Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrating Mardi Gras with Emeril's jambalaya

Margaret chose Emeril Lagasse for our March Twitter avatar fun, and then she posted a delicious-sounding jambalaya for her avatar recipe.

We love jambalaya and we love pasta, so I bought all of the ingredients at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. And driving home with an easy soup on the menu for the night, I realized that it was Mardi Gras! What better way to celebrate than with jambalaya?!

You can find the recipe on Margaret's site. I followed, with only two minor changes. One, I was a little worried with the amount of spice Emeril calls for: 1/4 cup salt in the pasta water, almost 1/4 cup of his "essence" spice blend. I knew that his cheesey snacks had too much spice for the kids. So I cut...not by a lot. I probably used one or two tablespoons of salt in the pasta water and 2/3 of the spice blend. The other change was cooking time; my skillet was really overcrowded and I was worried about my meats getting fully cooked, so I cooked it a bit longer at the end. Despite the lengthy list of ingredients and number of steps in the process, it was actually pretty quick and easy to prepare...took about 50 minutes total.

We loved this dish! I served it with my first ever part-whole-grain ciabatta, which I made the night before, and which was delightful soaked in all the leftover juices.

It was not too spicy at all...hubby probably would've been perfectly happy with Emeril's amount of spice; this version was just perfect for the kids and me. My hubby said, "I think we should've been celebrating Mardi Gras every day this week!"

In other exciting news, my dad and stepmom bought me this indoor herbal garden for Christmas. I've used small bits of cilantro and basil before, but this recipe was the first time that I really got to use a bunch: fresh thyme and fresh basil. So fun!


  1. That recipe looks great, both you and Margaret are fans, I will hopefully be a fan very soon. Looks wonderful and that bread is perfect! Cute little herb garden, very nice to have that on hand!

  2. I'd like the recipe. I thought of Mardi Gras too late to cook anything Loosiana, but there's always next year.

  3. The jambalaya looks incredibly delicious!! I'll have to try this spring after I get my herbs growing. That's wonderful that you have fresh herbs growing in the house. What recipe did you use for your whole-grain ciabatta? I'd like to try it. I made my first ciabatta a couple weeks ago, but it was made w/ all AP flour.

  4. Wish I had planned this for this weekend! My kids love almost everything that has pasta in it. Will make it next week!

  5. Abby, I'm going to check this recipe out! Jambalaya is not a dish we get here, so it's very exotic to us! :)

  6. That looks great! And I love your herb garden. I've always wondered if those things actually grow.