Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blue Moon, Hawaii Kai and Proms by Margaret Ullrich - Blue Hawaii recipe and Sweet and Sour Mix

A couple of weeks ago I posted the recipe for Piña Colada.
If you liked it, you’re going to love Blue Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii was invented in 1957 by Harry Yee, head bartender of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, Hawaii, when a sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked him to design a drink that featured their blue Curaçao liqueur.

Yee is also the father of the  tiki bars such as Trader Vic, and did much to popularize a faux Hawaiian tiki culture, both in Hawaii itself and on the Mainland.

Back in 1967, my classmates and I - and hundreds of other recent grads - rounded out our Senior Prom night by going to Manhattan to have a drink at Hawaii Kai.

That was just the thing to do in the 60s.
The owners saw us coming and slapped a three drink limit on each customer.
They weren't about to face a bunch of angry parents of drunken kids.
But, for one night, we were dressed up as adults, and in a night club.
Ah, the days of wanting to be older and all grown up.


Back to Blue Hawaii…
There had been a 1937 Bing Crosby film called Waikiki Wedding
Also there was a 1961 Elvis Presley film Blue Hawaii.
That was inspired by the song written by Leo Robin for Crosby’s movie.
Yes, everything is connected in life.

Because Blue Hawaii is easy and inexpensive to make, it is often served as a punch. 
Basically it is a bottle or two of plain or coconut-flavoured light rum, a bottle of blue Curaçao, a can of pineapple juice, and a bag of ice, mixed together in a punchbowl. 
It’s perfect for summer get togethers.
Because it contains yellow pineapple juice, the Blue Hawaii will look green.
Now you know.


Hints:

You can substitute vodka for all or some of the rum in this recipe.
You can also use a flavoured rum or vodka,or add crème of coconut. 
The pineapple juice can be replaced by an equal amount of Sweet and Sour Mix.

For best results do not use bottled Sweet and Sour Mix.
Make your own with fresh citrus juice and simple syrup. 

In the spirit of Trader Vic, have fun with the glasses when serving this drink.
Dig out the Tiki mugs, hurricane glasses, over-sized cocktail glasses, parfait glasses, coconut halves or carve out a few pineapples.
It’s a fun drink, so have fun.


                        Sweet and Sour Mix

Place in a small saucepan
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup water
Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Then turn down the heat to low.
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
Pour the syrup into a jar that has a cover.
Add
1 Cup lemon juice
Cover and refrigerate.


                        Blue Hawaii

Combine
3/4 ounce light rum
3/4 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Curaçao (blue colour, if you can find it)
3 ounces pineapple juice, unsweetened 
1 ounce Sweet and Sour Mix
Blend or shake very well.
Pour into a glass with ice.
Garnish with 
a pineapple or orange slice scored and on the rim of the glass
or
use a toothpick or cocktail umbrella to spear a maraschino cherry through the centre and attach it to the top of the fruit slice 
or
float a cherry on top of the ice


About the moon this week…
According to the Farmers Almanac:

On July 31 there will be a Full Blue Moon.  
it’s called that because it is the second of two full Moons in July. 
The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight, and appears full for three days. 

Don’t forget to put out your crystals for recharging!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Cornbread and Polenta, Maltese Style


A few days ago I posted the recipe for Ma’s Barbecued Pork Side Ribs.
The post also included the recipe for her barbecue sauce.
I mentioned that I would serve it with a salad and cornbread.

Got an e mail… 
I should’ve included the recipe for the cornbread.


A couple of years ago I posted the recipe for Carmela Soprano's Salmon Steaks with Avocado Salsa.
I mentioned that cornbread would be good with it.
I guess no one tried my suggestion for Carmela's salmon dinner, because I didn’t get any requests for the cornbread recipe.


Cornbread is not a Maltese recipe.
It’s a quick bread that contains cornmeal and is leavened with baking powder.
Since it doesn’t have yeast in it, it doesn’t need to rise.
If you’ve made muffins, you know how to make cornbread.

