Vigo Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix

 

FB Vigo Cajun Rice Mix 1

Vigo Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix

October 2014

Every year, the hubby & I visit New Orleans for our anniversary. It is a fun-filled week of listening to live Jazz & Zydeco bands on Frenchmen Street as well as visiting the local historical eating establishments sprinkled throughout the French Quarter. While we enjoying sampling all the food NOLA has to offer, there is one traditional dish I just can’t get enough of — JAMBALAYA! I love the mixture of Cajun spices, dirty rice, and shrimp all prepared harmoniously in one big bowl. My only problem is that before we know it, our vacation is over, and we must return to our daily lives.

Thanks to Formato Brothers, I don’t have to wait one year to visit NOLA and get my fill of jambalaya. Instead, I can easily whip up this spicy dish in the comfort of my own kitchen. It is so easy! I just followed the directions on the back of the Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix package (which is essentially: boil water, add butter & shrimp, add Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix, stir, and simmer for 25 min). If you are allergic to shellfish, don’t worry. You can add precooked bite-sized ham or sausage instead of the shrimp*.

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Now my only problem is saving some Jambalaya for the family!

*Quick note about using shrimp. I used frozen shrimp that I first thawed under cold water as directed on the shrimp bag. I elected to keep the shrimp tails on because that adds extra flavor. Be careful as little pieces of tail might break off while thawing. I added the thawed shrimp by hand (instead of dumping the bowl) so those broken shrimp tails didn’t fall in my pot.

–Andrea Formato

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Risotto

I love pasta.  I could eat it every day.  In fact, some weeks, I think I actually do eat it every day.  While sticking to a daily routine is comfy & easy, sometimes you need to switch it up a bit.  Here’s the question:  What other delicious Italian starchy side could accompany my chicken or fish dinner?  Got it:  Risotto.

Here’s my problem…risotto takes for EVER to make.  First you have to cut & prep all the onions & veggies, brown them, add the rice, add the stock, stir consistently, & here’s the kicker..never step away from the pan!  Trust me, if I had time, I’d love to revisit my risotto cooking lesson with Papa (and…yes…I’ll keep the rice flat) & spend 40 minutes making risotto every night.  However, being a working mom, time isn’t always on my side.  I need a faster way to swap out my side dish.

Thanks to Formato Brothers, I’m able to trade my pasta for yummy risotto & still keep to my after-work/school schedule with the kids.  Since we’re heading into the summer months, my go-to selection is Vigo Italian Style Risotto Primavera.  It’s so easy to make:  just boil water, add some butter, stir in risotto contents, cover, simmer, step away!

It’s always challenging to break away from a normal routine, but if you’re looking to change up your Italian side dish, but don’t have a lot of time, try Formato Brothers’ Vigo Italian Style Risotto Primavera.

–Andrea Formato