September 4, 2008

Corn and Okra Jambalaya

Eating Jambalaya always brings me back to the time I worked on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I think the year was 1995. I had taken a job working with my father on a steel crew. We spent two weeks breathing diesel fuel exhaust while welding white metal plates on the new Crystals fast food restaurant. It was hard, miserable work, but I loved the time I spent after work exploring the area. In particular, I loved all the street musicians, the architecture of the French Quarter, the Voodoo shops and especially the FOOD! I remember how much I would look forward to our lunch breaks, when I could scope out some little cafe or diner and order Jambalaya, Gumbo, or hoagies filled to the brim with cajun-spiced shrimp (before I had to deal with celiac disease).

The following dish brought back a flood of memories, and put a huge smile on my face! Although it doesn't contain Andouille Sausage (a staple of many Jambalaya recipes), it tastes great nonetheless. It's also a lot healthier, since it uses low-fat Turkey Bacon instead. This dish tastes better the longer the spices are allowed to set into the food. I swear, the best it tasted was as a "leftover" meal, a full two days after I made it. Of course, you can easily make this dish vegetarian by substituting bacon with "facon," it's all up to you. But regardless, I'm sure you'll love it!

  • 1/4 pound turkey bacon (make sure it's GF!)
  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen) sliced okra
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 (16 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1-2 tblsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tblsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

Cooking Instructions
  1. Fry turkey bacon in large/deep skillet until crisp and drain. Add butter to skillet with bacon drippings (there won't be much), and saute the okra and onions until cooked - but not browned.
  2. When the okra and onions are almost done cooking, break up the bacon into small chunks and throw them into the skillet.
  3. Empty the stewed tomatoes and drained corn into a bowl. Mix all of the spices with the tomatoes and corn, then add to the skillet and stir well. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, and then turn down to simmer for about 10-20 minutes. Jambalaya should not be runny.
  4. Serve hot over rice, or simply eat on its own. Enjoy!

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Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!