I don’t know where Ma got her recipe for cornbread.
She already had cornmeal in the kitchen.
Sometimes, as a change from pasta or rice, she used the cornmeal to make polenta.
Most of the time she served the polenta straight from the pot, as is. 
Sometimes she poured it into a greased pan and baked it to make a bread. 
She also served the leftovers by slicing the baked bread and frying the slices.
She thought cornbread was easy to make.

About the cornbread…
Don’t get annoyed if the family doesn’t finish it at one sitting.
You can crumble the dry bread and use it in poultry stuffing.


                        Cornbread 

grease an 8 inch square pan
preheat oven to 350º F
Bake 45 minutes

Combine in a small bowl
1 Cup cornmeal
1/2 Cup milk
Set aside.

Combine in a small bowl 
1 1/4 Cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Combine in a measuring cup
1 Cup milk
1 large egg

Place in a medium bowl
1/2 Cup shortening
Beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in
1/2 Cup sugar
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid (3 dry and 2 liquid).
Blend in the cornmeal mix.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes.
Cool bread in the pan 5 minutes.
Turn out and serve hot.
It can be sliced and served with butter, as any bread.
It can also be sliced thinly and served with syrup and butter, like pancakes.


                        Polenta

Place in a medium pot
4 Cups water
Bring to a boil.
Add
1 teaspoon salt
Gradually stir in 
1 Cup cornmeal
Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Serve hot.

As a breakfast cereal polenta can be served in a bowl with milk and butter.
If you made it for dinner, it’s like serving mashed potatoes.
You can top polenta with butter, or gravy, or a sauce.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Barbecued Pork Side Ribs and Barbecue Sauce, Maltese Style

Most grocery stores are having good sales for pork side ribs.
They are available raw, in the meat department, and also pre-cooked - and in a barbecue sauce - in the frozen food and deli sections.
Ma would’ve headed straight for the raw ribs in the meat department.

Really… the frozen stuff is fine, if you’re in a rush and just cooking for two.
But, do the math: 
When I went to the store on Saturday, a box of prepared ribs (about 1 1/4 pounds, including sauce) was selling for about $15.
The raw pork side ribs were selling for $2.49 a pound.

As I said, the small box of frozen ribs will do for a couple in a rush.
But, if you’re feeding the family - and I mean the whole family - well, the prepared stuff turns those boney things into a meal of awfully pricey ribs.
Like I said, Ma would’ve headed straight for the meat department.
She wasn’t working 40 hours a week at Lily Tulip because she thought it was fun.

Pork side ribs have quite a bit of bone in them.
A quarter pound per person won’t do.
Plan on a half to a pound per person.
See why that tiny box wouldn’t go far?

Hints:

The sauce can be prepared while the ribs are simmering.
Or even a few days before.
This sauce will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks.
It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

If you’re cooking a large quantity of ribs, they can be simmered in the oven.
Fill a dutch oven with water and bring it to a boil.
Place the ribs in a large roasting pan that has a cover.
Pour the boiling water over the ribs.
The ribs should be covered with water.
If they’re not, boil more water and add it.
Cover, place in a 350º F oven and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

If you're cooking these ribs over a grill instead of in a broiler:
While they're simmering, prepare medium coals or medium high heat on a gas grill.
Place on grill, baste with sauce and grill until well browned, about 8 minutes.
Turn the ribs over, baste and grill another 8 minutes.


You might serve a salad and cornbread as a first course.
That helps to take the edge off everyone's appetites.
If it’s Fall or Winter, soup and bread is good, too.
Ma also killed our appetites with a big serving of pasta.


                        Barbecued Pork Side Ribs

Yield: 4 servings

Place in a Dutch oven
2 pounds pork spareribs, cut into serving-size pieces
1 small onion, quartered
Sprinkle with
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Add enough water to cover the ribs.
Bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
Drain the water out. 

Line a broiler pan or large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Place a rack or two on the cookie sheet.
Pat the ribs dry and arrange them on the rack. 

Place the broiler pan 5 inches from the heat.
Preheat the broiler.
Brush the ribs with the sauce. 

