Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crock pot jambalaya and a roasted vegetable marathon (carrots, rutabaga, potatoes, cabbage, butternut squash)

I've done a lot of cooking in the last few days because starting tomorrow I'll be in the lab until at least 8 every night for the next 4 days, and I need to have leftovers ready.  This weekend I made chicken and shrimp jambalaya in the crock pot.  I screwed it up a little bit, but it tastes really good.  While it still had a little while to cook (according to the recipe), most of the liquid had been absorbed by the rice.  I wasn't thinking about the fact that maybe it was almost done, so I added more water.  Of course the rice had absorbed all that it could and I couldn't make any evaporate.  So, it turned out somewhat gummy, but the flavors are still great.  I think that my crock pot cooks faster than the one they used for that recipe book (the grits were done faster, too), so I need to keep that in mind next time.

Then yesterday I went crazy with the roasting.  I did a medley of root vegetables - carrots, rutabaga, and potatoes - tossed in olive oil, thyme, and rosemary.  That took forever to cook, but it's very hearty and is the perfect winter food.  I also did some green beans (a repeat of Thanksgiving) and some cabbage.  The cabbage is super tasty this way.  I cut it into small wedges, tossed it in olive oil and salt and pepper, and then poured some balsamic on it once it was cooked.  The only problem was that some of the outer leaves fell off of the wedges and cooked a lot faster than the big chunks.  They started to get burnt before the other was even tender.  Next time I'll probably separate all of the wedges a bit more.  I highly recommend trying this, but keep an eye on it and stir it frequently.

And today I roasted more butternut squash for the program's holiday party.  I forgot about the fact that my hand peeled all day after cutting up the squash for Thanksgiving, but quickly remembered when it got bad today.  After a few google searches, I found out that it's a very common reaction.  Perhaps next time I should use a glove while cutting it up.  Anyway, I thought I had made too much, but was excited to bring home leftovers.  Apparently I was wrong because it was one of the first things to go at the party.  Oh well, at least people enjoyed it!

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