Who We Love: Guest Blog From Teen Chef G

April 23, 2013

This post comes from Georgia Catanese, also known as Teen Chef G. Georgia loves to cook and comes up with many of her own recipes. Continue reading to learn more about how she got started cooking and check out her recipe for Jambalaya. It's longer and a bit more complicated than ChopChop recipes, but still a delicious and healthy meal!

Hi, my name is Georgia Catanese and I am a 13-year-old teenage chef and I just love to cook. I started cooking and baking when I was 3 with my mom and dad. My mom taught me how to cook and bake. She taught me how me make baked chicken with mashed potatoes and salad. My dad taught me how to BBQ and how to marinate meat and roast veggies. We would have BBQ pool parties.

I would help my mom and we would cook dinner together and wait for my dad to come home from work. I would learn a new recipe every day. After my mom died when I was 9, I wanted to keep my memories of my mom’s cooking forever into my future. When my dad had a stroke, I started cooking for him healthy food every night.

So when I was twelve, I started taking culinary classes at Chef Central over the summer.  I learned about so many different types of foods. For example, I learned how to cook Chinese, Italian, and Indian food.  It was very fun and exciting to cook and try all different types of food. I learned so much about preparing and seasoning from different cultures. Once I started classes at Chef Central, I started cooking a variety of food each week.

When I cook, my goal is to change unhealthy meals into healthier meals. For an example, I love making Jambalaya, but it is not healthy for my dad. So I use low sodium broth, whole grain brown rice instead of white rice, and I use leaner chicken and turkey sausage instead of beef sausage. I also add extra vegetables.  I also add different seasons. In my Jambalaya, I have shrimp in it, so I add a seafood spicy seasoning. It's so good!

Here’s my healthier recipe for Jambalaya:

GEORGIA’S SHRIMP AND CHICKEN SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds - medium shrimp cleaned, save shells to make stock
  • 1 pound - ground Italian Chicken sausage meat (not links)
  • 2 cups - diced green peppers
  • 1 cup – diced red, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers
  • 2 cups - diced celery
  • 2 cups – diced Spanish or white onion
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers (for spicy taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped / minced
  • 1 (18-ounce) can - diced tomatoes w/ garlic
  • 2-3 teaspoons - Cajun pepper
  • 2 ½ cups - Uncle Ben’s long-grain brown rice
  • 1 bundle – chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bundle – chopped scallions, whites and greens
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. For the shrimp stock: toss the shrimp shells in a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil; turn off the heat and let sit for at least 20 - 30 minutes. Strain the shells and throw them away.
  2. Add olive oil to large, wide pot, spread across bottom and bring to medium-high heat.  Add the loose Chicken sausage meat; break meat into small, bite size pieces and cook for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the sausage starts to brown.
  3. Add the diced sweet peppers (all colors), diced celery, and diced onions to the pot, stirring often and break up the large chunks of chicken sausage meat.  Add Cajun pepper, stir again and cook about 10 minutes or until the mixture has softened and is very aromatic.
  4. Toss in the chopped/minced garlic and cook for 3 - 5 more minutes. Add diced tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of tomato paste. Add 2 ½ cups of Uncle Ben’s long grain brown rice and stir well mixing all ingredients.
  5. Add 4 cups shrimp stock along with 2 cups chicken stock, and chopped thyme. Season lightly with kosher salt and taste. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 - 30 minutes.
  6. Stir in the raw whole shrimp and cook for another 8 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink.
  7. Remove from heat and let sit cover for 5 – 10 minutes for rice to absorb more flavor and seasoning, then serve and enjoy.

Check out more of Georgia’s healthy recipes at her Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Teen-Chef-G/153545871421869?fref=ts

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