If you can’t be cramped into the swelling streets of the French Quarter today, making this jambalaya is your next best bet.
I’ve never been to New Orleans, and I’m just about dying to go. Truth be told, Mardi Gras is likely not the time of year I’d choose to visit – I’m just not into the whole Times Square on New Year’s types of crowds. Jazz Fest seems like it would be much more my style.
I do, however, love the theme of Mardi Gras. I’m already planning to do a masquerade party for my 30th birthday (yes, I just had my 26th – and no, I don’t care about any birthday from now until then). What’s more fun than beads, massive Hurricane cocktails, and glittered/feathered/sequin masks as far as the eye can see?
New Orleans is a true foodie city, and that is probably what draws me to it most. And while they’re known for heat and spice, what they’re really all about is explosive flavor.
This jambalaya recipe is a perfect ode to the city and Fat Tuesday – which is today! I’m not sure if I’d ever had jambalaya before, but it reminded me a lot of paella. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s actually incredibly easy. I adapted the recipe I found to include celery, which is traditional in jambalaya, and I also added shrimp at the end. To build more flavor, I also browned the meat first. Just keep in mind – this is spicy! If you want to take it down a notch, feel free to omit some of the jalapeño seeds.
Have any of you been to New Orleans? I’d love to hear about your favorite things to do, see, and eat – of course!
Adapted from Bon Appétit
- 1 pound andouille sausage or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 jalapeño chili, finely chopped with seeds
- 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4-5 cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes, diced, with liquid
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp
In two batches, brown sausage and ham in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove meat and set aside. Melt butter in Dutch oven and add onions, 4 green onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, jalapeño, Creole Seasoning, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in tomato paste. Add sausage, ham, broth, and tomatoes. Bring mixture to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice and continue to cook for another 30-40 minutes, or until rice is just about cooked through. Add shrimp and cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining green onion and serve.