Sometimes I feel like I have a lot to say about a particular dish: why I made it, why I chose certain ingredients etc. Sometimes, like in the case of Jambalaya, all I have to say is that If you don't know what it is, and you've never tried it, you're missing out.
Jambalaya is a simple, one pot Creole rice dish with a savoury and complex flavour based around the cajun holy trinity of bell peppers, onions and celery. Add a few more ingredients, let it cook for 30 minutes or so and you're left with a delicious, savoury dinner.
My version of this New Orleans classic is cooked with the standard vegetables, always shrimp, sometimes sausage, and tons of smoked paprika. It is spicy, comforting, easy and makes for pretty great leftovers, too.
2 cups long grain rice - washed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp hot cayenne powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1lb medium shrimp (or large shrimp cut into pieces)
1 smoked sausage - diced (optional)
1 green bell pepper - diced
2 stalks celery - diced
1 onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
3 cups water or stock (fish, chicken or shrimp)
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped
2 green onions - sliced
red hot pepper - sliced (optional)
1. in a small bowl, mix together smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and dried oregano.
2. season shrimp and sausage liberally with spice mixture.
3. in a heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil and cook seasoned shrimp until just undercooked - 3 to 4 minutes. remove shrimp to a plate.
4. to the same pot, add sausage (if using) , onion, garlic, bell pepper, celery and season with salt and pepper. sauté 4-5 minutes until vegetables have slightly softened.
5. add tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, wine and stock. bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer broth 20-25 minutes.
6. add rice and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low.
7. after 10 minutes, add shrimp back into the pot and cook until the water is absorbed and rice is tender - approximately 10 more minutes.
8. garnish with chopped parsley, green onions, and sliced hot peppers if you desire.