On Sunday mornings, I usually like to crawl out of bed and sit down with a cup of tea, my laptop, and switch on the Food Network. I've usually slept through breakfast, so I read the news and drool over the things Ina Garten and Michael Chiarello and Giada de Laurentis are making until I have to get up and make something myself.
In this state, I'm pretty easy to convince that anything looks good, but watching Michael Chiarello brown andouille and make a stock out of sauteed shrimp shells and smoked paprika and saffron - I knew I had to make this recipe for jambalaya. We were planning on having dinner guests on Wednesday night, so on Sunday we cooked the meat and made the stock, and all we had to do on Wednesday was cook up the rice.
Here's a photo of the shrimp shells and veggies being cooked up before the addition of the liquid for the stock.
After adding more veggies and liquid, this is what we let simmer for about an hour. The stock itself was amazingly flavorful and would have made an excellent soup on its own.
Luckily, we were able to avoid that temptation and follow through with finishing the dish. We garnished it with scallions and tabasco, and drank hefeweisen with lemon.
This was my first experience with making a stock, and I came away completely convinced that it is well-worth the effort. The recipe called for adding storebought stock instead of water, which I thought was a little ridiculous, so I compromised and used half veggie stock and half water. As you can see, the results were incredible.