Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scottish Jambalaya!

Two nights in a row I haven't slept and my goodness, do I feel grumpy.   I lay on the sofa this morning, eyes like a half shut knife, growling at anyone who came within three feet of me.   It was the same old story; after being intravenously fed a cup of tea, I came to, just in time to have my heart sink at the sight of yet another blanket of snow; I rushed around as fast as my tired legs could carry me and found a bizarre assortment of gloves and hats for the children to wear....Kelly had one pink fluffy mitt and a hand puppet, I kid you not.   Why the school haven't sent out a social worker yet, I've no idea.....

I managed a smile and a kiss for each of them...not Brian; think Rottweiler snarl...poor guy...and crawled towards the bathroom for a shower.   Going as fast as a speeding tortoise, I had no time to fix my mop of unruly blonde hair stop telling me it looks ginger or I may have to kill you...no offence to those beautiful, natural ginger headed lovelies of course...and walking along in the snow, I'm sure I saw people pointing and laughing from their cars as my hair got bigger and bigger and bigger.   My hair arrived at yoga 10 minutes before I did, lay out my mat and twirled itself around a passing leg.

We did flow yoga to music; very enjoyable in a "WTH-my-body-can't-bend-like-that; I-may-have-a-dizzy-turn-or-even-faint-anytime-soon" kind of way.   We looked totally knackered by the end of it and coffee was welcomed by all.   By the time I left, the sun was shining and I'd perked up so I strolled to Ann's for another wee coffee before heading home.   Having refused to eat anything, saving it all for my lunch, Brian, who was having lunch with me, became increasingly quiet as my lips curled up and my teeth seemed to grow a few inches.   One slice of toast and a poached egg later, I was much better and got on happily with the rest of the day.

 
Lola was finished this week

I fancied making Jambalaya; having had chicken breasts at the ready to make buttermilk chicken but with no buttermilk, this seemed like a good opportunity.   I also had a bag of prawns sitting in the freezer unopened from Christmas, vaguso using store cupboard ingredients which vaguely resembled the recipe I had, I went about creating Scottish Jambalaya...or JambalHiya as Lucy christened it.

Jambalaya                                                  Scottish Version
1 tbs plain flour                                          Same
1 tsp dried oregano                                    Half tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika                                              1 tsp smoked paprika
Half tsp celery seeds                                  Good sprinkling celery salt
750g (eight pieces) chicken thighs               2 chicken breasts, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil                                1 tablespoon olive oil
225g/8 oz  chorizo skinned and sliced         Oh, I wish but had none left
3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped            1 big fat clove
500g raw shelled prawns                            250g cooked frozen tiger prawns
1 onion peeled and finely sliced                   Same
1 celery heart, leaves and all                        Nope
2 red peppers, thinly sliced                          1 orange pepper
1 tsp dried thyme                                        Same
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, quartered        Tin plum tomatoes, sauce and all
6 handfuls long grain rice                             A big dod of basmati rice
1-4 tbs tabasco sauce                                 That would have been nice but sadly, no
1 handful chopped fresh leaf parsley            Had some but was too hungry....
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper     Yup

Mix flour, herb of choice, paprika (I used smoked because I love it), celery seeds (celery salt in my case), salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Coat chicken in flour mix and fry in olive oil until brown.   Gosh, the smell from this alone....
Browning the chicken in spices

Remove chicken back to the floury bowl and fry chorizo, if you have it for a few minutes then reduce heat and add remaining  paprika, some salt, garlic and prawns (shrimps).   Stir until the prawns turn pink or in the case of frozen prawns, stew!   Prawns really shouldn't stew but well, I knew it would be good, I wasn't being too  pernickety.  Add onions, celery if using, peppers and thyme to the pan.   Stir every now and then until onion is soft...approx. 10 minutes.  

Sweating the veg and prawns with thyme

Return chicken and remaining flour to pan alongside tomatoes and  rice and cover with water.   Give it a good stir, bring to a gentle boil and simmer until rice is cooked-according to my recipe about 40 minutes but I don't imagine any rice would take that long.   I shall cook it for this long however when next using long-grain.   I was using basmati so I cooked it for approx. 20 minutes.   Everything was cooked through, the chicken was tender and the rice perfect.

