Because I was born and spent my childhood in New Orleans, I use every chance I get to take "ownership and authority" on all things NOLA. I can be pretty annoying about it. I'm like that kid you went to middle school with, who lived in England for 2 years and acts like they developed an accent and years of culture and memories. Even though they were like, 6. Yeah, I'm that person.
It helps that New Orleans was the city both my parents ever lived in the longest, so even though they weren't natives, it's still very much apart of our family history and personality. My parents actually went back to NOLA a few weeks ago and out of jealousy of their visit, I decided to make some Jambalaya. Typically you'd add crawfish to this Cajun dish, but being in Chicago and on a budget, I substituted the crawfish for shrimp. This recipe is from an old family friend, and you won't believe how simple it is. For how good it tastes, it's embarrassing how easy it is to put together.
1 lb Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage, cooked and drained
1 lb crawfish tails, or uncooked shrimp
2 cups Uncle Ben's Converted White Rice (uncooked)
1 14-oz can beef broth
1 10.5 oz can Campbell's French Onion Soup
1 8oz can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stick butter, cut into small chunks
Mix together all ingredients in a 9X13 glass casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour at 375° stirring halfway through.
See, I told you it's embarrassingly easy. Perfect for a dinner party - fix it and forget it (for an hour).
Don't forget the crusty French bread and Hurricanes.