I think you get the point that my knowledge of the cultures that gumbo and jumbalaya hail from have surprisingly little to do with their cuisine. But tonight I had to manage a meal with some Hungarian sausage that had to get cooked, and then tomatoes started rolling around my brain, and then I thought I'd like to make soup but NO, I want to serve it over rice. It started to sound not quite like jumbalaya and not quite like gumbo. I'm not a fan of gumbo. I like the fact that the sauce is a roux thickened sauce and that its served over rice and chock full of tasty sausages, chicken, and/or sea food, but the roux is too dark for me. I really love jumbalaya but I am pretty good at screwing up rice that isn't cooked in my rice cooker and since Bobby Flay managed to burn his rice and not cook it through at the same time, I certainly wasn't going to be taking any risks. A sort of very inauthentic hybrid took shape. I had the sausage, the tomatoes, the roux, the rice, the spices, but I'd do my own thing and I'd call it "Ya Ya Liah (liar)" Get it?!
I would like to reassert my assertion that this is really not Jumbalaya, Gumbo, Creol, Cajun, Southern, or authentic of anything resembling anything. It's more like when you see that guy in a car a couple of lanes away in the grocery store that kind of looks like Toby McGuire until you get closer and he looks more like that kid in the Never Ending Story. Just me? Ok, carrying on.
I started by chopping up an onion, dicing a couple of carrots, and dicing up some of those small colored peppers I had in the freezer then sauteing them in some olive oil.
|I totally ganked this pic from the internet|
Then I threw in the Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper and letting it cook on medium low for about a minute. I added a Tablespoon of butter, let it melt, then put in a couple tablespoons of flour to create my roux. Then I threw in my sliced sausage. Upon reflection I really should have cooked my sausage, taken it out, and then started my veg in the same pan. Lesson learned. Next it was just a matter of throwing in my diced tomatoes, chicken broth, milk, and testing for seasoning while I let it simmer and cook my rice (in my rice cooker of course).
If you start the rice after the stuff is all in the pot then the sauce should be pleasantly thick by the time the rice is finished. Serve the Ya Ya over the rice and add some hot sauce if you'd like, and there you go.
1 lb hungarian sausage or your favorite fresh or smoked sausage sliced thin and cut in half moons
1 medium white onion diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
3 or 4 mini colored peppers, one of each color is nice, seeded and diced
1 Tb Olive Oil
2 Tb Cajun Seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional to taste)
1 Tb Butter
2 Tb flour
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk (If you must, walk your own path, even if your path looks like white water. Just don't expect the same creaminess)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked rice
In a medium pot heat 2 Tb olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and cooked nearly through if using fresh sausage.
Lower heat to medium and remove sausage, set aside. Add onion, carrots, and peppers and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 min. Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 more minute.
Add 1 Tb of butter and cook until butter melts then add 2 Tb. flour. Cook stirring incorporating the flour and then about a minute longer. You want to cook off the floury taste but don't want to put much color on the flour, a nice pale caramel is about as dark as you want to go. You might start getting some tasty bits sticking to the bottom of your pan. That's good!
Bring the heat back up to medium high and deglaze (add) your can of tomatoes scrapping those tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and sausage to the pan. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, add milk and then lower to a simmer. Stir occasionally scrapping the bottom to make sure nothing sticks.
If you're using long grain white rice that isn't parboiled then start it now. You're rice and Ya Ya will finish about the same time. If you're using instant - please don't use instant - then let your Ya Ya simmer for about 10 minutes before you start your rice. How long you simmer it depends on how thick you want it. It's going to be like a nice thick soup or thin chowder but simmering longer will give you a thicker consistency. If it gets too thick for you there is no shame in adding more broth or some water. Just don't let that stuff stick to the bottom and burn and you can let it go for as long as you like.
Serve over the cooked rice with a shake of Frank's and you're set to go.