Cooler Weather

Late fall, when it begins to really cool off is always the time that my appetite goes to soups, stews, and crock pot recipes. One of my favorites is jambalaya, it may not be a traditional recipe, but I really enjoy this crock pot recipe. Today it gave me the time to pay attention to my son and his new girlfriend in the famility room while I made pies, one for dessert, one for a friend’s birthday tomorrow, and a third just in case we need more.

The only work of the jambalaya is chopping the vegetables,


and the kielbasa.

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Once these cook down,

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stir in the shrimp and parsley and you are done.

I prefer this as a weekend meal since it isn’t good if it’s in the crock pot for 9 hours (my minimum time away from home on a workday; and I’m not actually fond of eating at 5:30). The recipe is very amenable to to changes based your preferences; I am a bit heavy handed with the shrimp and kielbasa, I have also used andouille…play with it so that it matches your taste preferences.

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Jambalaya

cook 4-9 hours ∙ makes Serves 8 ∙ difficulty Easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, large, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ pounds smoked kielbasa, halved and sliced
  • ½ tsp thyme, dried
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper sauce
  • 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice

DIRECTIONS

In 3½- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except shrimp, parsley, and rice.

Cover; cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours).

Stir in shrimp and parsley. If needed, reduce heat setting to Low; cover and cook on Low heat setting about 1 hour longer or until shrimp are pink and firm. Serve jambalaya with rice.

NOTES

Spicy and smoky, andouille sausage is traditionally used for this dish. If you’re in a more mellow mode, leftover ham works just as well.

Spray the inside of a 1/2-cup measuring cup with cooking spray. For each serving press the hot rice into the cup. Place the cup upside down in the bottom of a bowl, and unmold the rice. Spoon the jambalaya around the mound of rice. Serve with warm crusty French bread.

I have discussed my apple pie before with my mother’s crust recipe, my own recipe is slightly different. For my mom, “easy as pie” is a meaningful phrase. Sadly, for me, not so much. My hands are very dry and I cannot “feel” the crust as she describes. So after playing with a number of recipes, I modified hers to include both butter and Crisco. This gives it the desirable flakiness associated with a Crisco crust and the manageability of a butter crust. It can be mixed in a food processor…easy.

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Pie Crust

prep 30 minutes to 4 hours ∙ makes 1 double crust ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source Shannon Stacey

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 5½ Tbsp Crisco, +1 tsp., chilled
  • 5½ Tbsp butter, +1 tsp., chilled
  • ¼ cup water, ice-cold

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour and salt together in a food processor. Add half of the Crisco and half of the butter and process until just combined. Add remaining Crisco and butter and mix until crumbly. Add water slowly while pulsing the processor. Pour out dough onto a very lightly floured board and shape into a disk. Split into two pieces (slightly larger for the top crust) and shape into 5-6″ disks. Wrap each disk in saran wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Use as directed in pie recipe.

NOTES

This recipe easily scales from 1 to 3 double crusts.

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