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Wanting to make Jambalaya..

Got me a recipe... buy I am having problems with the sausage...

I KNOW what Andouille is.. I even have a link to a site...

BUT.. I am in Australia, remember... I need you to describe it to me.... because in the links I have, it looks a lot like salami.. a mild salami... which (as I hear you purist take a collective gasp) CLEARLY IT ISN'T!!!!!

Any Aussies on line that have made it??

Any one there dare admit to subbing the Andouille for something else....

I KNOW it won't be authentic, but I want to give it a red hot go... and I need a description of the sausage so I can translate it into Aussie.


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  1. I've made jambalaya with a spicy pork kielbasa. I would avoid an Italian-style sausage, as the fennel and other spices might not work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater

      I've done this too. I usually add some Cajun or creole spice to it as it's sauteing. Really works well actually.


    2. Here is a link to a good recipe that I've used before.


      Less like salami, more towards a dry chorizo or linguiza. Think more Spanish in flavor with lots of paprika and smoke.

      1. Thanks guys.. this is exactly what I need... another link to Jacob's site doesn't mean diddly squat to an Aussie...

        Haven't got the time to make it, but the comparison to pork kielbasa translates!!!

        And Spanish dried chorizo is quite common here, too!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: purple goddess

          Andouille from south Louisiana isn't like andouille or andouillettes from France. Here, it is a coarsely ground, dense sausage, usually highly seasoned & fairly heavily smoked. The dominant flavor notes are garlic, onion, thyme, and red/black pepper. It is more often used as a seasoning meat, rather than eaten on its own. You can substitute any high-quality smoked pork sausage in your jambalaya. Other highly flavored smoked meats can be used, too: ham hocks, smoked turkey necks, or even real beef jerky (not the ground, extruded kind).

          Making Sense is dead-on; jambalaya (like gumbo) is a dish born of improvisation and can absorb whatever you toss into the pot (though I'm familially prohibited from adding tomatoes). My personal favorite is shrimp jambalaya, made with just a little tasso, a whole bunch of green & red peppers, and lots of fresh, small shrimp and green onions.

        2. If you don't have andouille, leave it out. Make a different kind of Jambalaya. Not all Jambalayas have sausage in them anyway.
          It's pretty much an ad hoc dish made by Cajuns from whatever they had on hand. Chicken and Ham Jambalaya is pretty common as is Crayfish Jambalaya in season.The last one I made was Chicken and Shrimp.Duck is really good. In New Orleans and some areas South of New Orleans, they put a little tomato into it.

          If you want to add sausage, it's not at all necessary to use andouille. Most of what you get away from South Louisiana bears little resemblance to what Cajuns use anyway. Get some good Kielbasa and you'll be fine.

          1. Andouille is smoked, garlicy, and spicy. Any sausage you can find that meets those criteria will work. As mojoeater said, if you can find a spicy kielbasa, that would be your best bet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JoanN

              An uncle from Shreveport also subbed kielbasa before andouille became commercially available up North. To be honest, I don't think the exorbitant price tag they normally charge for andouille is actually worth it.

            2. I have seen many recipes for jambalaya suggesting kielbasa is a good substitute for andouille but I understand authentic andouille is supposed to be very coarse. I have had andouille from Poche's which was like cubed pork stuffed into casings and the andouille from Veron's in my freezer right now, sliced thinly, would look very much like a slice of Canadian Bacon.

              There's a picture of andouille accompanying the Wickipedia article and a linked recipe on that site calls for grinding half the pork, cubing the rest.

              I like a good chaurice in place of andouille rather than kielbasa.

              1 Reply
              1. re: brucesw

                I don't like chaurice (which isn't smoked) for a jambalaya. To me, the smoky taste is key for a sausage jambalaya.

              2. Where does one acquire taso? I asked at my local Albertsons and Whole Foods (in the San Francisco Area) and they didn't even know what it was. I ended up buying some cubed pork and liberally spicing it, but it just didn't taste right. If there is no place to purchase it, is it hard to make on your own?

                11 Replies
                1. re: bmubyzal

                  You can purchase it via mail-order from various Louisiana suppliers or you can indeed make your own. Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie book has good instructions...his suggested spice blend is a little mild, but overall the technique is fine.

                  Try these sources for mail/internet order for handmade product:
                  Poche's Meat Market (http://www.pochesmarket.com/
                  )Best Stop Supermarket (no website, but call 'em and they might pack to ship).

                  Locally, many varieties sell vacuum packed tasso to chain supermarkets, including Veron's, Savoie's, Richard's, et al.

                  Best Stop Supermarket
                  615 Hwy 93 N, Scott, LA 70583

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste


                    Followed the recipe to the letter....

                    Got me some chorizo, which I sliced and browned off, added the Holy Trinity and cooked until the onion was translucent, added the rest of the ingredients (long grain rice and spices, tomato sauce, ect..)and proceeded to inhale the heavenly smells... stirring all the while.

                    All seemed good, so I grabbed a glass of wine and popped down in front of the TV... and got up to check after about 5-7 mins.

                    The rice was sticking... so I stirred it off...

                    and left it again for another 5 mins, and went to check.. and the rice was sticking again...

                    The pot was well seasoned.. it's the pot I do all my risotto dishes in... it was on the smallest gas ring, on the lowest setting...

                    So I stirred and stirred, only to find I could feel the rice catching.

                    So I transfered it to another pot... where it did exactly the same thing.

                    After 40 mins, the rice was still crunchy and sticking to the bottom.

                    So I transfered it BACK to the original pot and added more water...

