Wednesday, April 15, 2009

3-Step Jambalaya

I like to cook, but often my meals are Semi-Homemade rather than from scratch. Quick and easy is usually the name of the game around here.

Tonight I had nothing prepared. No idea what to make. Then I remembered a recipe I clipped from the coupons a few weeks ago. It was the March 8th Red Plum to be exact. The recipe called for Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage, which I stocked up on last week at Kroger. Pretty great deal that I would have overlooked without my Grocery Game List. I bought 8 packages. My List subscription more than paid for itself with the savings on the sausage. Ah, but I digress.

I pulled out the recipe and read over the ingredients. I had everything! But half of the ingredients were in the freezer. No biggie. I set the items out on the counter and walked away for a few minutes to give the stuff time to defrost a bit. The onions, peppers and tomatoes were still icy when I tossed them in the skillet. The sausage was still cold when I sliced it, but I didn't have any troubles passing the knife through it.

You're probably wondering exactly what the recipe is. Well, Hillshire Farm called it "3-Step Jambalaya". I thought that jambalaya usually had seafood in it, but this doesn't and that's fine here. Joe wouldn't have touched it if it had had any seafood. Really it's just doctored up Rice-a-Roni with some veggies and meat, but it was good and I like good. Good enough that I might save my last box of Rice-a-Roni especially for one of the 6 remaining smoked sausages.

3-Step Jambalaya

2 T butter or margarine
rice from a 6.8 oz pkg of Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 c chopped bell pepper (I only used 1/2 c and it was green)
2 c water
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I used my last pint bag of frozen tomatoes from 2008. If you use canned tomatoes, I suggest trying a no-salt-added one because this dish is plenty salty already)
seasoning packet from rice mix
1 pkg Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices (I used the lite variety)
hot sauce, to taste (I happened to use Frank's Red Hot, but Tabasco would probably be good too)

1. In a large saucepan over high heat (I used medium since my stuff was still frozen), saute the butter, rice, garlic, onion and pepper for 5 minutes.
2. Mix in the water, tomatoes, seasoning packet and sausage; bring to a boil.
3. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. (I stirred occasionally during cooking to prevent sticking. The sauce was creamier due to the stirring.) Remove from heat and stir. Add hot sauce to taste.

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