Everybody runs their kitchens a little bit differently. It’s just one of those places that is immune to the laws and natural orders of the world and is totally unique to it’s user. And every cook is unique from their specific processes right on down to their individual food philosophies. We each have our favorite tricks of the trade and are partial to certain tools and certain methods. Be that as it may, there are certain things you’ll find in any well-stocked, well-used kitchen. They’re kitchen must-haves, and often their little multi-purpose, miracle working, border-line magical devices. Take the trusty dutch oven for example.
<Pardon the pause. I’ll be able to move on and find my train of thought again when the sons stop sniggering over my shoulder. Yes! I said Dutch oven. Now, moving right along …>
Its my my favorite one stop, one pot ‘thing’ in my entire kitchen.
Along with one pot recipes. Little one pot wonders. All cooked up in this bad boy right here. It even cooks up a perfect loaf of artisan style bread. See? Magic! If you don’t own a dutch oven, I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend investing in one. And if you’re thinking (like the hubs) that being limited on space as it is with X amount of people + Y amount of square cabinet space and = no more possible storage space for yet another kitchen gadget his crazy cook of a wife brings home, then you stop that right now. This instant. A dutch oven can do so many things you can potentially consolidate space. If not, then it’s definitely going to be a dirty dishes saver. And worst case scenario, you store that sucker in your oven. Out of sight, out of mind right? And for those days when you forget to check inside it before you turn it on, it’s oven safe 😉
And let me just mention again that this bad boy bakes. bread. Flawless, fool proof bread.
So, if you don’t have one … get one. Oh, and let’s add a nice little kick to our week night meal with the Cajun flavors of this jambalaya in a quick one pot meal that is also fool proof. And simple. Brown your meat, boil your rice, and mix everything together to finish cooking in the oven, all in one fantastic pot.
One Pot Sausage Jambalaya
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 packages kielbasa, or andoullie, sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1/2- 1 whole bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups long grain rice
2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth, or stock
1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and once it’s good and hot, add in the oil and butter. Add in the sausage and allow it to brown a bit on both sides and caramelize. Remove the sausage to a bowl or a plate and set aside.
2. Next reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic to the sausage drippings in the dutch oven. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (paprika, garlic & onion powder, cumin, Cajun & Italian seasoning) over the veggies. Add the bay leaves and salt & pepper, as desired. Add in the tomato paste and let everything saute for a few minutes.
3. Add in the rice, stirring to make sure it’s evenly incorporated and well coated. Continue sauteing everything until the vegetables are just tender.
4. Add in the chicken broth and the tomato sauce, and return the sausage to the pot. Stir everything together, and salt and pepper again (if needed) to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Turn off the heat, immediately cover the dutch oven with it’s lid, and transfer the dutch oven to an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
6. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, fear not, you can still enjoy this meal at home. Follow steps 1-4 in a large pot or even a skillet. For step 5, transfer everything to a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover tightly with aluminum oil and bake as directed. You may need to add 45-10 minutes to the cook time to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid. Just keep an eye on it after the 30 minute mark.