Saturday, October 2, 2010


Sounds like something they'd serve on Cajun Night in the MIT cafeteria. But, no, this is not about how people from the fourth state pronounce things.

Spouse 1.0 loves, loves, loves the jambalaya at Mimi's.  He especially loves, loves, loves it over pasta instead of rice. And, any jambalaya out there is bound to contain sausage that in turn surely contains maltodextrin, dextrose, random sources of free glutamic acid, and assorted other unpronounceables.  Plus, last time I checked, Mimi's pasta wasn't gluten free.

But, it didn't start out as an attempt to give Spouse 1.0 a glutamic acid free, gluten free jambalaya-like experience. It started out as an attempt to throw something together for dinner.

Given my abscessed tooth, I was thinking I might have soft boiled eggs. Room temperature. Preferably sans pepper. Intravenously, if possible. Not something Spouse would welcome. 

Hmmm, what to fix for him?

Digging around in the freezer, I unearthed a 1 lb bag of pre-cooked shrimp from T-Jo. I had some chemical-free sausage I'd picked up at Whole Foods in the fridge. Even had a bell pepper or two.... Jambalaya!!

Problem: I have no idea what's really in jambalaya. And, with the abscessed tooth sapping my joie de vivre, I was in NO MOOD to research recipes. Besides, it's always more fun to just wing it.

So, step one: put shrimp in colander and run cold water over to thaw.

Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.

Next: Cut up one 3 oz link of the Whole Foods mild Italian sausage and put it in a sauce pan.

After it browns a bit, toss in the chopped bell pepper and some pre-chopped onions. Turn heat down to low, add a little water, and cover.

Toss in a can of organic tomatoes and half a can of organic tomato paste. Cover and think about spices.

Garlic.  A bit of basil.  A pinch of oregano. Cumin. Maybe a bit of chili powder. Cayenne. Oops. Too much cayenne. Oh well.  Cover and hope for the best.

By now, the tomato & sausage mixture should be starting to boil. Turn heat really low.

Throw some gluten free pasta into the boiling water. Maybe 5 or 6 ounces. More if you like lots of pasta. Set the timer for 12 minutes, or whatever the pasta calls for.

Taste the tomato & sausage mixture. Add more cumin, basil, and garlic. Or whatever it is you think you need to add.

About 3 minutes before the pasta's done, stir the shrimp into the tomato & sausage mixture.  Cover.

When the pasta's done, drain it.

Put a little pasta in each person's bowl, top with the jambalaya-like mixture, and eat.

Not a true jambalaya. More like a jambaliar. But, not bad.  I think I'll do it again sometime.

Maybe I'll even read a recipe first.

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