Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BEER Pineapple Jambalaya... Sweet-Heat and Savory

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I have an obsession... Grilled Pineapple!  The grilling brings out the natural sugars making an already sweet pineapple one of the most simple yet delicious desserts you can make on a grill (if not any type).

I also have another obsession... All things Cajun and more specifically, I think that Jambalaya is among the greatest foods ever created.  Wonderfully easy, deliciously complex and adaptable so you can add almost anything and make an acceptable dish...

Or occasionally make that amazing mix of flavors... Salty,sweet, heat (spicy), meaty and beefed up with a strong flavor (Like a rich malt English style Porter Beer)!

As with all cooking, quality of your ingredients matter.

I am lucky enough to have a home town brewer, Boulevard Brewing Company with a full range of annual, seasonal and specialty beers great for drinking and just as fantastic to cook with.

Most often when I want true beer taste to come through the rest of the ingredients I use their BULLY PORTER Beer... "A dark colored, medium-bodied beer with a prominent burnt, roasted malt aroma and flavor and an equally prominent hop aroma, flavor and bitterness."

When choosing a beer to cook with, try to avoid the Lite beers and even the big names and hunt down a specialty that compliments and makes your food shine!

Like this recipe that simmers the spicy Andouille Sausage in the porter before adding to the rice to season and flavor that as well!

Add all that heat and spicy and flavoring to the sweet of grilled pineapple chunks and you have a pretty amazing dish...

OK... Here's what I did...

BEER Pineapple Jambalaya... 
Sweet-Heat and Savory

  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 2 Medium Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Medium Bell peppers, Diced
  • 3 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Pounds Andouille Sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 (12 Oz) Bottle Beer, divided I used a Boulevard Bully Porter
  • 3-1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cans (15 Oz) Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 4 Cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1/4 Cup Cajun Spice Mix
  • 2 Pounds meat from a Rotisserie Chicken boned, cut into 1 inch cubes I used both Breasts, plenty of meat).
  • 1 Fresh (can use Canned slices), Divided Pineapple, outer shell peeled, sliced, cored and grilled to bring out the natural sugars, reserve half the slices for garnish
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onion for Garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Optional - For brown Jambalaya, add heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar to your roux just before adding vegetables (see next step), for red, add Paprika for color
  2. In a large stock pot , make a roux with equal parts 1/4 cup oil and flour. It is VERY important to start with a clean pan. It must be free of food particles to make a successful roux. Add vegetables and later garlic to roux and stir continuously until vegetables reach desired tenderness.
  3. Add the Tomatoes with their juices and allow to simmer
  4. In a large Saute Pan, bring 1/2 a bottle of a stout or Porter strongly flavored beer to a simmer. Add the Sliced Andouille Sausage to the simmering beer and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add Sausage and remaining 1/2 bottle of beer to vegetables.
  6. Add the Chicken... continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  7. Gradually stir in stock and Cajun seasonings. Bring to boil
  8. For red Jambalaya, add 1/4 cup paprika and you can substitute 1/2 the stock for 1/2 tomato juice or V-8 juice.
  9. Add rice, DO NOT STIR, but push gently on rice to get it under liquid and return to boil
  10. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN POT, DO NOT STIR.
  11. While the pot is cooking, fire up the grill and grill the pineapple slices. Reserve several slices to use as a garnish, chop at least half. You can also cook these on a nonstick pan stovetop
  12. After 25 minutes, turn rice from top to bottom, mix meat and rice evenly. There may be some burnt bits on the bottom, but that is FILLED with flavor, and should be mixed in as well.
  13. Add the chopped pineapple and mix
  14. Dish it up, add pineapple slices and green onions as accent.
  15. Have Hot sauce and additional seasonings available for people who want to taste the Cajun experience to their fullest.

So, here it is.  One of my all time favorite dishes.  FILLED with flavors, and certainly brings back very fond memories of a favorite city to vacation in!

It really does all come together quickly... not a 30 minute meal, but depending on your knife skills it is less than 30 minutes hands on cooking.  Especially if you use one of my beloved Store Bought, Pre-cooked, Pre-seasoned Rotisserie Chicken.

About the only unusual method that might need more explanation would be the rice step...

Just be sure to add, tap down so that the rice is seated in liquid (do not mix yet, just tap down.  Then cover and DO NOT LOOK FOR 25 MINUTES.  the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid and steam.  if you lift the lid, the steam escapes, the top cools and the rice does not cook through.

Biggest tip... DO NOT LIFT THE LID FOR 25 MINUTES!!!

A Great meal for the costs!
Stay tuned, come on back tomorrow and see what else I make from the single bird!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Cooking With BEER Recipes"!!!

Everyone knows about cooking with wine, but BEER has so much more complex flavors.  I imagine the day after beer was invented, someone made an Irish Stew. Cooking with beer infuses recipes with this intoxicating concoction of hops and barley in an effort to enhance and enrich everyday food..  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Recipes for Soup, Chili or Chowder" (Now more than 52 and still growing)

Soup from Scratch is one of the great kitchen joys.  The house smells amazing and the soup warms to the bone.  From broth to chowder, vegetarian to loaded up chili... Even a great idea for a party (love the Potato Soup Bar idea).  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!

So, I am pleased to add this as one of my growing list of "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"  (Now close to 100!)

MUCH more than a chicken sandwich.  From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking).  More than enough ideas for that store bought bird to shine with just a little extra work.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


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