Freekeh Paella (or Jambalaya)

Serves 4
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup white basmati rice
  • - pinch of saffron
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth (approx.)
  • 2 tbsp. Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided (approx.)
  • 12 oz. Kowalski's Fajita Mix (in the prepared produce section of the Produce Department)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 Kowalski's Smoked Cajun Andouille Sausage, sliced
  • 3/4 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup uncooked freekeh, prepared according to pkg. directions
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • - kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • - fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped, to taste

Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. Prepare basmati rice according to package directions, adding saffron to the pot and using reserved tomato juice in place of part of the liquid called for on the package and chicken broth for the rest; keep warm. In an extra-large nonstick skillet, heat 1-1 ½ tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Cook fajita vegetables in oil until peppers are crisp-tender and onion is translucent (5-10 min.). Add garlic; cook 1 min. Add tomatoes; cook 1 min. more. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside. Add sausage to the skillet and cook until browned (about 5 min.). Remove sausage from skillet; set aside. Add shrimp to the skillet (with additional oil, if needed); cook 3-4 min. until just cooked through. Add cooked freekeh, vegetable mixture, sausage and peas to the pan; heat through. Stir in cooked rice. Season to taste with salt and peppers; garnish generously with parsley. Serve immediately.

Variation: For Freekeh Jambalaya, omit saffron and peas. Add 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. celery seeds and 1 tbsp. chili powder with the garlic. Add up to 1 tbsp. hot sauce with the cooked rice. Substitute Kowalski's Smoked Chorizo Sausage (or another flavor of your choice) for the Smoked Cajun Andouille Sausage, if desired.

Note: This recipe can be made with all rice, all freekeh or any combination of the two. Try other grains as well.