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Reinventing Jambalaya?

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So I made Jambalaya by browning shallots and carrots, adding celery. Browned all of that, added herbs (thyme, oregano); toasted everything and then added stock. Added sherry, cooked awhile, added and cooked scallops, tilapia, and shrimp. I totally spaced out the red bell peppers so I chopped some tomatoes and added them at the last minute. It was really good on white basmati. I added a garnish of minced chives, red onion, and scallion, and some hefty dashes of Cholula at the table for the spice and the vinegar (my kid doesn't enjoy it if I make the whole pot spicy). Forgot about the andouille in the freezer. D'oh!

I am a know-nothing about true Southern Jambalaya recipes. What's different/missing?

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  1. Well, to me, Jambalaya has to have some ham it it (that's where the Jamb part of the name comes from). I always start with the "holy trinity" of onions, celery, and green bell pepper cooked in bacon fat (not very much, but the flavor is so much better. My arteries are clear due to all the red wine I drink). All else except the rice is negotiable, but not Cholula, please, use Tabasco next time.

    1. You do understand that Jambalaya is a rice dish, not something served over/on rice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        You definetely reinvented it......the rice is incorporated.....you needed to start with the andouille....or a bocon /fatback to render some fat....add the "trinity" (celery, onion, green pepper)....some have tom....some don't.....without belaboring or too much detail.....recipes abound.....the seafood/shellfish is added at the very end , due to the speed with which it cooks......after the stock ....rice.......it is a one pot dish....similar in many ways to paella....

        1. re: Saddleoflamb

          Agreed- if you want a more traditional recipe, you've should use the holy trinity (celery, onion, green pepper) and for certain regions long-cooked tomatoes, tasso (and/or other pork products like andouille), and the rice is usually cooked in the jambalaya.

          For more info:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambalaya

      2. I just saw an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he challenged a native New Orlean on Jambalaya - I cannot wait to try his recipe. I've had great jambalaya in New Orleans (and my sister makes a great one) - next week we're heading to NJ for the annual Crawfish Festival - where I'll get my fill. From what I know (still little), you made something more like a creole dish, not jambalaya. Check this out:
        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

        1. There are many different home recipes for "jambalaya." In in a more or less classic recipe (a la Paul Prudhomme), you'd fry chopped onion, celery and bell pepper for 10-15 minutes, then mix in uncooked rice and fry for maybe 5 minutes. Then add enough chicken broth and cook the rice for the recommended time. Salt, pepper and maybe creole seasoning to taste (the vegetables provide plenty of flavor). But hey, whatever turns you on.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mpalmer6c

            Thanks for the replies -- I'll definitely continue the experimenting!

            1. re: mpalmer6c

              Paul Prudhomme also calls for converted rice in some of his recipes. I've never tried cooking with it.