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Spicy Smoky Louisiana Jambalaya


Lately I have been hankering after a really HOT, spicy, tasty meal. Every now and again I just want chilli…in a bad way! I am known to be able to eat extremely hot curries. And even though I love soup it just hasn’t been doing it for me I’m afraid! I can add chilli to it but it’s just not the same as a really hot spicy plate of food. And then suddenly on Friday morning a vision of a big bowl of simmering Jambalaya popped into my head. And it would not leave…..maybe it had something to do with the beautiful 1kg bag full of blazingly hot orange Habanero chillies my son brought me as a gift recently…….

so early Saturday morning I sent my minion better half   husband on an errand to the local grocery store with a list of ingredients. By lunch time I had a huge casserole pan bubbling away on my gas hob and the aromas were captivating to say the least. It has been bitterly cold and wet in Cape Town the past couple of days. We seem to swing from Indian summer heat to snow on the mountains and it turns icy within hours. So we have been spending time huddled under blankets. Well, after the shopping spree at the local mall hubby was exhausted and cold so spent an hour or two huddlingsnoring while I cooked away in a frenzy! When he finally, yawningly, followed his nose through to the kitchen and started saying he can’t wait for supper I laughed. The man can’t even eat a half decent curry. Over the years I have been sneaking a little more chilli, a little more curry powder slowly….bit by bit…..into the food and have to satisfy myself with adding extra chilli sauce or tabasco, Bushmans Chilli sauce or whatever I can find into my own plate of food. Well, my wily chilli ways have worked – to a point – and he can manage slightly hotter foods today than he could, say, 5 years ago. Every time I cook something I have to laugh because it’s always the same old same old…..”phew (gulping down a bit of wine or water) this is the hottest I could ever manage. This is my absolute limit!”  Until the next time and its just ever so slightly hotter :) So I laughed out loud at the idea of him tucking into the Jambalaya bubbling away on the hob. I mean……it was HOT!! I knew how much chilli had gone into it to please my appetite! Soooo I happily told him he would have to have some creamy tomato soup and that Jambalaya was all MINE baby! His face was a picture. He told me he had been longing for the prawns ever since he had bought them that morning so oh boy! I had to quickly whip up a little saucepan of faux jambalaya sans chilli but with some of the yummy prawns for him. Amazing what you CAN do when you have to. And it was ready in about 20 minutes because it didn’t have all the goodies in that mine had in. So we were able to sit down together and enjoy our two (very different) Jambalayas. I had to play around with mine a bit and cut up the prawns and chorizo into teensy pieces that I could manage to eat without chewing. I mean this was a heck of a step up from soup and smoothies people. I had another small surgical procedure to my mouth last Monday and am still nursing the wounds. But it was a meal straight from heaven for me. I was so happy. Today my kids joined me for lunch and we powered our way through most of it and I still managed to freeze two portions for myself for when I get that craving again :)

So, without further ado………here is my deliciously hot and spicy Louisiana Jambalaya recipe. The ingredient list is quite long, don’t let it put you off.  Get everything ready beforehand and it goes quickly…..and is so incredibly worth it!


Serves 4 – 6


60ml Olive Oil

20g Butter

1 Large onion – chopped

1 Celery Stalk – sliced

3 peppers – chopped (I used red, orange and yellow)

4 cloves of garlic – finely sliced or chopped

a good handful of chorizo, sliced

450g chicken breast fillets – cubed

3 Habanero Chillies, deseeded and chopped

1 Can (425g) Whole Peeled Tomatoes – roughly chopped (use juice as well)

500g Rice

30ml Cajun spices

5-10ml Chipotle Tabasco if you can get it or just plain if not

1 1/2  – 2 litres Hot chicken stock

1 Can (163ml) V8 Hot Spicy Vegetable Juice (optional but delicious)

5ml Dried Chilli Flakes

2 Fresh Bayleaves

Handful of Fresh Thyme Sprigs – leaves picked off (or 5ml Dried Thyme)

10ml Turmeric

Optional mixed vegetables – chopped carrots, green beans, corn, peas and courgettes is a good mix

12 -16 king prawns – peeled and deveined (keep a couple whole for the garnishing)

