Every few months, my farmer and I like to have this discussion where I try to convince him that living in Missouri = living in the South and then he tries to tell me that living in Missouri = living in the Midwest.
Then I point out that people here have accents and drink sweet tea and it's basically case closed.
In my mind anyway.
It seemed fitting then that the last time we visited a used second-hand bookstore, I came home with a Paula Deen cookbook and immediately started stocking up on butter.
I mean, we're dairy farmers, after all.
My goal this summer has been to use up food in our pantry and our freezer, and with smoked sausage patiently waiting to be thawed, Paula's jambalaya just had to be.
I will confess that I didn't add the shrimp the recipe called for, namely because (1) we didn't have it and (2) ewww. Chicken would be a perfectly lovely substitute, but I didn't take the time to cook one and shred it because I'm a bum like that.
Speaking of shredding chicken: You know the trick about cooking chicken breasts in your crock pot and then putting them in the mixer and letting the mixer shred them, right? Works like a dream. Better, even.
So between some spicy jambalaya and some non-existent chicken, while I'm out of town this week, my farmer will be eating his fair share of Paula's classic dish, some lemon-garlic tilapia with asparagus risotto and . . .
salads. Because sometimes when you've worked outside all day in abnormally warm September weather, a big class of lemonade and a taco salad hit the spot.
And you know why?
Because WE LIVE IN THE SOUTH.
I'm glad we can agree.
What are you chowing down on this week?
Paula Deen's Jambalaya
1 cup long-grain white rice
3 T dried minced onion
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 T beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 pound fully cookie smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, onion, parsley flakes, bouillon, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and bay leaf.
2. IN a Dutch oven, combine the rice mixture, 2 1/2 cups water, tomatoes, tomato sauce and sausage. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp (or chicken) and cook until just opaque, 5-7 minutes; discard the bay leaf. Dish it up while it's hot!