My general rule when I go grocery shopping is “only buy ingredients.” What I mean by that is that I don’t buy things that are already dishes and only need to be heated. I don’t buy spaghetti sauce, I keep tomatoes and garlic, etc. on hand. That way if I want spaghetti sauce I can have that, and if I want chili it can also be that. There have been a few exceptions to that rule to satisfy my wife by purchasing things I cannot make better myself. One of those, Stove Top Stuffing, was eliminated last week when I learned the secret of sage, this week I am able to eliminate my final boxed good from my shopping cart by figuring out how to recreate Zatarans Dirty Rice. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier because I’ve been mixing my own Cajun spices since I learned how to cook (the first thing I ever cooked was gumbo.) My wife loves Zatarans with Italian sausage mixed in. Here is how to avoid ever having to by Zatarans again.
Dirty Rice with Italian Sausage
1 lb Italian Sausage (hot or mild)
2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup Rice
1 pat Butter
1 tblspn minced Garlic
1 tblspn diced Onion
1 tblspn dice Bell Pepper
1 tspn thyme
½ tspn oregano
1 tspn pepper
½ – 0 tspn cayenne (depending on your heat preference)
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn onion powder
½ tspn celery salt
1. Prepare Italian sausage. What I do is fill my cast iron skillet 1/3 full of water and boil the sausages until the water all evaporated, then I sear them in the fat which has been released from them while boiling. This little trick is how I am able to get the insides and outsides cooked to my desired doneness. I also use this trick to “grill” onions by adding some oil and butter to the water. When the sausages are done, move them to a cutting board, let them rest and slice into bite size pieces.
2. Saute your onion, pepper and garlic (you could add celery too)in the butter until softened.
3. Add your Cajun seasoning and let the flavors bloom a little, once you can smell it go ahead and
4. Add your rice, I always sauté my rice a little
5. Add in your beef broth and cook rice as you normally do
6. When the rice is done and all the liquid absorbed, mix in ½ the sausage with the rice
7. Plate up and add the second ½ the sausage on top
Makes enough for 4.