Jambalaya is a New Orleans tradition that originated in the Caribbean islands and it related to the dish known as paella. The many variations of this dish are a direct attempt by Spanish settlers to make paella in the new world where saffron was not readily available; tomatoes became a substitute for the costly seasonings traditionally used. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish.
Creole jambalaya, or red jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as ‘jambalaya’. Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun jambalaya does not.
Here’s how to make it!
1. Cook onions, garlic, green pepper and celery (trinity) in bacon drippings or cooking oil until onion is browned.
2. Add parsley, ham, thyme, and bay leaves.
3. cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add salt, hot sauce, tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and 2 cups of water.
5. Simmer 5 minutes.
6. Add rice.
7. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
8. Add shrimp and smoked sausage.
9. Cover and simmer 10 or 15 minutes longer or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
10. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce.
This is one of my most favorite dishes to make for parties, or for the holidays – it’s a nice and more simple way to get a little cajun flavor when you are low on cash for seafood (cuz you can always add more rice!) or just don’t want to anger the creole gods by making a less than perfect gumbo.
*edit: Some folks have brought to my attention this recipe lacks exact measurements…
Let me say this: I don’t remember ever seeing grandma measure nothing, else she was baking (at which she was a *master*). This kind of cooking was just in her blood.
How much rice? Well, enough to “take care” of the water. How much garlic? How much you like, honey? That’s what she’d tell you if she was teaching you to make it; that’s pretty much the instructions I have in this old family cookbook.
Don’t worry, there is a ray of hope here. I will now provide for you a slightly different recipe (say hey to Ocean Springs, MS) .
1-2 quarts shrimp (peeled)
Chop: 1 large onion, 3-4 stalks celery, 1 small bell pepper, garlic.
Simmer in water until tender, no grease.
Add: 1 can tomato soup, sauce or paste, 1 can of water, 2-3 bay leaves, salt pepper to taste,1 teaspoon “cajun” seasoning
Simmer on low.
Cook rice (2-3 cups?) and then add to simmering shrimp – add enough rice to take care of the liquid.
Stir ONLY once.
Keep on low.
That’s the only other recipe for it I know – hope it helps! – and if you make it send pictures!! Always love seeing other foodies dishes!
The Highly Awaited Turkey N Dumplin’s recipe!