By Dush Ramachandran, Guest Author
I love food and I love to eat. I’m just putting that out there at the outset. But there is nothing that destroys a day of idle contemplation like the need to cook a meal. I find the competing objectives of wanting time on a weekend to devote to the idle contemplation of the many mysteries of the world, and the compelling urge to eat good nutritious food, quite vexing. That is, until I discovered the modern marvel – the slow cooker (also known as the CrockPotä). I think the slow cooker is the most ingenious answer to my dilemma, and indeed to any dilemma like mine
Just this last weekend I wanted to pursue the following idle pursuits: Read a new book I had bought on lighting for photography with small flashes, take a long motorcycle ride before the warm weather completely vanishes and look through a catalog of some excellent fall and winter clothes that one Mr. Edward Bauer very considerately dropped off in my mail box. How did he know I needed a new jacket for the winter? That clever Mr. Bauer seems to know everything. He and that Mr. L.L Bean. Very prescient gentlemen. But I digress.
In addition to those extravagantly idle pursuits, I also needed to cook dinner for the Sunday evening when my son was coming to visit and have enough for weekday dinners. So I turned to my trusty slow cooker and decided to whip up a tasty Jambalaya – redolent with the aromas of Creole cooking, and replete with the taste of the bayou. New Orleans in a pot. All with 15 minutes of work.
I offer you my recipe in the hope that this will lighten and enliven your weekend of idleness as it did mine:
Skinless boneless chicken breasts (cubed) 1 lb
Andouille sausage (cut into 1″ pieces) ½ lb (or two links)
Brown rice 3 cups
Celery 2 ribs
Red onion (diced) 1 cup
Garlic (minced) 4 cloves
Diced tomatoes (28 oz can) 1
Chicken broth 3 cups (24 oz)
Bay leaf 1
Cajun spice 2 tsp
Tapatio or Cholula hot sauce 1 tsp
V8 Vegetable juice (Hot & Spicy) 1 can (6 oz)
Sauté the cubed chicken in a shallow skillet on medium heat until lightly browned (about 4 minutes) and pour into the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients into the slow cooker, mix well. Set the cooker on low and cook for about 6 ½ hours.
While the cooker is working its magic, devote yourself to the contemplation of the magnificence of the universe, or the lint in your belly button. Ah! The idle life!