A few weeks ago, I met my friend April for a birthday dinner at Farmer Brown in San Francisco. They're known for down-home style soul food and a festive atmosphere — seriously, it's like going to a party at someone's house. Neither April nor I ordered the jambalaya, but another friend did, and we both ended up having food envy. We thought about planning another trip out but figured it would be more fun to make it ourselves. So I pulled out my trusty copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, rounded up my ingredients, and made a delicious feast. To see how you can do it at home — it's really simple, but does take a bit of time and planning — read more.
Note: My friend has a self-proclaimed "wimp" tolerance for spice. To spice yours up, add some jalapenos, habaneros, or other type of pepper.
Ingredients 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Directions
2 cups sliced onions
2 cups diced bell peppers, preferably red or yellow [I used one red and one yellow]
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups chicken, beef, vegetable, or shrimp stock or water
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; drain first)
2 cups long-grain rice
2 pounds shrimp, peeled (and deveined, if you like), and cut into pieces if very large
minced fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil