Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CEiMB - Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham or. .new version without shrimp!

This week was hosted by Anonymous New York. Check out his/her blog. You will definitely find it interesting.

First, I have always hated cajun food and when I saw jambalaya I cringed. However, in the last year I tasted some fabulous jambalaya that my friend and neighbor Amanda made, so I was anxious to try this one to see how it measured up. You would have to be older to remember the Hank Williams' song with these lyrics, but my daddy sang it to me when I was a child.
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!

Of course some drama comes with. I love shrimp, or rather I used to. About eight years ago I became severely allergic to shellfish. So I knew I would have to substitute something for the shrimp. My friend at work, Jennifer, had already made her jambalaya and we chatted about it on Monday. In my head, I guess I thought if I were substituting sausage for the shrimp, surely everyone else was substituting as well. So when Jennifer asked me if I would like to taste hers, I didn't hesitate and jumped right in with my spoon and took a bite. The our conversation went like this.

I said, "So you used the andouille sausage in yours?"
"Yes," she said.
"And did you tell me you did put the ham in it?"
"No, just the shrimp."
"Shrimp? You put shrimp in it?"
"yeah, why?"
"I'm deathly allergic to shrimp. Okay I'm gonna run to the bathroom and rinse my mouth out but if I tell you, call 911. I won't be joking."

So I rinsed and gargled and went back to my desk and drank a glass of tea and water and proceeded to eat my lunch thinking maybe I could just dilute the shrimp somehow if I put enough food and water in there with it. I did get a little dizzy feeling, and my face was a bit itchy and red, and my quad-mate said I was really pale. Then I decided maybe some benadryl wouldn't hurt and it actually helped and I was fine.

The yankee is always ordering shrimp at restaurants and our joke is that he asks if I would like to put the shrimp to my lips to see if they will plump. (The doctor suggested I do this when I had a bad reaction years ago). I always laugh and say, no I think I'll pass. And no kisses for him until he flosses, brushes and gargles! Aren't food allergies bummers?

I had one worried friend all afternoon. Jennifer was so sweet. She checked on me several times. And the next day she brought me a treat. A tube of tomato paste! Isn't technology wonderful these days. You can just squirt what you need and put the rest in the refrigerator.

Speaking of refrigerators, my new freezer on the bottom stainless steel beauty is making the loudest popping noises about every hour or so. We called the technician and he said there wasn't anything wrong. Now we have called GE and they are sending another technician out to check it.

Back to the jambalaya, I used andouille sausage and ham. We loved it. Try it!!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 ounces diced, smoked ham
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
Hot pepper sauce

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in the next 11 ingredients, salt through the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the shrimp and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more, or until shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with hot pepper sauce.


Anonymous said...

Wow - that was scary. Whenever I've heard of a shellfish allergy, it's never a mild reaction type. When someone becomes allergic to shellfish, it seems a "do it and die" scenario. Sad you have to miss out on some super meals.
BUT....that said, your dish sounds great! It doesn't seem like you missed a thing with your adjustments.

Jen said...

Glad you liked the jambalaya Peggy! ...and sorry about the shrimp incident! I'm so glad you were okay though and didn't have a bad reaction. I thought this was a great recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no! That would be really scary; I'm glad you are OK and didn't have a serious reaction to the shrimp. I think substituting sausage but still using the ham sounds pretty good. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jessica said...

Great song! I love it. I didn't use shrimp either, just sausage and chicken. And, I'm really glad that you made it through the trauma of accidentally eating shellfish -- eek! That's scary.

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

I lobbied for andouille and got chicken sausages instead. I knew it was going to be kick-ass in here.

Food allergies are the worst ever. I am allergic to wheat, but I refuse to not eat it. Fortunately, my allergy just causes unspeakable indigestion and suffering, no swelling/rash/unable to breath type of stuff.


Leslie said...

What a close call! I have a random shellfish allergy, so once every few years it kicks in, and each time it's a little more severe. The last time, they gave me epinephrine at the urgent care and I had a seizure, so no more shellfish (or epi!) for me. I'm glad you still made the recipe and enjoyed it.

The Blonde Duck said...

How scary! I'm allergic to shellfish too--I can't imagine how worried you were!

Aggie said...

yikes!! :)

Looks delicious!!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

oh my, glad it turned out alright, and that you liked your version. :)

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

oh my, glad it turned out alright, and that you liked your version. :)

Amy I. said...

Oh gosh, so glad you were scary! The jambalaya was yummy. I didn't use shrimp either :)

natalia said...

Oh my God Peggy ! So no gamberetti for you !! I'll definitely try to be around when you come !! The place looks great ! not in the 'real' center but much quieter !

Anonymous said...

Your jambalaya sounds great. Isn't it strange how you can suddenly develop food allergies? I was diagnosed with oral allergy syndrome this year...crazy. Good to see a fellow Southerner blogging about food.

Pamela said...

Yikes! Thank goodness you were okay. Your version looks very tasty. I hope everything worked out alright with the fridge, too.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Scary! I'm glad you were okay. But no more shrimp for you! That's okay, i've gone off shrimp too.

Your jambalya looks great.

Anonymous New York said...

I'm so sorry about your allergy and your close call! Glad you're ok! I'm happy you liked the jambalaya! You didn't miss out on anything without the shrimp. I've used andouille sausage in my other jambalaya recipe and I love it! Thanks for participating!

Cathy said...

Peggy, I'm so relieved it all turned out okay. Something about Jennifer bringing you a tube of tomato paste afterwards made me laugh. We foodies are just a crazy bunch! Glad you liked the jamabalaya (sans shrimp!) I loved this one too!