Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jambalaya with Pork Cost Breakdown

This is an older recipe from a cookbook that I modified to fit in with my family's spiciness restrictions. It's extremely easy to double or even triple and freezes well, so feel free to let your slow cooker do the work and make some freezer meals.

Cost Breakdown:
  • 1 T EVOO -- 10 cents
  • 1 lb pork chops -- $2.81
  • 1/4 t celery salt -- 1 cent
  • pepper to taste -- 2 cents
  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage (no kielbasa on hand) -- 89 cents
  • 1 can (about 15 oz) diced tomatoes -- 49 cents
  • 1/2 red bell pepper -- 50 cents
  • 1/2 C chicken broth -- 16 cents
  • 1 t oregano -- 3 cents
  • 1 t Cajun seasoning -- 3 cents**
  • 1/2 onion -- 16 cents
  • 2 C instant brown rice -- 36 cents
**I made this myself in order to control the cayenne (red pepper) and that controlled the spice level. To make this mix up equal parts of each white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Add to your mix 1/2 part of cayenne. Making it myself keeps us from having all the added salt or MSG that many manufacturers will use. Don't let the look of this fool you -- it's very authentic tasting. And if you like spicy (and I don't blame you!), just up the cayenne to a full part equal with the other ingredients. A lot of people add the oregano to their Cajun seasoning; I don't because it's not the same texture as the other ingredients and doesn't seem to mix well when I add it. This way works for me.

Total cost: $5.56

Makes 4 servings, but we only got 3 out of it. It was garage sale day and it was chilly out; I think we were hungrier than normal, but it was a filling meal and well worth it. Per person this works out to $1.85.

How I made it:
  1. Cut pork chop into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with celery salt and pepper. Brown in skillet with EVOO. They don't have to be cooked through; they will finish up in the slow cooker.
  2. Add pork chops to slow cooker along with all your other ingredients. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Making the recipe this way (with 4 servings) doesn't yield a lot so watch your crock size; crocks should be at least 1/2 full during cooking.
  3. Cook brown rice according to directions. Place brown rice in the bottom of your bowls and scoop jambalaya on top.
  4. Enjoy!
  • We were supposed to have fruit with this. Instead we had the fruit later as a snack.
  • I use celery salt because my family, and especially me, isn't into celery a whole lot. This way we get the flavor but within our control. It's not the exact same, but it works for us. If you like celery, by all means just use regular salt and add some chopped celery to your list of ingredients!
  • I did not double the recipe this time around because I'm low on freezer space. By mid-October this should not be a problem. (Good problem to have though, right?) Really though, if you can, at least double it and freeze the extra. The next time you need a 15-minute meal all you have to do is heat the jambalaya and cook up some fresh rice. Easy-peasy.

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