It's always fun to try a new recipe. Especially when it's a southern dish :) My first time making Jambalaya was a success! And I wanted to share it with you guys because if I can make it, then you can too! (Don't let the list of ingredients scare you!! I know it looks like a lot but it's mainly vegetables and spices)
One good thing about Jambalaya is it gets better over time, which is great for this recipe because it makes a ton! So unless you're feeding an army (or a house full of boys), you'll most likely have some leftovers. Not only that, but if you see something that you don't like, you can easily substitute something else in its place. I'll confess to you the things that I substituted (or left out)...most of it was on accident.
I started preparing and chopping everything, and as I went down the list I got to tomatoes. So I went to get a tomato out of the refrigerator...and it wasn't there. At first I panicked a little bit (how can you not put tomatoes in Jambalaya?!) but I didn't have a choice so I had to leave them out. Also, you'll see there is no green pepper in my pictures. That's because all we had was yellow and orange. And since regular shrimp are too expensive for me :) I just used salad shrimp (they're smaller and about half the price). I also didn't want to spend the money to buy fresh herbs, so I just used dry herbs in smaller amounts.
I learned my lesson...next time I'm going to try a new recipe, I need to make sure I have all of the ingredients (I'm a total rule-follower when it comes to cooking and baking). Thankfully it didn't matter with this recipe because it still tasted AMAZING despite my lack of observation. So there, you have proof that substituting (or leaving out) is ok with this recipe. (I'm only talking about the small things though. Obviously you can't leave out the stock or the rice)
I hope you're feeling as adventurous as I was and try this recipe. I think you'll love it!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, sliced
1 pound smoked ham, cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 cup seeded and diced tomato
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced OR 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons diced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon diced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 dashes hot sauce, optional
1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, dived
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound medium shrimp, deveined (20 to 24 count)
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or black iron pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute for 8 to ten minutes, until browned. Remove the sausage to a bowl, and set aside.
Add the ham to the same pot and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to the bowl with the sausage and set aside.
Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeño or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well.
Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, ham, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the scallions, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice, and the shrimp, and stir well. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to steam, for 15 minutes, before serving.
Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup scallions and 1/2 cup parsley, and add a dash of hot sauce, if desired.
Inspired by Ina Garten