passenger seat. We went for a drive to the oceanfront, had lunch at the only place open (which wasn’t a bad choice, my grilled chicken and bacon salad was delish) and worked from home. Travis made the snow dog around 5pm and I spent just enough time out there to take a couple pictures. Then I came in to start up dinner:

Kentucky bourbon sausage

onions, peppers, garlic and rice

jambalaya

jambalaya served up

One Pan Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage

  • 1 package (4 links) Niman Ranch Kentucky Bourbon Uncured Sausage (the best, they can be found at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 7-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup organic jasmine rice
  • 1 – 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce (because no HFCS)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen okra, defrosted
  • 1 pound bag uncooked frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  • Start by slicing the sausage links. I like them pretty thin. Heat a large, high sided, non-stick skillet on medium high heat and the sausage (without any oil). Let it cook for a few minutes without turning so they get color and brown bits start forming (see above). Stir to brown on both sides. Using a large spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and place in bowl. Reserve.
  • Turn the heat down a bit and add the EVOO, onion and pepper to the same skillet. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent and then add the garlic. Cook garlic for 30 seconds and add rice stirring to coat the rice with any pan juices and toast it a bit. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, spices and bay leaves and cook on low for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove lid, stir, and add a bit more chicken stock if needed. I don’t like it dry but I also don’t want jambalaya soup! Add shrimp, sausage and okra and cook until shrimp is just done. Do not overcook shrimp or they will be rubbery (yuck). Check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed, and remove bay leaves.
  • Serve up. If you like it spicy you can add a dusting of cayenne pepper or a dash a hot sauce on top!

**Easy defrost tip for the shrimp and okra: Place the shrimp in a large colander and rinse with water. Put the okra in a separate smaller colander and also rinse with water. Let them both sit out at room temperature while the rice is cooking and they should be ready to go once you need them!

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Roasted Pork Loin Roast

Roasted roast. It’s a roast that was roasted. I shouldn’t be writing at-all-ever.

pork loin roast

I’m also giving you a recipe that you won’t be able to exactly recreate because you can’t buy this spice. Unless you live in or near Richmond, VA and go to the South of the James farmer’s market at Forest Hill Park…in THAT case, yes.

It’s a mix of locally grown, dried herbs and salts. Lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, lemongrass and sage! The last ingredient is LOVE…awwww! ***sticks finger down throat but then smiles***

spice mix

When the roasted roast was done and sufficiently rested, I sliced it and topped it with the onions and pan drippings.

pork loin roast

Roasted Pork Loin Roast

  • a 1.75-2 lb. pork loin roast
  • 2 teaspoons of a dried herbs mix (lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, lemongrass, Himalayan pink salt and sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium to large onion, halved and sliced

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree. Salt and pepper the roast on all sides. Heat a large oven proof saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add EVOO and pork roast. Once it’s seared to a nice golden brown on one side flip it over and add the onions and wine. Sprinkle the dried herbs all over the pork and the onions. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the internal temp reaches about 145 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken and chips and veggies all whirled(is that a word?) together means yummy soupy-goodness. I have seriously made this so many times that I realized not sharing it here was like I was lying to you somehow. I think my spoon goes into my bowl so fast that I just don’t think about you. Sorry. I think.

It easily doubles to feed your 2 brothers, 2 sisters, their husbands and kids…ummm…a big crowd…

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white/yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • (you can add a diced red pepper here…I didn’t have one)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pepper-jack cheese
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup Mont Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
  • 1-2 roasted chicken breasts or meat from one small rotisserie chicken, pulled
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Toppings:

  • Mont Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Limes
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • more crushed tortilla chips

Method

  • Heat oil in dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and add vegetables (next 6 ingredients). Season with salt & pepper. Saute until tender or about 15 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, seasonings, fresh cilantro and chicken stock. ¬†Bring to a simmer and let cook down for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the crushed tortillas and simmer for 10 more minutes or until soft.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender,¬†blend until smooth. Blend it! Trust me. It somehow tastes better when the soup is smooth!
  • Add the shredded, roasted chicken, corn and the¬†cheese and stir around to incorporate.
  • Spoon into bowls and finish with your favorite toppings.

Cilantro Chimichurri

Hello down there cilantro!

cilantro

I picked off your leaves, added spices, vinegar, garlic and EVOO and you became…

A fabulous sauce for my flank steak!

flank steak and Cilantro Chimichurri

SEE!

Cilantro Chimichurri

I have some leftovers and I’m thinking chicken tacos, smeared with chimichurri, lettuce, avocado…food dreaming for another day!

I think I’ve been reading too many books to my nephews!

Cilantro Chimichurri

  • a large bunch of cilantro, about 1 cup packed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake, optional
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Method

Combine cilantro, garlic, vinegar, oregano, cumin, and optional red pepper flake in a food processor. Pulse until fine.
Turn food processor on and stream in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Eclectic Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Veggie Bake

I have been lovin’ Mondays this semester. I get up super early to take Devin to school, work out for an hour, eat breakfast, take a shower and then it’s still not even 9 o’lock yet! Travis goes to work and I have the house to myself until I leave for my 4 o’clock class. It’s usually a “write papers, make presentations and do home work kinda day”. In between studying, I cook.

