Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birthday Jambalaya and Meese

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One of Aaron's favorite things to eat is Jambalaya. However, it isn't exactly cheap or healthy since it has nearly every type of meat known to man contained within it's rice-y tomato-y goodness. So I save it for special occasions...like his birthday.

This past weekend he turned 31 and I busted out our old favorite recipe for Jambalaya. Instead of a birthday cake or ice cream, he requested "birthday meese"...which is the plural of mousse (to us), you know like geese is plural for goose - why not have meese as the plural for mousse? All of that to say, I made a raspberry and lemon mousse, then layered them and topped them with fresh whipped cream...and a candle of course!

I have made the lemon mousse before, I use an Ina Garten recipe for Fresh Lemon Mousse but I leave out the lemon zest. It really didn't add that much flavor and we didn't like the weird chunky texture it added into the creamy mousse. The raspberry mousse is a new recipe, so be sure to check it out below!


- 6 slices of bacon (cut to about 1 inch pieces)
- 3 large stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 green pepper (chopped)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1/2 lb. cubed cooked ham
- 1/2 lb. cubed cooked chicken
- 1/2 lb. smoked sausage
- 30 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 heaping tsp. Cajun seasoning blend
- 2 cups uncooked white rice (long grain)
- 1/2 lb. shrimp (I used pre-cooked frozen)


Heat a large dutch-oven style pot over medium-high heat and add the bacon - cook until crisp, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Add the celery, green pepper and onion to the bacon drippings and cook until tender (about 5-8 minutes).

2. Add the chicken, ham and sausage to the pot. Then pour in the tomatoes, beef and chicken stock. Stir to combine well and add in the salt, pepper, thyme and Cajun seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the rice, then turn it to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender.

3. Stir in the shrimp and bacon just before serving and heat through. If you use uncooked shrimp (I didn't), just let them cook for about 5 minutes in the jambalaya before serving. I served it up with crusty sourdough bread...delicious!

This raspberry mousse was fresh and delicious with just the right balance of tartness and sweetness. It worked perfectly with the lemon mousse and I'll definitely be making it again - what an easy recipe!

Raspberry Mousse (Food & Wine Magazine)

- 1 packet unflavored powdered gelatin (about 2 tsp.)
- 2 tbsp. cold water
- 4 cups (20 oz.) frozen raspberries (thawed) or you can use fresh
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1 cup heavy cream


In a small microwaveable bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it stand until softened - about 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the raspberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a blender.

2. Strain the puree into a bowl through a fine sieve. I used a wire strainer and it worked really well. I had to strain it twice to get out the majority of the seeds. Melt the gelatin in the microwave for about 15 seconds until it is a liquid, then whisk it into the raspberry puree until well blended.

3. In a large bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler), whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it is frothy and warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from heat and pour the warm egg white mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat at high speed until the whites are stiff and glossy - then fold them gently into the raspberry/gelatin mixture.

4. In the same mixing bowl (no need to clean it), whip up the cream until it holds stiff peaks and fold it into the raspberry mixture. Refrigerate the mousse overnight and serve with fresh whipped cream...or do what I did and layer it with lemon!

Happy Birthday Aaron!

1 comment:

  1. oh, my stars... that jambalaya looks amazing. my dad used to make that and gumbo a lot when i lived at home. haven't had it in 3 years by now. so many things to look forward to this summer!!