Jambalaya
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I have somewhat of a passion for comfort food. There is something almost magical about the fact that certain foods can just lift your spirits and soothe your soul. Who doesn’t feel better when you come home after a long, exhausting day to a big bowl of chicken noodle soup or a hot lasagna? Food really is comforting.

There is one little problem. Most comfort foods take hours to prepare. They are labors of love. They are intensive, and sometimes even intimidating to prepare. So who really has time to put together a great comfort food dish on a weeknight? Not me, that is for sure.

Jambalaya is one of our favorites. I love the different elements and the combination of flavors, the hint of spice paired with the cool celery, and the texture from the shrimp and sausage. It is a classic that is hard to beat. Except, of course, for the fact that it takes ages to prepare. At least it used to.

Enter my new favorite cooking gadget, and the answer to most of the weeknight cooking woes. This Ginny's Brand Rice Cooker doesn't just cook rice. It also steams veggies at the same time. Is your mind blown yet? I know mine was! Using this clever little tool you can have a delicious Jambalaya on the table in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
1 1/4 water
1 medium size white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks of celery
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can stewed or crushed tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Instructions:

Place the rice and water in the bottom of your rice cooker.

Place the chopped onions, bell pepper, and celery in the top tray of the rice cooker. Place the lid on the steamer and press start. Let the rice cook for 12 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray or a dash of olive oil. Brown the sausage and remove from skillet.

Toss the shrimp with the oregano, paprika, and garlic powder. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until it is no longer translucent.

Add the undrained cans of stewed tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies, chicken broth, garlic and the remaining spices.

By this time the rice and vegetables should be done. Add the vegetables to the Jambalaya mixture and let simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes.

Serve over perfectly steamed rice. Enjoy!

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