In celebration of Mardi Gras, Reuben cooked up a great pot of jambalaya. Out of the million and one versions of this classic Cajun cuisine, this one is my favorite. It’s low fat, cooks in one pot, and is a great way to use up leftover ham. The kale provides a burst of color and an extra serving of vegetables — very needed in my household as we struggle through the recent exchange of sicknesses between the kids. Much to our surprise, our 8‑month-old devoured her kale. Pretty impressive, Anabelle, but you’re still too young for beads.
Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham
adapted from Ellie Krieger
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 oz (170 g) diced, smoked ham
2 1/2 cups (600 ml) low sodium chicken broth
1 x 14-oz (400‑g) can diced tomatoes
1 cup (180 g) uncooked long-grain white rice
1 lb (450 g) peeled and deveined medium shrimp (tail-on preferred)
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.
Toasted Garlic Kale
Serves 2 to 3
1 bunch kale, washed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water as you would for cooking pasta. Add the chopped kale and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until the kale turns bright green. Immediately drain the kale and rinse with cold water.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat but do not let the oil smoke. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Add the drained kale to the oil and garlic, lower the heat, and saute until the kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.