I attended a jambalaya cook off a few years ago at a friends house with 8 or 9 entries for sampling. I wasn't able to cook one that night and was declared a tie breaker judge at the end. Each one had different meats, vegetables, and qualities- it was a fun thing to do.
After, I asked everyone where they got their recipes and how they made it. Surprisingly, half of the people confided that they used Zatarains as their base. I have been using reduced sodium zatarains ever since. I add whatever meat and veggies that I have onhand and it's consistantly delicious.
Here is what I ended up making, sort of a mish-mash of several different online recipes- the ones mentioned here, as well as one I found on the food network site.
Turned out quite good- better than my previous attempts ;-) On the spicy side, so reduce the amount of cayenne if you want a milder Jambalaya.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1.5 cups of chopped onions
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups of water
4 chicken thighs (with bones or boneless)
2 cups of diced canned tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cup of diced kielbassa (I know, I know, completely inauthentic- but it was in my fridge-about 3 ounces)
1 cup of rice
12 oz of peeled shrimp
Brown chicken in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, then remove chicken from the pot, and reserve to add later.
Add the remaining olive oil, and heat over medium heat to the pot. Saute onions, celery, red pepper and garlic until softened, roughly 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, if browning too quickly. Add pepper, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, tomato paste, tomatoes, water, wine, chicken, kielbassa, and rice to the stockpot, and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes (although the cooking time depends on type of rice you’re using). Stir rice mixture, then add shrimp to the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked to taste.
Since it's getting closer & closer to Mardi Gras season, I made a similar inauthentic jambalaya last night, with similar seasoning, but adding 1 tbsp of Cajun Sunshine hot sauce, and 1 tbsp Victoria Gourmet New Orleans blend, and omitting the sausage. Used both green pepper and red pepper last night. Turned out quite good.
Has anyone else made any takes on jambalaya lately? Would love to hear what you've been adding. Thinking I might make it a weekly dish until Fat Tuesday!
I've used Emeril's recipe to great success. I alter it to suit my needs, often I just use sausage and chicken and leave the shrimp out. I've never put the celery in there, I don't miss it. I sometimes like to add some fresh jalapeno at the end (I like it spicy). I find it important to use a really good and spicy andouille sausage. I buy them fresh from my butcher who make them in house and cook them before throwing them in at the end (these one's are raw). I sometimes like to grate a little parmesan on top at the end. Best of luck, it's a really easy dish makes for great leftovers and is hard to screw up.
I start by browning some sliced andouille sausage in a large dutch oven. Take them out to drain and add seasoned chicken legs, whole or split. Brown them well. Drain most of fat, as they sit on a plate. Add some veg oil, and add the trinity, chopped onion, celery and green pepper. Salt it, then let it cook all the way down, the veggies are browned and have given up. To that I add some chopped garlic, and ground pepper. Next I'll add a can of tomatoes, usually crushed. Deglaze and cook it down a little, then I add about 4 cups of chicken stock, two bay leave and add the chicken pieces and juices they accumulated on the plate. Throw in the sausage, and add 2 cups of long grain rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for at least an hour. Stir it up every now & then, to make sure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom. If I were adding shrimp, they would go in after the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, and turn the pot off, and keep it covered for another 10 mins or until shrimp are cooked. Taste to season, if needed.
How about Creole, a very close cousin to jambalaya? My aunt has been making this masterpiece since I can remember.
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
Make roux to a dark brown
1 1/2 lb shrimp
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
2 pods garlic, chopped
1 large or two small bay leaves
1 large can peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup catsup
1 4 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tes sugar
Shrimp stock about a qt. You can take the peels from the shrimp even if you don't have the heads, boil them awhile and that will do, or just use water.
1/2 tes dried basil leaves
Salt, pepper and Cayenne pepper
Couple shakes of Tabasco
Chopped green onions to sprinkle on top
chopped parsley sprinkled on top
Hot cooked rice
Make roux, add onions, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Coiok until wilted. Add tom paste and fry for five min. Add salt, peppers, bay leaf and basil. Add tomato sauce and stock. Cook for forty minutes or until oil comes to top. Add shrimp and cook another thirty minutes. This can be made ahead and frozen omitting shrimp. Thaw, add shrimp and cook for 30 min. Sprinkle each dish with a little chopped green onion and parsley. Serve over rice.
I throw together some red and green large diced bell peppers with cut up raw bacon, cut up red onions, thin sliced fresh garlic and saute all this in some bacon grease. Then I add in some rice, water and some chicken stock. Cook until rice is done. Next I add in some peeled raw shrimp, some cooked ham chunks and some cooked cubed pork loin. If I have a spicy sausage, I throw that into the mix. Next I check to see if salt and pepper are needed. I leave the hot sauce on the table for those who like to add it to their own serving.
Usually serve this with a nice mixed greens salad and some hot crusty bread with blackened seasoned butter and cold beer in the bottle. YUM.