Broil for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove the pan from the oven.
Turn the ribs and brush  with the sauce.
Broil another 5 minutes.


                        Barbecue Sauce

Place in a medium saucepan
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup cider vinegar
1/8 Cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour over a very low heat, stirring occasionally.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Barbecue Fun on a Stick: Bannock and Corn Dogs - Margaret Ullrich

S’mores have become quite popular for cooking over a campfire.
They’re even selling a boxed kit of graham crackers, marshmallows and some chocolate.

S’mores are delicious and fun to make when the gang’s camping.
But, after a few camp outs, they do become 'same old, same old'.


Bannock is something a little different.
We enjoyed making it when we went camping.
I mixed the dry ingredients at home.
While the fire and sticks were being prepared I made the batter.

Bannock is an easy bread to make.
Not as sweet as a s’more and it goes well with salads and hot dogs.
Dough wrapped around a stick, held over a fire.
Kids love roughing it and holding the dough over the camp fire.

If you’re having a barbecue in the back yard, corn dogs can provide a bit of variety.
They can be prepared in advance and frozen.
Handy to have as a backup in case a few of the kids’ friends invite themselves over.
Hey, the more the merrier!!


Hints:

You need red hot coals to cook the bannock. 

If you are cooking the bread on a stick find sticks long enough so you can keep your distance from the fire.
They should also be thick enough to carry the weight of the dough. 
Skin the bark off the end of the sticks, then temper them over the flames of your camp fire until they are hot to the touch but not burnt. 
This will help the bannock to cook on the inside as well.

When the bread is wrapped around the sticks, find a place above the fire where you can hold your hand for 10 – 15 seconds.
This is the right distance from the fire to cook your bannock.
You want the bread to cook through and not be raw on the inside.
When the bannock is cooked, it will come off the stick easily. 
If it’s difficult to pull off, let it cook for another minute or so.

About the corn dogs…
If you've pre-made and frozen them, fully defrost them before you bake them.


                        Bannock on a Stick

Combine in a medium bowl
1 Cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
Stir in
1 Tablespoon melted butter or oil
Stir in
1/4 to 3/4 Cup water
You want a dough that is easy to handle. 
Knead for a few minutes.
Set it aside and let the dough rise as you prepare the fire. 

When the coals are hot take a piece of the dough and roll it into a rope between your hands. 
Wrap it around the end of your tempered stick in a spiral.
Press it down as you wrap so it will cling to the stick.
Hold the bannock over the fire and let it cook, rotating it frequently.
The bannock will take about 10 minutes to cook.

                        Baked Bannock 

Preheat the oven to 350º F 
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil 

Prepare the bannock dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into small pieces and flatten into circles about 1 inch thick.
Lay the dough on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. 

                        Corn Dogs

Cut in half 
7 hot dogs (either chicken or beef)

Have on hand
14 wooden sticks, about 6 inches long
Insert a stick halfway through each halved hot dog

Preheat the oven to 400º F 
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil 

Place in a large bowl
1 Cup flour
1 Cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder (NOT prepared mustard), optional

Add and cut in 
6 Tablespoons butter
Mix until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. 
Stir in 
1/2 Cup milk

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough. 
Form the dough around each halved hot dog.
Seal both ends and any open areas. 
Place the corn dog on the baking sheet. 
Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Flip each corn dog and then bake for another 5 - 10 minutes. 
Serve with mustard or ketchup  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Lemon Granita


On July 11 - yes, that’s 7/11 - Paul and I, along with thousands of other Winnipeggers, did our patriotic duty as loyal citizens.
We went to our local 7-Eleven for Slurpee Day.
We had to make sure Winnipeg kept its title of the Slurpee Capitol of Canada!


it was a blistering hot day at 32º C.
With the humidity it felt like 40º C.
We most certainly did enjoy our free cups!
I had settled on the lime flavour.
I would’ve loved a lemon.
But, lime was good, too. 

I grew up on lemon granitas.
It was just something Ma had on hand during the summer.
Sometimes we even had it with breakfast.

