Gifts From The Kitchen: Creole Jambalaya Mix #SundaySupper ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do. Fueled by butterbeans & collard greens.


The 2014 holiday season is here! It's time for bundling up in winter coats, drinking hot chocolate, singing carols, spending time indoors with friends and family and sharing and exchanging gifts. Sharing recipes for homemade gifts to give to family and friends for the holidays is a fun, economical way to show you care.

Gifts From the Kitchen is this week's Sunday Supper theme and Renee from Magnolia Days is this week's gracious host.

This week I'm sharing a gift that's near and dear to me. A Creole Jambalaya Mix.

I am a grandchild of New Orleans. My grandfather was born, raised there and came to North Carolina in the 1950s to attend college. To make a long story short, recipes and traditions from New Orleans have been passed down to me and it's my job to share them with you. Jambalaya is one of five dishes that my my mom taught me (she's not the best cook in the world) and this version that I'm sharing with you is a pared-down, yet still flavorful recipe that can feed an army.

Usually, fresh onions, bell peppers and celery would be cooked down and added to rice with tomatoes. In this "gift" version, everything is dried, but the flavors are still there. I layered mine in this novelty jar shaped like a snowman, but generally a quart-sized glass jar will do. Also, I love the colors of the different layers, but that isn't necessary. Everything goes into the pot at the same time, so if you mixed it up, you'd probably fare better!

Creole Jambalaya Mix
Serves 12 with 1/2 cup rice portion

Jambalaya is believed to be conquistador Spaniards' attempt at making paella in the New World. Paella is seasoned/colored with saffron and can be considered a hodge podge with seafood, meat, and vegetables. In the New Word, tomatoes were used to give the rice color in lieu of saffron.

When you make your gift, don't forget to include instructions and a little handwritten note

3 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup tomato powder
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons dried onion powder
1 Tablespoon minced onion, dried
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried celery flakes
4 teaspoons dried shrimp
2 tablespoons dried chives
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves

2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
12 ounces Italian or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
12 oz chili sauce
32 oz. chicken stock
1 (14 1/2 oz) can no salt added tomatoes, chopped with juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown chicken and sliced smoked sausage together in a skillet on medium-high heat. In the same pot, add chili sauce, the entire Creole Jambalaya Mix jar and deglaze the pan with 8 oz of chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix up any browned bits, and stir until smooth, making sure the seasonings and rice are incorporated and mixed thoroughly. Add the can of tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining stock and stir. Season to taste. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through. Reduce heat to low-medium. Uncover pot and stir frequently for an additional 10 minutes.

Another great idea for this time of year is to create a gift basket for your loved ones and add edible gifts and non-edible food gifts, too. Two Sunday Supper contributors have written books that would make fine additions to any gift from the kitchen:

Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie

An Appealing Plan: A Year Of Everyday Celebrations by Krayl Funch

Don't forget to check out all of the other gift ideas from the rest of the Sunday Supper Crew!

Beverages: Bread: Appetizers and Snacks: Condiments and Sauces: Savory and Sweet Mixes: Desserts and Sweets: Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


Renee said...

What a nice gift to give! Jambalaya in a jar (mostly). It's a gift I would certainly love to receive.

Tara Noland said...

This is such a thoughtful and delicious gift. I just love it!

Deanna Samaan said...

This looks great

Shannon @VillageGirlBlog said...

Perfect Gift!

Peanut Butter and Peppers said...

I love jambalaya! This would make a fantastic gift to give!

Liz Berg said...

I've never thought of creating an entree in a jar! What a fun gift idea...and a nice break from all the sweets. Plus, who doesn't love jambalaya???

The Ninja Baker said...

What a creative and clever idea,, Nikki! Love that you've filled the jar like a snowman. And put your touch of love, family and tradition into the mix =)

Jennifer Miller said...

What a delicious gift!

Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) said...

I am so, so obsessed with this! As soon as I saw it on Facebook, I couldn't wait to see the recipe. Maybe I'll make some and give it as a gift but really, I'll be whipping up a giant batch for myself!

Mary Ellen said...

Love this idea! I love Creole food...

Paula said...

Homemade gifts are the best! Love this idea.

Cookin' Canuck said...

I would be doing a happy dance if someone gave this to me over the holidays. What a great idea!

Back for Seconds said...

Now there's a fun idea! Love this!

Brenda@SugarFreeMom said...

Wow! I've seen homemade cocoa mix and cookies to give as gifts but I've never seen anything like this, Awesome!

Lana | NeverEnoughThyme said...

What a fantastic and thoughtful homemade-from-the-kitchen gift! Love it!

Ashley Presciutti said...

I love finding new edible gift ideas!!

Martha @ A Family Feast said...

What a great gift idea! (And that jar is adorable!)

Sarah Reid said...

Gotta say, this was DEFINITELY one of the posts I couldn't wait to see! Wasn't disappointed either :-)

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

This is such a fun idea - I love that those classic flavors are packed into a dry mix. I'm thinking a bunch of my family members ar going to be getting one of these jars this Christmas!

Ginny McMeans said...

I love gifts from the kitchen and that you have roots in New Orleans. What a fantastic mix and the recipe is amazing!

Lora CakeDuchess said...

What a cool idea, Nikki! I know some friends that are huge jambalaya fans and this would surprise and delight them as a gift;)

Renee Goerger said...

I love this idea! Sure does beat a jar of cookies!!! This is a very creative gift that I would love to receive.

Lauren said...

This is such an awesome idea! I always buy the boxed jambalaya mix... I never thought to make my own.

Kim Bee said...

This is absolutely amazing. New Orleans is on my bucket list, I am dying to go there. Mostly for the food.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

What a fantastic gift idea!

Kellie Hemmerly said...

What a fantastic gift idea!

Julie @ Texan New Yorker said...

What an awesome gift!! I adore NOLA food, that city is very sentimental to me (I have never lived there but I met my husband there - long story ;)

I would love this!