southwest beef jambalaya

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals on 10.25.11 at 10:16 pm

not your typical jambalaya. i guess you could call it a pantry-inspired jambalaya. read: i didn’t have time to do my grocery run that week, so i had to get creative with whatever i could find in my freezer and pantry that evening. sound familiar? :)

typically when cooking a jambalaya, i like to include a combo of spicy sausage and seafood of some sort (usually prawns). as you may have guessed, i didn’t have either ingredient on-hand that day, so i had to find an alternate protein to beef-up my dish! no pun intended… ok, maybe so. ;)

and yes, the butternut squash was another random ingredient that made its way from my freezer into this culinary experiment! i thought the chunky cubes of squash would add some great texture and a splash of colour to the dish.

the beef:
– heat up 1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evo0) in large saucepan on high heat
– sauté 1 clove garlic (peeled, rough chop) until slightly browned
– add 500g free-range, extra-lean ground beef to pan, drizzling 1/4 cup water w/ the beef
– add a dash of sea salt
– sprinkle 1.5 tsp southwest spice blend evenly over beef (combo of spices incl salt, ground cumin, ground mexican oregano, ground coriander, ancho chile pepper, black pepper, garlic)
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– divide & fold the beef into pieces as it cooks for approx 4-5min until no longer pink

the rice:
– steam 2 cups jasmine rice (i use a rice cooker to keep it simple.)

(tip: to save time, you may want to start cooking the jasmine rice at the same time as the other ingredients. or, you can also cook the rice the night before; just make sure you give it a bit of time to get to room temperature after removing from the refrigerator. you can also substitute with brown rice instead, if you’re looking for a whole-grain option and a better source of fibre.)

the jambalaya:
– add 1 cup frozen corn kernels to the beef in pan
– add 2 cups frozen butternut squash (cubed)
– sprinkle 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (diced) over veggies & beef
– season w/ 1.5 tsp southwest spice blend
– add 1.5-2 cups cooked jasmine rice to the other ingredients in pan (depending on your ratio preference of rice to meat & veg)
– fold ingredients & stir until well incorporated and rice is slightly toasted
– reduce heat to medium and simmer (covered) for approx 12-15min until cooked

food styling:
– for a more rustic look, i like to dish up jambalaya into small individual ramekins.
– or for a sharing feast, place the jambalaya in a large, shallow serving bowl.
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– garnish w/ fresh cilantro

  1. Oh lovely, this sounds delicious – I would leave the sweetcorn out though :P


  2. I am used to the jambalaya from New Orleans, but this southwest beef jambalaya looks really delicious. Very nice recipe


  3. Typical or not, it looks great!


  4. I saw the title for this post in my reader and found myself rather gitty to read the recipe. Jambalaya is always welcome in my house, especially when made from recipes like this!


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