Granita is another way to use simple syrup as a base for a cold dessert.
it’s not as fruity as a sorbet.
But you can serve it with as much fresh fruit as you want.
And the recipe doesn't call for any vodka, if you were worried about the kids.


Hints:

The measurements are a starting point.
If you want it sweeter or tarter, no problem.
Adjust the amounts of lemons and sugar.
Think of it as making a cup of instant coffee.
You don’t exactly measure the crystals or sugar, you just suit yourself.

If, after you've first placed the container in the freezer, the slush has become as hard as a rock, don’t panic.
You can leave it at room temperature and eventually it will be softened enough to break into chunks that you can put in the blender.

If, when you are ready to serve it, it has frozen too hard, let the granita sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
Then work the mixture with the back of a large metal spoon until soft.

For a red, white and blue treat for the fourth of July, layer the lemon granita with strawberry and blueberry granitas.


                        Lemon Granita

Serves 4-6

Peel the zest from 
4 lemons
Set aside.

Squeeze the lemons to make 
2/3 Cup lemon juice

Place in a large saucepan
4 Cups water
3/4 Cup sugar
Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Then turn down the heat to low.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved - about 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. 

Place a strainer over a large container that has a cover.
Strain the mixture into the container.  
Let cool to room temperature.
Cover and freeze until partially frozen, about 2 - 3 hours. 

Take the frozen granita out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature until you can break it up into chunks with a large spoon.  
Grind these chunks in a blender until it is like a slurpee.  
Return to covered container and place in freezer until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve, remove from the freezer about 15 minutes in advance.
Beat it again to give it a creamy texture.  
Serve the granita in glasses or small bowls.
Garnish it with mint or fruit.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Piña Coladas and Slurpees by Margaret Ullrich - Piña Colada recipe

If you like Piña Coladas, 
getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga, 
if you have half a brain.
If you like making love at midnight 
in the dunes on the cape.
I'm the love that you've looked for,
write to me and escape.

Yes, I know that’s a rather odd picture.
Doesn’t look like a beach scene, a Piña Colada, or anything drinkable.
Don’t worry… it’ll all make sense later.

Today is national Piña Colada Day!
So that’s why I’m a bit early with the new moon drink post.
Didn’t want you to miss the fun.


And… speaking of fun…
Tomorrow is Free Slurpee Day here in Canada!
Don’t want you to miss that fun, either.
Drink on, fellow Winnipeggers, and let’s keep owning our Slurpee supremacy!
Long may we endure our Slurpee induced brain freeze headaches!!

Last year Paul and I sat outside our local 7/11 while sucking the slush and freezing what few remaining brain cells we have.
The 7-11 manager walked past us and said 
It tastes better when it’s free, doesn’t it. 
But, of course it would for any Winnipegger!


Back to the piña colada
It has been the national drink of Puerto Rico since 1978.
The name piña colada means strained pineapple.
I’ve posted the basic recipe.
There are variations, so, if you're out of rum, you don’t have to run out to the store.
Assuming you have coconut milk and pineapple juice on hand.
So yes, maybe you'll have to go shopping.
Aren't you glad I posted this early?

You can use different proportions or different types of rum or other liquors:
Amaretto colada — amaretto substituted for rum
Chi chi - with vodka in place of rum
Lava Flow — strawberry daiquiri and piña colada blended together
Staten Island Ferry — coconut rum and pineapple juice over ice


Looking for something you can drink before driving?
Try virgin piña colada or piñita colada.
That’s coconut milk and pineapple juice without the rum.
So yes, maybe you'll have to go shopping.

About the song…
It’s original title was Escape and Rupert had a few problems with the recording.
Maybe the drummers were sampling a few piña coladas.


                        Piña Colada

Pour into a blender or shaker with crushed ice
3 ounces coconut cream (milk)
6 ounces pineapple juice 
1 1/2 ounces white rum
Blend or shake very well until smooth.
Pour into a chilled glass.
Garnish with 
a pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry

A frozen piña colada would be perfect for the heat wave we’re having.
It will have more of a kick than what you'd find in either a frozen Lemonade or a Raspberry Sorbet.
Definitely not for the kiddies!