 
Tomatoes, rice and water added
    
Season to taste with salt, pepper, tabasco and parsley.   Plate up, salivate, have husband tell you he isn't touching it because there are prawns in it and eat alone, mentally sticking two fingers up to him but then realising that it's now just yours...all yours and yours alone!   Mmmmmm.

 
A steamy bowl of Scottish Jambalaya!

Tender, spicy chicken and prawns

We made biscuits tonight, some in the shape of hearts since it's February.....

Iced and plain butter biscuits

Lovely!

15 comments:

mise said...

Lola looks quite the beautiful temptress, and there's no way those yummy-looking biscuits can last till the 14th.

Janice said...

Hope you get a better night's sleep. Lola is divine.

Rachel Cotterill said...

A hand puppet sounds like a perfectly good glove-substitute to me! ;)

Also, I really need to bake something....

koralee said...

Everything is always so so yummy looking over here. Your cookies look amazing...and oh nothing better than a good Jambalaya!!! xoxo

Michelle said...

Hello!
You have a very humerous way of writing. [and enjoyable to read]
How yummy do those bikkies look?!

aladdinsane12 said...

i cannot imagine anything better than a giant pot of prawns!!! yummmmm! and those dolls are so adorable! i don't know how you do it- i can barely sew on a button...

Jayde said...

Looks absolutely wonderful. Sadly, I will never be able to cook this in my home because my boyfriend is allergic to shellfish. I love shrimp too! So sad, but we all must sacrifice for love.

Protege said...

Yes indeed, another snowstorm hit us yesterday too. Ok, I admit, it is stunningly beautiful, there is no question about it. But PLEASE snow, stay off the roads.;)
I love Jambalaya and I bet I would love your Scottish one as well.;)
Stay warm,
xo
Zuzana

Beth said...

Helen,
You are a seriously great cook! I am always impressed by what you post. (Hungry now... from picture viewing)
Lola is beautiful and she looks very pleased with herself!! Good colors too.
It all looks wonderful and the story of your hair arriving at yoga before you....sooo funny.
We have snow too and I am done. No school again today!!! More snow this weekend. ugg.
;0

Beth

Lottie said...

Oh Boy...you have done it again, that looks amazing and them biscuits look yummy

Hope you all having a wonderful week !!

Jo said...

I must confess to thinking to myself that you did look a bit like you had had a fight with your hairdryer on Tuesday, but it would have been very unyogic of me to say so! We all have bad hair days!!

Jambalaya looked great. Jox

Helen McGinn said...

mise, I've polished off quite a lot on my own; I reluctantly gave the kids a bag each to take to school to share....grrrr.

Janice, I didn't but feel ok...thank you hon.

Rachel, yeah, a lion puppet really wins over new friends...... ;O)

Koralee, the jambalaya was good but I'd like to make it properly next time!

Michelle, thank you hon! x

aladinnsane, thank you..until i made the first doll about a month ago, I too would have laughed if you'd asked me to sew anything.

Jayde, yeah, my DH is a bit allergic hence the not wanting to eat it yet me still making a huge pot of it....ah, love...wait til 14 years of marriage passes by, your need for prawns supersedes his slight allergy... *L*

Protege, yet more today...aargh! The thrifty Scottish recipes can be quite good but also stunningly bad....!

Beth, you are always so lovely in your comments, thank you! I like to cook and it can turn out great but well, I'm a bit slapstick at times.....sometimes it doesn't turn out quite as it ought to. I try and block out the memories... ;O)

Lottie, thank you! I hope you have a wonderful week too. xx

Jo, *LOL*! It was pretty bad; when I caught a glimpse of myself in Ann's mirror I was a wee bit horrified. I need to grow it that extra inch so that a bobble will fit! And you can say it, you'll still be yogic to me. :O)

Unknown Mami said...

Lola is beautiful. I love her. She should live in San Francisco. She could become the official Sundays In My City doll and we could send her all over the world to be photographed.

Virginia Mom said...

The Jambalaya looked pretty good to me! I forgot that "biscuits" in Scotland translates to "cookies" over here- so when I read "heart shaped biscuits" I was wondering- "How did she make biscuits shaped like hearts?" THEN I saw the pictures- and my question was answered in translation! LOL!

Shelle said...

i can't believe you accomplished all that w/o 2 nights of sleep....i would never have attempted to reach the sofa.