Somebody please remind my kids that someday they will be longing for food like mom used to make.

fredag 3 augusti 2012

Kid-friendly Jambalaya

I like one pot meals. Perhaps because I hate doing dishes. Or to be honest, since my husband is the one who does the dishes more often than not, I try to make things easy on him. This is a really easy meal. I even made it with my one and a half year old "helper" doing her best to slow me down. She got to sit in her high chair next to me while I cut everything up and her dad mowed the lawn. She tasted all the ingredients which kept her busy a while, then moved on to emptying the spice drawer and the utensil drawer. The good thing is that she has never had free reign of the utensil drawer before, so there were lots of interesting things to inspect.

In and out, in and out. Thankfully, she was just sorting and not opening.

Veggies and sausage, chopped and ready to go
 Once the veggies and sausage were ready to go, I chopped up two chicken filets and tossed them in a big pot with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Then I cooked them until just done in the middle, and spooned them into a bowl to rest while I did the veggies.
 I added another tablespoon of olive oil, and sautéed the veggies and sausage until the onion was tender.

Then time to add the rice and spices, and sauté for a couple minutes to heat the spices and add a little color to the rice.

I added the water and chicken bouillion, covered, and turned down the heat to simmer 10 minutes.

After ten minutes passed, I gently stirred in the chicken (don't overstir) and simmered another five minutes to heat the chicken through and combine the flavors.

 After that, I removed the lid and simmered another 5-10 minutes until the liquid was mostly absorbed and the rice cooked. Stir to fluff the rice a bit, and serve.

Kid-friendly Jambalaya

about 3 T olive oil for sautéing
1 small leek, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3-4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 flavorful sausages, halved and sliced (About 50 g. let your kids' preferences dictate how spicy. Kielbasa or something milder if they don't like spicy foods - I used one called Mexicana with garlic, cumin and cayenne)
2 chicken breast filets in bite-sized pieces
1 c. rice
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika powder
2 bay leaves, crumbled
a small dash of cayenne (optional - you can always add a bit later if you think it needs more sting)
2 c. water
1 chicken bouillion cube (or use chicken stock instead of bouillion and water)

Heat 2 T oil in a large pot on medium. Add chicken and sauté until just cooked through. Spoon onto a plate.

Add 1 T oil to pot and then add vegetables and sausage. Sauté until aromatic and veggies start to become tender. Add rice and spices, combining well. Sauté about 2 minutes while stirring. Add water and bouillion; give a little stir to combine. Once it boils, turn down heat and cover to simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove cover, and simmer 5-10 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Stir to fluff rice and serve. 

Serves four. 

The toddler ate a bunch while I was cooking (If it is healthy, I don't care if they spoil their dinners. Blueberries, sausage, leek and bell peppers - A OK where I am concerned), but still managed to eat most of her portion. She ate out all the sausage pieces first, then the chicken, then the bell pepper, and then tasted some rice. Then she started nagging her dad for more sausage. She isn't nuts about rice. The big girl LOVED rice as a tot, and hated potatoes. This one is the exact opposite. This rice seemed to be approved, unlike white rice which she thinks is just about the creepiest thing ever. The feel of it freaks her out. The big girl is still out of town, but I think she would have liked this a lot. Strange to have meals where no one complains. The toddler just throws things on the floor if she doesn't like them. I don't know which I prefer.

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