Last week I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400 degrees for about an hour. Let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself! Then use a fork to scoop it into a small baking dish (about a 8×8 size).

roasted spaghetti squash

I looked around in the fridge for some ideas for what to put on the squash. At first I was just going to dump some jarred sauce on it but then I decided to add some veggies to my veggies. I got out a half an onion, 1 zucchini and 2 cloves of garlic, then chopped, diced and sauteed them up in a skillet until almost tender. Then I added a 14 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes and a little oregano, salt and pepper and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so while I went back to my studying.

Then I dumped it over the squash and mixed it around…

spaghetti squash

Covered it with some freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano…

cover it with cheese

and baked it at 350 for 15 minutes until the cheese melted into the veggie crevices!

Spaghetti Squash Veggie Bake

Lunch is served!

Pumpkin Enchiladas

veggies   pumpkin enchilada sauce   chicken, peppers & onions

Mexican food and Fall flavors got married, had a baby and this recipe was born! I found this recipe a few weeks ago and have made it twice already! It satisfies my need for spice, all-things-Fall and is super comforting.

pumpkin enchiladas

I was a little scared at first because when you taste the sauce before it bakes, it’s a little weird…or too pumpkin-y something…but nothing that roasting in the oven for half an hour doesn’t fix!

Besides a little cheese (which isn’t bad for you) these are super healthy. Pumpkin is super high in antioxidants, vitamin A and potassium. Then you also have the added veggie goodness from the onions – pepper – jalapenos ¬†and garlic . Super tasty! You have to try these babies!

pumpkin enchiladas

Pumpkin Enchiladas

For enchilada sauce:

  • 2 jalape√Īos, seeded and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( I used canned organic pumpkin)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • ¬ĺ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¬Ĺ cup low-sodium chicken stock

For the filling:

  • about 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into small chunks
  • 1 medium onion (such as vidalia), diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons EVOO
  • salt & pepper, to taste. Also add some of the chili powder, cumin and oregano that went into the sauce for extra flavor!

For assembly and serving:

  • 8 medium- sized corn tortillas (if you use the small size it may take 10-12)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions or chives and chopped cilantro, for serving

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425. Add EVOO to a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, chicken, salt and pepper. Saut√© until veggies are soft and chicken in done, about 10-12 minutes. About 2 minutes before its done add¬†some of the chili powder, cumin and oregano that went into the sauce for extra flavor! Set aside.
  • Place chopped jalape√Īo and garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince fine. Add pumpkin puree, chili powder, cumin, oregano, Greek Yogurt, and chicken stock. Pulse to combine. (I used my Vitamix for this step)
  • Pour one cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8√ó13 baking dish.
  • Heat tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds, until they are warm and pliable. Spoon about ¬Ĺ cup of chicken mixture onto each tortilla. Sprinkle with a little of the shredded cheddar. Roll up each tortilla and lay them in the pan, seam side down.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas. Top with grated cheddar, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with green onions and chopped cilantro.

Based on the recipe by How Crazy Cooks

Urban Herb Garden

I have been obsessed with growing herbs for about 5 years now. Last year I had what I consider to be my most successful year of growing. Today I want to share with you where they grow and some pictures of what I’m growing.¬†My rosemary is whispering in my ear telling me that it wants to be written about first. It is included in the name of my blog, after all.

My rosemary grows, along with the rest of my garden, in a spot that has one of the most beautiful views in Richmond. My roof. We live in an urban neighborhood right on the James River in the downtown area of Richmond. The neighborhood is a mix of privately owned condos, townhouses and businesses. We have a pool, 3¬†restaurants¬†and a boat marina. This is a photo of the seating area and part of the “growing” roof top.

Back to the rosemary…it grows inside of an old broken fire pit that was too cool and rustic to throw out. Here is a view from the top as it grows up toward the sun:

And another view of the rosemary:

Here are some shots of other herbs growing on the roof:

Lemon thyme, planted in 2011

Tarragon, planted April 2012

Sage, planted April 2012

Oregano, planted April 2012

Tomatoes (because they didn’t want to be left out), planted April 2012

The largest and most abundant herb that I grew last year was sweet basil. I had 3 very large bushes. One large plant would fill up a large colander once was it was cleaned and stemmed. This season I have planted sweet basil and thai basil, it’s currently about an inch tall and I’m hoping it’s going to get just as big as it did last year!

Basil, stemmed and washed. 2011

I also have a few things growing in pots on my front porch. The dill has been planted from seed I saved from last year.

Dill, planted March 2012

Chives, planted April 2012

Jalapeno pepper, planted April 2012

Thai Basil seedlings, started March 2012. A stray dill seed got in there somehow!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my recent plantings. I will keep you updated as they grow and as I use them in recipes! – Elissa