About the moon next week (and that odd picture)…
According to the Farmers Almanac:

July 15  – New Moon - nothing to see.  
Be patient.  There’s a treat in store in a couple of days.

July 17 – Look to the west after sunset to see planets Venus (on the left) and Jupiter (on the right this time, different from last month). 
The very tiny waxing crescent Moon will be just above the horizon, and the trio will form a crooked smile, just like the picture!

July 18 – Check out the waxing crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the sky just after sunset – Venus and Jupiter are nearly parallel to each other, with the Moon just skimming Venus to the left.  

And for weather warnings (also thanks to the Farmers Almanac):

July 15 — If on St. Swithin’s Day ye do rain, for forty days it will remain.
July 25 — Puffy white clouds on this day foretells much snow in the coming winter.
July 26 — Rain on St. Anne’s will continue for a month and a week.

Now you know.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Raspberry Sorbet and Simple Syrup

In my recent post about Ma’s lemonade recipe I mentioned that it could be frozen into a slushy or popsicle-like dessert.
Well, the kiddies aren’t the only ones who love something cold during hot summer days. 
Sure, you could stock up on ice cream.
But even ice cream can become a bit boring if you have it day after day.

It’s easy to make your own frozen desserts.
Sorbet is an easy to make, cool way to eat fruit.
It tastes great and the kids can help you make it.
It doesn’t have any milk or cream, so it’s perfect for dieters, or for people who want or need to avoid dairy products. 


Some say that the Roman Emperor Nero invented sorbet during the first century AD.
He had runners along the Appian way pass buckets of snow hand over hand from the mountains to his banquet hall where it was then mixed with honey and wine.

Relax.  This recipe is way easier.
No runners, snow, buckets or mountains required.


Hints:

The simple syrup can be prepared a day or two in advance.
Just keep it stored, covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Actually it’s a good idea to have simple syrup on hand for drinks like lemonade, so it’s a good idea to make a bit extra.

If you’re making the sorbet the same day you’re making the syrup, speed the cooling by pouring the syrup into a bowl, then placing the bowl in a larger bowl of ice.
Stir the syrup until it cools.

If you want to use fresh lemon juice, you’ll need 1 to 2 lemons to get enough juice.

The vodka helps the sorbet freeze smoothly.
Don’t worry - the kids won’t get drunk from the sorbet.
On second thought, if they’re making it, maybe you should be in the same room when they are adding the vodka.

For a blueberry sorbet, use five cups of blueberries.
You can also experiment with other berries, such as strawberries.
Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for a less tart flavour.
Like it tart?  Use cranberries.


                        Simple Syrup

Place in a medium saucepan
1 1/4 Cups sugar
2 1/4 Cups water
Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Then turn down the heat to low.
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.


                        Raspberry Sorbet

Combine in a blender
6 cups raspberries
1/4 Cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Process until very smooth.
Pour the fruit through a fine sieve or strainer which is over a large bowl.
Press down on the solids to get a smooth mush in the bowl. 
Discard any leftover skins and seeds in the sieve.

Add to the mush
1 1/4 Cups simple syrup 
1 – 2 Tablespoons vodka 
Stir together until well combined.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
When the mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from the refrigerator.

Pour the sorbet mixture into a shallow pan, cover with foil, and place in the freezer. 
After 30 minutes or so, remove and beat the mixture using electric beaters or a sturdy fork. 
This will break up the ice crystals that form and make the mixture freeze more evenly for a smoother sorbet.

Recover the sorbet with the aluminum foil. 
Place the sorbet back in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove and beat the mixture using electric beaters or a sturdy fork.

Repeat this process every 30 minutes, until the sorbet is too hard to beat.
Scoop into a resealable container and freeze until ready to serve.
You can serve it as is, or garnish each serving with fresh fruit.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Simple Syrup and Lemonade

Homer, in the Iliad, describes the approach of Achilles toward Troy in these words:

Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The dog days of summer began on July 3.
They’ll be with us until August 11.
The sun is in the same region of the sky as Sirius, the Dog Star. 
People used to believe that this caused the hot weather.
Whatever.
It’s hot, and will just get hotter.
Time to drink some lemonade.