                    Nup.. another 15 mins and the rice STILL hadn't cooked.

                    So I transfered the whole bloody lot to the crock pot and cooked it on low overnight.

                    So, this morning, I awake to the most delicious of smells, BUT.. the slow cooking has broken the rice down almost completely and now I have a strange congee/jambalaya concoction.

                    What the hell went wrong???

                    1. re: purple goddess

                      Hungry Celeste will probably tell you that tomato has NO place in any Jambalaya so you were doomed from the get-go. LOL.

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        yeah, but I am a stupid Australian trying to cook cajun food.. so I get away with a lot here... ;)

                        1. re: purple goddess

                          That was actually a joke for Celeste. Cajun country people usually don't use tomato. Folks in New Orleans often add a concasse to a lot of things like Jambalaya, etouffée, gumbo, etc. Of course, the two groups never agree on that. My father was Cajun, Mama was NO Creole so I swing both ways...
                          I'd never call an Aussie dumb. Never.

                          1. re: MakingSense

                            chill dude!!!

                            I gets the joke and was making one back!!!!

                            It's all good in the hood, except for my Jambalaya!!!

                            1. re: purple goddess

                              I didn't want you to take offense when I was teasing Celeste. There are so many ways of making Louisiana dishes even within Louisiana depending on the background of the families or their cooks. The Time-Life Creole and Cajun Cooking book which is generally very good has a Jambalaya recipe that use not only tomato but cloves. That is an odd flavor unlikely to be found in many places but it's in a section of recipes from Shadows-on-the-Teche. It could be that the cooks there were Caribbean or African.
                              The point is the there is no Magic Recipe for Jambalaya or any other Louisiana dish. You have to osmose the spirit of the cooking and understand why they would or would not use or do certain things. Some things are just no-nos to some people and perfectly fine to others. Some things are heresies to all.
                              Jambalaya is plain improvisational food. Nothing messes it up faster than too much meat in proportion to the rice, trophy size shrimp or the use of luxury products like Bobby Flay's lobster. At some point, you have to call it something else because it stops being Jambalaya.

                            2. re: MakingSense

                              Yeah you rite. No tomatoes in my gumbo, jambalaya, etc, probably a direct result of no Italians in my family tree. It's all good, though. fusion makes the world go 'round.

                        2. re: purple goddess

                          It was your technique. Jambalaya IS NOT risotto. You should NEVER stir jambalaya. All that lifting of the lid released lots of steam/liquid, which was needed to steam the rice. The repeated stirring lowered the temp, which lengthened the cooking time, and since you were short on liquid, that rice was never going to cook all the way thru, no matter what. Often, a little rice will stick to the bottom as the starch is released from the grains, but the sticking will loosen up at the end of the cooking time. In addition, you do want to use some fat/oil, which will coat the grains & help to prevent sticking.

                          Try, try again: 1)use long-grain rice. 2)brown the meats first, remove from the pot, then add the onions and cook until very deeply colored, then add the other aromatics & cook until soft & fragrant 3)put rice & meats in the pot, stir around until well-coated with oil/fat and slightly colored & translucent 4)add stock/liquid, bring to a boil, cover tightly, lower heat to a bare minimum, and WAIT 20 minutes. After 20 solid minutes with no peeking, test the rice, and if it is done, turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes or so before stirring.

                          US fans of Food Network will recall the Bobby Flay Throwdown episode where BF gets his butt kicked by a local who cooked killer jambalaya in a 10-gallon pot. The savvy local left his rice alone to cook, while Bobby kept lifting the lid and poking around, yielding burnt-on-the-bottom but still crunchy rice.

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            I am humbled, Celeste!!!

                            The recipe I was given didn't tell me to cover it and leave it.. just said add 1 cup long grain rice and cook for 20 mins... so I did it like I would risotto!!!

                            Will try it again and be very very good about sealing it tightly and NO TOUCHEE!!!

                            Mr Goddess will think I am mad, but I will sit firmly in my purple armchair, with a glass of wine counting off "One Hungry Celeste, Two Hungry Celeste, Three Hungry Celeste....."

                            Oh.. and the congee/"jambalaya melange was weird, but tasty....

                            1. re: purple goddess

                              Weird but tasty is good. You can even make a passable jambalaya in a rice cooker, provided that you brown the meats/seasonings well before combining with the rice & liquid--you cook it on the regular rice setting.

                    2. jambalaya is just the american version of paella - so as everyone has said, you may just add whatever you want and make it your own aussie version!

                      as for what went wrong with your dish: i'm not sure how much stock you added. but one key thing is to add the stock and rice after everything is browned/cooked/etc., bring it to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat. DO NOT take the top off of the mixture until the rice is supposed to be cooked through. at that point you can stir it - but generally you want to stir - boil - stir - cover - and then it's done. good luck.

                      1. The reccommendation for spicy/smoked kielbasa is absolutely accurate. I am a New Orleans chef who spent a year at an Oxford St. Darlinghurst (Sydney) restaurant. I am retiring to New Orleans in January 2010. Italian Sausage with fennel is, as someone posted, not desireable but the "hot" Italian sausage would do. The thing to look for is something with smoke. Whether you want to cut it (chunks or slices) I would remove the casing first and cook it before you add it to the recipe to render some of the fat-discard the fat. The sort of thing available outside the deep South of the US as "andouille" is often full of hard chunks of mystery meat and can be very expensive. Go with the cheapest available and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Creole cooking is making something wonderful from the inexpensive, and implies a disdain for the exotic and needlessly costly. Chacun votre gout!