06 October 2012

Jambalaya (and my review for "Slow Cookers for Dummies")

This is a two-part blog, the first being a review for "Slow Cookers for Dummies" and the second is my recipe for Jambalaya that I adapted from SCFD (hence the review). So there.

Slow Cookers for Dummies

After expressing my dire need for a more current slow cooker book, my wonderful mother-in-law sent me this book full of slow cooking tips, tricks, and recipes. As I am not a "slow cooking dummy," I'm going to be honest: I have not read the text book information on crockpots and how they work. There could be oodles of slow cooking secrets hidden within the pages of endless text, but as to what they are, I am clueless.

One of my weaknesses My ONLY weakness in this world is that I do not learn well through reading; put another way, I learn best visually (pictures!) and kinetically (aka by doing it). Sadly, SCFD doesn't have pictures. 

Sidebar: I think all cookbooks should have pictures of EVERY RECIPE! I want to know if that casserole I made is supposed to look like sewage.

Thus, I jumped into the recipe section and started guessing what might taste good. So far, I've made an excellent vegetarian chili that I forgot to photograph and probably won't make again because my husband doesn't like all the beans that make him (us) gassy. I must say, bean farts are really painful-- you know you were thinking it! And I also made Jambalaya.

My one MAJOR complaint about the recipes in "SCFD is that each recipe requiring vegetables (onions, peppers, garlic) directs that you sauté everything first. The whole point of a slow cooker is to save time and effort by slowly cooking your food! Which makes me wonder if "Slow Cookers for Dummies" was actually written by dummies.

On the plus side-- the food is great. With a little tweaking, I've got a great selection of current dishes to make and serve in my crockpot.


For whatever reason, I occasionally crave New Orleans style cuisine even though I've never been there. Jambalaya is at the top of that list because I happen to love spicy sausage, shrimp, and peppers. 

If you frequent or are from New Orleans, you'll probably eat this and say "What the fuck?!" but for those of us who just love tomatoes, sausage, shrimp, and spices, it's delicious. This isn't the exact recipe from the book: I changed a few ingredients and a bit of the process, but the overall result was delicious. Enjoy!

1 lb. pre-cooked and deveined shrimp, tails removed
12oz pkg fully cooked andouille chicken or chicken apple sausage, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 freshly ground pepper
Hot Sauce (I used Sriracha because it's what I had) 
28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup instant rice

Combine everything but the shrimp in your slow cooker. Cook on Low for 3 hours. Once cooked, add the shrimp and cook 20 minutes more until shrimp is pink. Serve.

  •  I suggest buying a 1 lb. bag of frozen shrimp to save $$$
  • When choosing a hot sauce, pick what you like and choose whatever level of spice you want. If you're not sure, start with 1 teaspoon.
  • If you're not a fan of instant rice, omit the rice from the slow cooker. Cook the rice to package directions on the stove or with a rice cooker and add it to jambalaya when you add the shrimp.

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