Friday, September 23, 2011

Uncle Ben's a Jerk (or, "how I screwed up the rice")

"Perfect every time" my ass.

 Okay, okay. I should give Mr. Uncle Ben a break. He's a perpetually smiling, static brand. Uncle Ben has never done anything to me besides look friendly and provide me with cheap sustenance to fill the "meat-sized but can't afford meat, so carb-sized" hole in my life.

I had a tight chicken & sausage jambalaya in the works. How tight? I can't say here, but watch the first episode of the new season of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. That tight.

It wasn't a totally traditional recipe. I usually like to add some Tasso, but bacon in hand is worth two bacons at the store. Besides, jambalaya seems to be one of those dishes that's sort of open to interpretation. Start with a base of the trinity (celery, onion, and green pepper), garlic, add some pepper, some sausage (in this case, fresh andouille, as opposed to the more traditional smoked andouille), chicken thighs (or turkey), sometimes tomatoes, sometimes seafood (I threw in a pound of lump blue crab meat), some herbs, and a bit of stock. Finally, add rice, kill the heat in your giant cast iron pot, lid, and wait about 25 minutes for the rice to steam and absorb all the goodness that comes from a marriage of pork fat, stock, and vegetable juices.


But I bungled it. Not Uncle Ben. I should've followed his recipe, but I did my own math. And I ended up with crunchy rice. And- boy- crunchy rice really, REALLY ruined this dish. @#$!^@*@#!!!

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