No one will fault me for choosing to prepare pancakes and sausage for our Shrove Tuesday aka Mardi Gras dinner this year. I mean, would you flap those flapjacks back in the face of the cook that presented them to you fresh off the griddle? Doubtful, unless you were the worst ingrate on the planet. Or, I suppose, you were a die-hard gluten-abstaining diner. If so, I have nothing for you. Sorry.
And yet, there was an alternate dinner plan for that night, in case I met with resistance from my diners at the thought of having pancakes for dinner. Didn’t think that would really happen. But my alternate dinner plan was to prepare an easy jambalaya. I was feeling like a bit of a slacker that week, and figured I would use a jambalaya flavored rice mix as my base, adding some sagging, wrinkly poblano peppers (no resemblance to the chef) that were hiding in the refrigerator. And meat, of course, namely chicken and andouille sausage.
The ingredients were in the house, the plan was still in my head and, therefore, last week I pulled out everything for a belated Mardi Gras meal. And I sautéed the two diced saggy poblanos, a chopped up onion, the cut up chicken and sausage, and mixed in the rice and seasoning package. I poured in a little extra liquid just in case the meat absorbed some because I didn’t want crunchy rice. I stuck the whole pot into the oven to simmer for about a half an hour and when all was done, we had a dinner that was more like jambalaya soup than the classic jambalaya rice. Surprisingly, no one complained.
And when we sat down to eat, be still my heart, Louisa volunteered an unsolicited comment that she really liked this dinner. And she took a second helping. And tweeted it to the world.
I’d call that a success, slacker dinner or not, wouldn’t you?