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jambalaya---what to serve with it?

Making jambalaya with chicken and sausage tomorrow night (no shrimp).
What are some thoughts on side dishes that fit the regional cuisine?
Salad? If so, what kind?
Other ideas?

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  1. corn bread is always good....
    and i personally like mine over the rice more than the rice in it...

    i guess u could do any kind of salad..unless the salad has the same things that are in the jamabalya...like i wouldnt go with a lot of tomatoes..
    more complimentary greens i would think...

    not much else..theres already alot in jambalaya

    4 Replies
        1. re: nmurawsk

          Cheers. I am partial to Zapps' Cajun Crawtators.

          1. re: nmurawsk

            IMO, there's not much extra needed for a bowl of jambalaya.

            Some corn bread (non-sweetened) to sop up the bowl/plate, and a couple of cold brews should hit the spot...

      1. I'm not part of the crowd that believes every meal needs to round out the nutritional chart. Therefore, my advice would be not to over think this thing. Jambalaya and corn bread is a full meal. Just make sure you do a good job on the corn bread, and remember that some people like it dry and crumbly while others (myself included) like it moist and dense.

        1. Any non-starchy "soul food" side would do (I'm assuming the rice is enough starch for one meal/ :) :

          Green veggies:

          Collard, mustard, or turnip greens
          Cabbage (boiled with salt pork)
          Green beans / haricots verts

          Orange/yellow veggies:

          Yellow squash
          mirlitons (chayote squash)
          candied carrots


          Cucumber-tomato salad
          French bread
          Coffee with chicory

          1. I agree with GutGrease some dishes/ courses do not require side dishes (e.g. risotto, paella). You can have a salad before the jambalaya as it's own course.

            1. Mirlitons, also known as chayote, would make an easy salad with some baby greens and herbs. For dressing, consider a slightly sweet vinaigrette. Rather than serve another starch, I might also consider serving corn in the form of macque choux. Since fresh corn isn't in season, you can substitute frozen and creamed corn. I usually make mine purely vegetarian, but you can kick it up with some bacon as well.

              1. I think I have had the best luck with either a good and cold green salad with garlic--this contrasts nicely to the pepper in the jambalaya--or spinach madeleine, which goes the other way and provides some more zip.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hazelhurst

                  I agree with a good, cold green salad: garlic mashed with salt, the greens tossed in the bowl, oil drizzled over, then sprinkle with vinegar. Taste and toss to mix, salt and pepper to taste. The way I'm going on about this, I think I need a salad!

                  Spinach Madeline goes with everything, as far as I'm concerned!

                2. Fierce young Cabernet.

                  Do you remember Justin Wilson's cooking show? "a day without wine is a day without sunshine, I garonteee...."

                  1. I like to do a green salad and key lime pie for dessert!

                    1. Reading the post, my first thought was pan fried green beans.

                      Fry one strip of smoked bacon.

                      Remove and quickly pan fry your fresh green beans in the rendered bacon fat. (I might also add a thin slice of fresh onion.)

                      (Feel free to enjoy the bacon while the beans are cooking!)

                      1. Cornbread and jambalaya are not a good match, IMO. My mama would make green beans (Cajun style) or smothered cabbage and maybe braised yellow squash as sides. Later, as salads became popular, she'd make a Louisiana "sensation salad" on the side.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: sancan

                          Could you explain why cornbread and jambalaya wouldn't work together?

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            I don't eat bread and rice together, but maybe others do - that's why I added "IMO." My mom was a square meal person. We may have eaten fried foods a lot, but there was never more than one starch on the plate. I had to laugh when I saw my new sister-in-law's first meal - corn, potatoes and mac-n-cheese were her sides. She caught me chuckling and looked at me with a "why" face, so I said my mother would faint dead away at the sight of all those starches.

                            1. re: sancan

                              Ok so the reason that you consider cornbread and jambalaya as not a good match has nothing to do with how it actually tastes but rather due to a family dining rule or tradition?

                              1. re: Chinon00

                                Pretty much. But I think the idea of eating those two heavy things together also just doesn't go down well - for me. I think marthasway's salad sounds delish as an accompaniment to jambalaya. Or mamachef's braised greens.

                                1. re: sancan

                                  So no cornbread with Hoppin John either?

                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                    Mama didn't make Hoppin John that I remember. She made a big pot of creamy black eyed peas, with another big pot of greens, and the corn bread was to sop up the potliquor from the greens. Probably a baked ham as the main dish. That was supper. No leftovers, ever.

                                    1. re: sancan

                                      Any chance you have a spare room at your house? You sound like my kinda cook! :-D

                        2. Braised greens would make a nice foil for the richness and complexity of the jambalaya; even rapini or broccolini would be a nice fresh green taste. A vinegar-based slaw would also work. You could even make a corn-okra mixture, but the corn might be too heavy as a side.

                          1. Jambalaya......The Original (one pot) "Full Meal Deal" ~~ Not much more is needed other than maybe a glass of tea! ~~ . Mostly, I've eaten it with Green Salads....Mustard/Turnip Greens, and Kentucky Wonder pole beans slowly cooked down with salt, garlic, and a little bacon/tasso etc. ~~ I must be a distant relative of sancan...A big bite of jambalaya, followed by a big bite of cornbread?? No thank you!


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              Abita or any other microbrew from Louisiana, cher!

                              1. re: sanglier

                                perfect accompaniment, sanglier!

                              2. re: Uncle Bob

                                agreed. jambalaya and cornbread just doesn't work for me at all. when I make jambalaya I serve a green salad along side or nothing, letting the dish shine on its own. (and this coming from someone who often serves protein + 2-3 veggies for dinner).

                              3. To me Jambalaya is essentially a full meal, but the one thing it doesn't have is crunch. I would serve it with a very crunchy salad or other cold veg (maybe shaved cabbage, tiny carrot sticks, etc).

                                1. There's really nothing wrong with cornbread served with jambalaya--especially if it's a bit on the sweet side. There is definitely some truth to the fact that it just adds more starch to an already starchy meal, but I can't fault anyone for having it. I can't see much difference than garlic bread with spaghetti.

                                  In the end it's all about what you like. If it's tomato based creole jambalaya, a slightly sweet corn bread could be a delicious accompaniment. For your jambalaya which sounds more like the drier brown, good-ole-peasant-food jambalaya, you may want to use sides with more freshness and crunch as some others have said. Raw or par boiled and cooled mirlitons (chayote squash) with a simple oil, vinegar, salt and pepper dressing would be ideal. Fresh steamed green beans or crisp fried okra would be equally fine. Tonight, I made maque choux as a covered dish I'm bringing over to a jambalaya dinner party. I think it's going to be perfect.

                                  I know this comes three years after the question, but having grown up in Louisiana, I wanted to weigh in.

                                  1. My grandma used to serve a side of baby lima beans, or tomato salad, or a mixed dish of smothered yellow squash and zucchini . Nothing spicy or it will detract from the jambalaya . The jambalaya should NOT BE SOUPY!( I don't care wthat Emeril says!!!!!!!!!!!)

                                    1. You always want to balance the flavors. If the jambalaya is heavy (which is usually is,) then balance it with what it's not. It's not crunchy or light. So throw together a quick cucumber/tomato/parsley salad tossed with a light Italian dressing. Cornbread would be good, but definitely optional.