Big Mama’s Soulful Jambalaya & Hot Water Corn Bread

This is an old family recipe my grandmother used to make during winter months. She made a large pot of jambalaya in the middle of winter and the smell and aroma filled throughout the house. This was also a popular dish she often served when she entertained her friends during club meetings. She served this dish with her favorite hot water corn bread. Mmmmm Good!

1 pound diced chicken breast

1 pound smoked sausage

3 large chopped onions

2 bell (green) peppers, chopped

1 chopped celery stalk

1 (6 ounce) can stewed or diced tomatoes OR 2 fresh tomatoes and 1 green Chile

1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce or puree

1 clove garlic, minced

3 ¼ cups water

2 cups white rice, rinsed

3 green onions, chopped

Seasoning salt and black pepper to taste

1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined

½ teaspoon seafood seasoning

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, optional

Cook chicken breast and sausage in a skillet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil for 15 minutes. Drain. Put chicken and sausage into large pot on medium heat. Add to chicken mixture–onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and garlic. Mix well. Bring to a boil.

Add water, rice, green onions, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium heat until rice is almost done, then add shrimp, seafood seasoning, Creole seasoning, and red pepper. Continue cooking until rice is done stirring occasionally. Yield 10 to 12 servings.

Big Mama’s Hot Water Corn Bread

2 cups self-rising white or yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons sugar, (optional)

1 – ½ cups hot water

Vegetable oil

Combine cornmeal, flour, egg, sugar, and hot water in large bowl. Heat vegetable oil in skillet until hot. Place about 2 heaping teaspoons of cornmeal mixture for each bread patty in skillet. Fry in hot oil over medium heat until light brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool patties on paper towels. Yield: 10

TIP: Make sure the water is boiling hot and not lukewarm–its makes better bread.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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