Thursday, February 21, 2013

{Recipe ReDux} Oscars in the Kitchen: Jambalaya with farro

Jambalaya!
The theme of this month's Recipe ReDux is Oscars in the Kitchen. Our challenge? Create a healthy dish that is inspired by a favorite food scene or or featured dish from a movie.

Did you see Beasts of the Southern Wild? It was a really fantastic movie about many topics and starred the fabulous Quvenzhané Wallis. She really is phenomenal. What spoke the most to me in this movie were the messages of making the most of what you have and cherishing your own community.If you're making jambalaya, there are a lot of "right" ways to do it, and many ingredients that are delicious in the pot! Use what you have and what you like.

I chose to make a version of Jambalaya. I can make no claims to authenticity as I am a buckeye, but I will say that it does taste good. What are the health twists? I cut down on the sodium using my own cajun spice blend and homemade turkey stock and I also bumped up the veggies - I often double the veggies that are called for in stew and soup recipes. I did one other twist: I continue to experiment with new foods and for this recipe I am using a grain that is new to me called farro. It is high in fiber and b-complex vitamins and has a nutty flavor. Where to buy it? I bought mine at a food co-op from the bulk section - quite cheap! If it is pricy in your area, check out buying the farro online or try substituting hard red wheat or regular rice. Today I made a double batch of this recipe and the soup pot was full to the brim! Make sure you have a big enough pot :)  

Farro Jambalaya with Shrimp and Turkey Sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small (or 1 large) onion, diced 
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced or diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 ounces (or so) mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup raw farro (or rice)
  • 1-16 ounce can diced tomatoes (bonus points if you canned them yourself!)
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable, chicken, turkey or fish stock (more bonus points if you made it)
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun spice (more or less, to taste)
  • 8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.Starting with the onions, add them to the pan. As you chop the rest of your veggies, keep adding them to the pan and stir. Once all of the veggies are in the pan, saute for a few more minutes or until they have softened.
  2. Add farro, sausage, tomatoes, water, stock, Cajun spice blend and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer or until farrow is tender - about 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 5-8 minutes more or until shrimp is cooked.
Note: With this amount of water and stock, the Jambalaya is a bit thinner, more like a stew. I like it this way, but if you'd prefer it to be a bit thicker, use less stock or water.
    This is enough for a double batch
    Lots of veggies! I was going to add zucchini too, but ran out of room.
    Just added the shrimp
    Laissez le bon temps rouler!
    Reader poll: What new grains have you been cooking with?  get the InLinkz code

    4 comments:

    1. Yum! Lots of veggies, lots of flavorful ingredients...and a movie reco too! Thanks Holly!

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    2. Recipe from your heart. Love it! You have inspired me to find farro and cook it for my kids. Thanks!

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    3. I love shrimp, spicy sausage, cajun cuisine and farro is my favorite grain so, um, yeah, I'll be for sure making this! Great recipe and I have yet to see this movie, but I can't get over that that little girl is only 9!

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    4. I love farro! I rarely cook with it though- need to add it into more foods. I've made a few "farro risottos" that I enjoy. Looks yummy!

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