Jambalaya des herbes with shrimp | Recipe report card

6 May

Our pediatrician is very interested in getting the Bug (and, presumably, all her patients) to eat fish once a week. I am interested in getting out of my cooking/eating ruts and eating more seafood once again. I am also interested in using the Bug’s love of rice, pasta, and anything in noodle form to help her expand her palate.

I tried to take a shortcut and make the rice in the rice cooker, thinking this would buy me my much-needed 30-minute round trip break to pick the Bug up at daycare. Unfortunately, it became very clear that everything would not fit in our rice cooker, so I ended up dumping it all into a pot, adding some water, turning the heat too high, and letting it cook. Next time I will follow the recipe.

Once again, I did not take a picture, but the link to the recipe has a much nicer one than I could have ever taken.

Jambalaya des herbs with shrimpHow to Cook Everything Fast p. 380

  • Meal: dinner, tonight
  • Kid tried?: Yes
  • Keeper?: Yes
  • Cook’s grade: A. You have to chop an onion, two celery stalks, two green peppers, and two tomatoes, so there’s a fair bit of chopping. Fortunately, the onion cooks while you chop the celery; they both cook while you chop the peppers, etc. So it’s not wasted time, but it does push this up to a 45-minute meal as opposed to a 30-minute meal. Also, there’s only about ten or fifteen minutes when the dish cooks unattended, so it’s not a great “start it now, then dash off to daycare, and serve it when we get home” dish. The spices were right in between adult and kid tastes, probably a bit mild for us and a bit too spicy for Bug, but I would probably just dial back the cayenne next time. Still it was easy, really flavorful, and a good way to get some seafood in our diets. Dave loved it. And it was really good with a beer.
  • Kid’s grade: B. I cut the shrimp into small pieces for the Bug’s bowl, thinking I would hide it in the rice. She ate every bite of shrimp and even ate two or three more “big shimp.” She was fascinated with the Creole seasoning Dave put on his and left on the table (nothing is ever spicy or flavorful enough for him), so she added some to her bowl, then decided her food was too spicy. So this goes down in history as the first time she didn’t finish all her rice.

Cooking tips for busy parents:

  • Don’t try to make the rice in a rice cooker, thinking you’ll add the veggies and finish it off there, unless your rice cooker is very large or you’ve halved the recipe.
  • To cut down on the chopping, you could probably use a can of diced tomatoes.
  • You could cook all the veggies in advance, throw them in a bowl with the tomatoes and bay leaves the night before. Just add them to the rice as you make it.

 

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