salt and ground black pepper

Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves – chopped

Zest from half a lemon or lime

Spring Onions – sliced – for garnishing

Smoked Paprika for serving


  1. Add the washed prawn shells to the hot chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil then remove from heat and allow to infuse until needed
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat and lightly brown the chicken and chorizo
  3. Add the chopped onion, chopped peppers, celery, bay leaves and thyme and sauté until limp and glazed
  4. Add the garlic and the chilli and sauté one or two minutes more
  5. Add the rice and stir well to coat with the mixture
  6. Add the chilli flakes, Tabasco, turmeric and Cajun spices and mix in well
  7. Add  the tinned tomatoes (just chop them roughly with a knife in the can) and vegetable juice
  8. Add the strained chicken stock (discard the prawn shells) and mix all together
  9.  Add the mixed vegetables if using (except peas) and bring to the boil.
  10. Lower heat and allow to simmer until the rice and vegetables are cooked – stir gently every now and again
  11. Season with salt and pepper – I used smoked salt to carry on the smoked theme
  12. Stir in the prawns (crayfish meat is also good!) and peas and cook over low heat just until the prawns and peas are cooked through…a few minutes to turn the prawns pink is all that is needed. If necessary at this stage also add a bit more hot water or stock if needed to make it juicy and moist. It needs to be a nice porridgy consistency
  13. Stir through the chopped coriander and lemon zest, top with a couple of whole steamed or stir fried  prawns and finely sliced spring onions
  14. Sprinkle on some smoked paprika to add to the smokiness of the chorizo

Serve with a crisp green salad and lemon wedges and crusty country bread to mop up the delicious juices

So very yummy!

It’s too cold sitting here……I am off to bed. Have a great week.

browniegirl xx

Easy Boerewors Wasabi Mash and Gravy

November 16, 2011 in MAIN MEALS, MEAT


Boerewors (literal translation farm sausage) is such a versatile ingredient to have on hand in the freezer. You can pop it onto the grid over hot coals, into the oven to bake, remove it from its casing and make meat balls to serve with pasta or in soup, or make hamburger patties or any other number of delicious things. Or you can cook it on the stove top like I did last night. This is the method that I enjoy the most. You can zwoosh it up in any number of ways by what you add to the pan…and the beauty of it all is that rich, delicious gravy that you have to pour over your hot mash

Now we all know that there is wors in the fridges at the stores…..if it is labelled just WORS it does not have a high percentage of ground meat in it and can have lots of cereal additives to bulk it up….then there is BOEREWORS….which has to contain 90% and upwards of meat product. That is the real McCoy!  Boerewors comes in a mulitude of flavour (herb and spices)combinations, some nicer than other but it all depends on your personal flavour choices. My family has always enjoy the thick Grabouw boerewors made with ground beef and pork and flavoured delicately with clove and nutmeg. We love it on the braai and always cook more than we need so that we can enjoy the ubiquitous boerie roll the next day for lunch – on a soft hot dog roll smothered in oozy delicious home made tomato and onion smoor. But I digress….back to the stove-top creation. . The surrounding mountains have been covered in a very late Spring dusting of snow, thunder, rain and hail accompanied by icy winds have been the order of the day around here….while the rest of the country has been melting in the midst of a heatwave. At this time of year I am usually complaining about the heat as I bake Christmas cake orders and so it has been very comfortable for me to bake while it is chilly outside! Sorry rest of the country! And we have enjoyed lovely comforting meals like this boerewors with wasabi mash, gravy and steamed green veggies.


Serves 4


700g Boerewors

20ml Olive Oil

2 Red Onions

1 Clove Garlic

Few sprigs of Fresh Thyme

100g Cherry or Baby Rosa Tomatoes – whole

Sweet Balsamic Glaze – I used the Verlaque Wild-Flower Honey Infused Balsamic Reduction

Splash of Verjuice to deglaze the pan

10ml NoMU Beef Fond

250ml Boiling Water

20mls Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Ice cold cubes of butter – about 50g


Place the boerewors in a large saucepan or deep frying pan with a glug of olive oil and brown gently on both sides, remove and set aside

Peel and slice the onions (no need to chop),add to the pan with a bit more olive oil and the balsamic glaze and saute gently until limp and transparent

Add the  thyme (I add the whole sprigs and fish them out before serving) garlic and cherry tomatoes and saute a few minutes longer

Deglaze the pan with a splash of Verjuice (you could use red or white wine or even Sherry or Masala) then add the beef stock (mix the fond in the boiling water), tomato sauce, a good grinding of black pepper and the browned boerewors.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down a bit and the sauce has reduced.

Turn off the heat and stir in the butter cubes  to give a thick glossy rich sauce/gravy

Serve with steaming hot Wasabi Mash and Steamed Vegetables


Serves 4 hungry souls




800g Potatoes – peeled, cubed and boiled in slightly salted boiling water



10-15ml Wasabi Paste – I use Wasabi-O  putting the OOOOOH into Wasabi :)

Ground White Pepper (my secret ingredient in any mashed potato!)


Boil the potatoes in slightly salty water until just done – never overboil that they turn to mush!

Drain the boiled potatoes completely then add a generous splash of milk (sorry I never measure) and about 50g Butter and return to the heat just to warm the milk and start the butter melting

Remove from heat and mash all the ingredients together, sprinkling on some white pepper and a bit more salt if needed

Serve piping hot with boerewors and vegetables of your choice  – The wasabi just gives extra oomph to the boerewors…like hot english mustard or horsradish does to a rare roast beef sarmie :)

A simple meal, made real easy!


browniegirl xx