Taste is subjective. I once enjoyed a cocktail that I absolutely loved, but my friend proclaimed it tasted like cough syrup after just one sip. I think she may have even gagged a little, mentioning something about Robitussin as she tried to choke it down.
I was reminded of the wide spectrum of our likes and dislikes as I enjoyed some wine with friends over the weekend. Some of us loved wines that others would have ejected into a spittoon if we had one, and vice-versa.
So, I suppose you should take it with a grain of salt when I say jambalaya stuffed peppers is one of my favorite recipes. I thought it would be a fun recipe to share as Mardi Gras approached and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered a new favorite.
I know something is good when I look forward to eating the leftovers as my lunch, and I certainly enjoyed this for dinner and lunch two times over.
The stuffed peppers of my youth are green bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of rice, ground beef, and tomato sauce. The first stuffed pepper recipe I shared here was very much the same; in that version, a cumin-cinnamon duo warmed the rice-beef-tomato stuffing while golden raisins and green olives added an unexpected pop.
The last time I stuffed peppers, it was around this time of year three years ago. Instead of jambalya, those peppers were stuffed with Cajun meat loaf. Essentially, they were glorious meatballs encased in sweet bell peppers that I still think about from time to time. And now they have a rival. Enjoy!
Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers
Yield 4 servings
- 8 small to medium poblano peppers
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 ounces andouille sausage
- 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Prepare the poblano peppers. Slice off the tops, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and ribs. Dice the pepper tops you sliced off and set aside.
- Pour the 1/4 cup of water in a 9 x 13 baking dish and nestle the halved peppers cut-side up into the dish. Cover the baking dish with foil and roast at 450 degrees F for 15 - 20 minutes. You want peppers that are softened by sturdy enough to hold their shape.
- Remove the peppers from the oven when the time is up and set them aside (be sure to leave them covered with the foil). Reduced the oven heat to 375 degrees F.
- While the peppers roast, prepare the meat. Cut the sausage, chicken and shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Keep them separate though; you do not want to combine them in the same bowl.
- In a large and deep saute pan (you are going to add essentially all of the stuffing, so it needs to be deep!), saute the sausage for about two minutes. The goal here is to get some of the fat from the sausage released into the pan.
- Next, add the chicken and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the reserved poblano pieces you cut from the pepper tops, onion, bell pepper, garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. It's okay if they still have a bit of crunch.
- Now stir in the rice, being sure to coat it with the juices in the pan.
- Add the stock, bring to a boil, cover the pan, and decrease the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is tender.
- Turn off the heat, uncover, and salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
- Finally, stir in the shrimp.
- Scoop two to three heaping spoonfuls of the rice mixture into each poblano pepper half.
- Return the baking dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
The number of poblano peppers you need might be a bit of a crap shoot. The original recipe called for 8 small to medium peppers, but I used what I would consider 4 large peppers. I had enough stuffing leftover for 1 to 2 more peppers. I used Johnsonville brand, but tf you do not like or cannot find andouille sausage, smoked kielbasa is a good option. I also used brown basmati rice.It's easy to make this dish ahead. Simply roast the peppers, cook the rice mixture, and refrigerate both. When you are ready to eat, warm the rice with 1/4 cup of water in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the shrimp, stuff, and bake.