Do you ever have an evening in your own home where you stop at think wow, work is totally worth this. I was having an ‘i’m obsessed with every single part of my home’ moment Sunday night. From the newly decorated dining room to the blazing living room fire to the middle pendant light in the kitchen that refuses to work no matter what we do. (A ghost?) I loved it all.
We hosted a small cozy dinner party on Halloween Eve to get the kids together and christen the new dining room. I kept insisting it would be casual as I for sure wasn’t getting out of my jeggings and the polka dot socks I was sporting had two small holes in them. I had absolutely no intentions on changing them.
We needed something completely tummy satisfying to match the feel of the spooky and lazy Sunday evening. What better to go down then big bowls of rice with an abundance of sauteed veggies, thick chunks of smoked sausage, and tender shrimp all seasoned up perfectly? Yes, jambalaya sounded like just the trick. (Bonus, this one is really good for you and fast to make – for real!).
It was a hit – each of us consumed two bowls (some larger than others) as we dined in the eerily lit dining room while discussing the current health care reform and the kick a*s wine we were drinking (Bodegas Alto Moncayo, a 100% grenache from Spain). The little goblins happily played together which is a true testament to just how different 6 months can make. At that time it was rare to end the night without one bleeding or bruised. This evening was injury free (well, almost).
After dinner we sat in the dark living room by the dwindling fire to hear M talk about the time he was left to tend to the trick or treaters alllllllll aloooooooone. A ‘ghost’ continued to play with the fire and soon it went pitch black. BOO!
I think I’ve found a new tradition – Halloween Eve in, how fun. Just what you need before the crazed sugar filled day to follow. Talk about scary – yikes!
‘Halloween Eve Jambalaya’ – serves 4, double if you want leftovers
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 hearty stem of fresh thyme
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 TBS tomato paste
- 6 ounces smoked sausage (turkey/chicken/pork – whatever you want)
- 2.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (if doubling, use 2.5 cups)
- 1 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 cup peas
- hot pepper sauce, for serving
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, peppers, and celery and saute until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic towards the end. Mix the rest of the ingredients, up until the tomatoes. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil then stir in the rice. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. (Note – if you are doubling the recipe this part will take longer, I’d check after 30 min or so).
Add the shrimp and peas and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
Scoop into deep bowls and top with hot sauced if desired.
Ok – time to buy some new socks.