Crowdsourcing Jambalaya

If you’re from the deep South, the land of bayous and Gulf waters, at some point you’ll make a roux.  Now a roux is a tricky thing. It can easily burn and ruin and make you feel like you missed the class that everyone else took on how to be a good Southern cook.

The first time I made a roux (in an attempt to make my first out-of-the-box gumbo) it turned into play dough.  Lovely! Fast-forward a few years and I’ve managed to make a roux without disaster. Still, there’s always been a hesitance in making (from scratch) the Cajun dishes that I grew up with. That roux incident, ya’ll.

But last week, the engineer and I attended a potluck in the spirit of the World Cup. Each guest was asked to bring a dish that reflected their home roots. I instantly thought of Jambalaya, a comfort dish that brings back memories of Cindy B.’s kitchen. Not wanting another play dough from roux incident, I turned to Facebook and my Southern friends for their favorite, no-fail Jambalaya recipes and Lawd, did they deliver.

May I present “Eric’s Mississippi Jambalaya” courtesy of a fellow Southerner from my hometown. I tweaked the recipe a bit and the result is an easy, spicy dish with just a bit of kick.

Here’s what you’ll need for this dish:

  • 1 pound of Andouille Sausage (you can easily substitute with chicken or shrimp)
  • 6-7 cups of parboiled rice
  • 2 cans of Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 bunch of Celery Chopped
  • 1 bunch of Green Onions Chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 8 cups of Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups of Water
  • 2 tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere’s)
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Tabasco Sauce (more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Pepper
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
  • 3 Bay Leaves
photo 3 (2)

Onions, celery, bell peppers. Otherwise known as the “holy trinity” in cajun/creole cooking.

photo 1 (2)

The secret ingredients to a great Jambalaya: Tony Chachere’s, Tabasco, Bay Leaves.

Start by heating a bit of olive oil or butter in a large pot (I used my dutch oven) and add the sausage. After browning the sausage, transfer it to a plate. Using the same pot, add the celery and bell pepper, cooking for two minutes. Add the onion, green onions and garlic, cooking until the veggies soften. Next, add the sausage to the veggies, along with the chicken broth, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and cook on medium for 15 minutes. Add the bay leaves, sauces and seasonings and cook for another 15 minutes. Finally, add rice, bring to a boil, and simmer on low. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is done and has absorbed some of the liquid.

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Enjoy with a big hunk of French Bread!

And that’s it! No play dough roux, just a spicy, sassy dish for your next potluck.




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