Lemonade is actually good for you.
Along with keeping you hydrated, which is very important, drinking four ounces of lemon juice, mixed with eight cups of water per day, can reduce your risk of getting kidney stones. 
Lemons contain a high concentration of citric acid - higher than any other fruit has - and this weak acid inhibits stone formation.


Hints:

If you want to use fresh lemon juice, you’ll need 4 to 6 lemons to get one cup of juice.

For a little fizz, instead of using 3 to 4 Cups of tap water, use sparkling water.

While making simple syrup add a few slices of ginger to make a ginger lemonade.

To make pink lemonade add 1/2 Cup of raspberries or strawberries before chilling for 30 to 40 minutes.
You can also add cranberries, grape, and/or blackberries.

You can make limeade or a mixture of lemon and lime juice. 
Cherries add a nice touch to limeade. 

Any of these drinks, without the sliced lemons, can be frozen into a slushy or popsicle-like dessert.
The kiddies really enjoy that!!


                        Simple Syrup

Place in a small saucepan
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup water
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow the syrup to cool.

                        Lemonade

Place in a large pitcher
1 Cup lemon juice
the cooled simple syrup
3 to 4 Cups water
Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with ice and sliced lemons.

If you’ve made one of the variations, it’s up to you if you want to add more fruit.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Jambalaya, Maltese Style

About four years ago i posted the recipe for Ma’s Ross il-Forn.
That’s baked rice, Maltese style.
Maltese comfort food.

Over the years Ma served us many platters of Ross il-Forn.
And we loved eating it.
But Ma was also open to new recipes.
Especially after she started watching the cooking shows.

Because of Emeril Ma really got curious about New Orleans and its food.
When a southern style recipe was in the newspaper, she’d clip it.

If the recipe called for things she normally had, she would follow it.
If the recipe had ingredients she didn’t have, she would improvise.
Well, to be honest, sometime she made changes just for the heck of it.

Somehow it always tasted good.


One recipe which Ma adapted and enjoyed was Jambalaya.
It seems to be a distant relative of Maltese Ross il-Forn.
Rice cooked with some really good stuff.
What could be better?

There’s a bit of confusion over how Jambalaya got its name.
One tale says that a traveller told an innkeeper: Jean, balayez!
Loosely translated: "Jean, sweep something together!"
Not very appetizing.

Another says that the Atakapa tribe originally called it Sham, pal ha! Ya!
"Be full, not skinny!  Eat Up!" 
Can’t you just picture a Mom saying that as her family sat down to dinner?
Much, much better!


Hints:

The original recipe called for 6 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced.
Ma couldn’t find Andouille sausage at the A&P in College Point.
So she crossed that out and used 4 ounces of bacon (not maple flavoured) instead.
She also made it with Italian sausages, when she had a couple to spare.
Sometimes she would scoop them out of Sunday’s tomato sauce.
A bit of extra tomato sauce and spices never hurt.

Ma didn’t have hot pepper sauce in her kitchen.
And she sure wasn’t about to buy a bottle for the 1/2 teaspoon called for in the recipe.
Instead she used 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

The recipe called for medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.
Ma used what she had.
Sometimes she’d use half cooked chicken breast and half shrimp.


                        Jambalaya

In a dutch oven heat  over medium-high heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Add
1 Cup onion, chopped  
1 Cup red or green bell pepper, chopped (or a mix of both)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 ounces of bacon, chopped
Fry 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add
1 Cup long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano, dried 
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried 
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add
1 bay leaf
2 Cups chicken broth
3/4 Cup water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. 

Add
1/2 pound shrimp
4 Tablespoons parsley, dried
Cover and cook 5 minutes. 
Turn off heat.
Let stand 5 minutes. 
Discard bay leaf. 
Check for seasoning and that the rice is cooked thoroughly.

Serve hot, with a salad or cooked vegetable.