This is Maia again. We did Louisiana yesterday. I wanted to do this post because in fourth grade, (last year) all the third and fourth graders did state reports, and I did Louisiana. One interesting fact: Louisiana is the only known place in the world that is home to the rare white alligator.
We had shrimp and andouille (pronounced an-do-eee) sausage jambalaya and cornbread for this meal. Lucy and I only liked the shrimp in the jambalaya and the cornbread, but Mom and Dad loved it all. We also listened to our favorite Louisiana band, the Red Stick Ramblers.
This is Marc. Maia asked me to provide my recipe for jambalaya, so here goes:
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Fry one pound of andouille sausage (1/4" slices) for about 5 minutes until the sausage is nicely browned.
While the sausage browns, chop one large onion, one large bell pepper, and 2-3 large stalks of celery. Add to the the pan when the sausage is brown and stir regularly for about 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
While the vegetables cook, finely chop 4-5 cloves of garlic and coarsely chop 2 large tomatoes. Add the garlic, some salt and pepper, 2-3 bay leaves, and 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (and some cayenne if you like heat). Stir and fry for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes. Stir and cook the tomatoes for another 3-4 minutes.
Rinse and drain 2 cups of long-grain white rice. Add to the pot and stir well to coat the rice with the sausage fat and vegetable oil. Add 4-5 cups chicken stock (homemade is best) and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add one pound peeled and de-veined shrimp, and stir well. Put the cover on the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes to steam the shrimp.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems and enjoy!
And for the grown-ups...a little of this:
Next, we head way north to North Dakota!