October 13, 2015

A taste of Cajun country at home (Jambalaya Rice Boudin lettuce wrap)

Boudin, if you haven't had it, is so good.  It is a treat of Cajun Country, a mixture of pork scraps, veggies, chicken liver and rice usually made into sausage.  Might sound gross, but don't knock it till you try it!  I get a lot less of now these days as it is surprisingly hard to find good boudin in New Orleans  Or I may just be spoiled from my visits to Lafayette and Best Stop and the tailgating food I lost in the breakup. I decided to try making my own because it reminds me of football season and I wanted a taste without the road trip.  

My Hogs for the Cause team, Sweet Swine O Mine, is doing a daily social media tribute to Women-owned small businesses this month.  Our first one was one of my best friends, Jambalaya Girl.  She has taken her family's Jambalaya Rice business and ran with it!  You can purchase her products from her website or from Amazon here.  It is so simple to make into jambalaya by adding chicken and sausage. I made it for the Superbowl one time when I lived in Austin and my friends thought I slaved over it all day and it was gone in seconds.  If you want to make jambalaya quickly at home and have it taste like the long intensive version, she is your girl!

But you can also use it in lieu of rice for any recipe to add an extra special kick.  Stuffed bell peppers, arancini you name it. She has a ton of recipes on her site.  I decided to make my boudin out of it, saving myself a few seasoning steps and giving it a unique flavor.  Man, it was delish! Full recipe after the step by step. 

The cast, with the star of the show, Cook Me Something Mister!  
This is what the rice mix looks like. look at all that packed in flavor! 
The veggies.  My hand was left unscathed!
Cut pork.  Do not use the fancy knife. 
The veggies and pork into the pool 
I blanched the chicken livers separately to keep the pork water from turning bitter. 
The cooked Jambalaya Rice
The livers hop in the pool 
Looking delicious!
You cannot imagine how much flavor is in here!
Looks like rice is already in there!
Add everything to a bowl
And mix into something that tastes WAY better than it looks.
So healthy...not really!

Jambalaya Boudin filling (loosely adapted from Homesick Texan's recipe)

Ingredients:
2 pounds pork product, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used thick cut center loin chops)
1 rib of celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped
1/2-pound chicken livers
2 cups cooked Jambalaya rice (follow package directions but omit the meat)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
Salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste (I used a lot)

Method:
Place the pork shoulder, celery, onion, garlic and bell pepper into a large pot. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. In a separate small pot, add your chicken liver and water to cover.  Bring just to a boil and then remove from heat.  After an hour, add the chicken liver to the pot and continue to cook for 45 more minutes or until the pork is tender.

Strain the meat and vegetables, reserving the liquid. Finely dice the meat and vegetables in a food processor. Once diced, place meat and vegetables in a bowl.

Add to the bowl the cooked rice, green onions and parsley. Stir in 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and combine until the filling is moist and slightly sticky. If it appears too dry, add more of the reserved liquid. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, pepper and cayenne.

Place in a large piece of iceburg lettuce and roll up and eat.  Or stuff it in casing and make sausage like the traditional method (see link to recipe).  You can also make boudin balls and roll in breadcrumbs and deep fry. Or stuff it in chicken like I did this weekend!  That beautiful post will be on the blog tomorrow.

A note.  I was not compensated in anyway to tout Cook Me Something Mister.  It is so delicious and I'd love it and serve it anytime even if my friend didn't own the company, it is that good, try it!

I am so glad I decided to make this, it felt like such an accomplishment.  It was an awesome day with the windows open and my favorite cooking music, songs in Spanish!  Happy fall y'all!

Happy Cooking!

Missy

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