It’s December. It’s December. No, that’s not a typo, I was simply trying to convince myself that it is DECEMBER. How did the year go by so fast? How is it already bonfire time in south Louisiana? Bonfire time by the calendar, not by the weather! Bonfire time in Louisiana is a wonderful time spent with family and friends. Time to reminisce about the year and make new memories. Time to have large cast iron pots bubbling with gumbo or steaming with jambalaya. Jambalaya, the seasoned rice mixture, that depending on the season, anything goes…into the pot. I actually attend a jambalaya party where everyone brings a “gift” for the pot. From fresh seasonings and homegrown vegetables to the fresh catch or kill of the day. There are two things you can always count on with jambalaya-no cooks ever cook it the same and there are always leftovers. Leftover jambalaya-I’ll take it.
I love leftover jambalaya or any jambalaya for that matter, but you know who doesn’t? My hubby. Yes, for years I questioned his hometown birth of Opelousas, Louisiana, for nobody who grew up that close to the rice capital of Louisiana could not like jambalaya. I guess I need to thank him, however, for without his refusal to eat jambalaya, I never would have created Jambalaya Soup and sauce, nor these muffins. All of which he happily eats. These muffins are also great accompanied by his absolute favorite, gumbo. Works for me, the best of both worlds.
Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap On: No leftover jambalaya? Use dirty rice. What other sauces would be good? Pepper jelly? Remoulade? Cocktail? Compound butter or flavored butter? Bacon jam? Think about how you enjoy a hushpuppy and do the same. What other seasonings could you add? Onion powder? Cajun seasoning? Cayenne? Have leftover white or red beans? Serve it alongside for a hot and hearty dipping sauce. No jambalaya or dirty rice? Use any leftover rice blend and get creative-Spanish? Indian? Italian?
Food Fun: I love the jambalaya cooking party where everyone brings an item to contribute to the pot of goodness. The holidays can get stressful, I think sharing or swapping parties are a good way to keep the stress level down. Swapping parties like-cookie, ornament, seasoning and recipe, even wine. Cheese sharing parties are fun, too, or that just may be this cheeseaholic talking!