This recipe is a great starting place for jambalaya. It's basic and works well - I make this a few times a year when I have people over, and it's always well received (e.g. people destroy the pot and there are no leftovers).
However, I definitely tweak the recipe for my liking:
(1) I leave out the bacon (just use some vegetable oil instead). Too much of a pain, and you can't taste the bacon anyway.
(2) Get rid of the 1/2 lb ham, 1/2 lb chicken, 1/2 lb smoked sausage, 1/2 lb shrimp. I use 2 lbs of andouille sausage instead (you MUST use andouille. It doesn't taste right without it). Some people like shrimp in their jambalaya, I don't. I find it too bright.
(3) Technically, you're supposed to use long grain rice (e.g. Uncle Ben's), but I find it doesn't really matter. It tastes just fine with Jasmine rice.
(4) "20 minutes" is BS. It's more like 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes, check it and stir every now and then. You'll know it's ready once there's no more water at the bottom (it's all been absorbed/evaporated).
(5) "2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning" is also BS, unless you like flavorless food. I just put a lot in. You really need to use Tony Chachere's or Zatarains - the off-brand creole seasonings don't taste right to me. Generally, I'll start with something like 4 tablespoons in and a little bit of black pepper and Tabasco. The seasoning is really up to you.
[Source: I'm from New Orleans and jambalaya is my dish of choice.]
1 user found this review helpful
Oct. 20, 2013