Jambalaya (No Crawfish Pie or Filé Gumbo)

A bowl of home made Jambalaya
The Finished Product–One Plate of Jambalaya

OK–here’s some Crawfish Pie

Imagine my surprise to find that Karen Carpenter sang the Hank Williams classic Jambalaya. But much as I love the Carpenters, it just wasn’t cajun enough, know what ah mean,cher? Then I found my home town band CCR also recorded the song back in 1972. So, without further ado, here are four boys from El Cerrito, California whom you may know as Creedence Clearwater Revival, performing Jambalaya.

Sausage, onion and bell peppes being prepped for the Jambalaya.
Prep Work

What to Cook for Supper?

This has been a strange fall. After heavy snow back in October, we got through November and the beginning of December with temperatures as high as 50 degrees (Fahrenheit). The past couple of days, however, we have finally seen some snow and lower temps. Perfect weather for soups, stews, and the like. Two days ago, I made Instant Pot™ Chili. What should I make next?

I’ve been reading Greg Herren’s mysteries, which I’ll write about on Friday the 18th. I started with Murder in the Rue Dauphine and this morning I finished Bourbon Street Blues. Are you sensing a pattern in those names? Yes, Greg Herren lives in New Orleans and sets his stories there as well. Now I love New Orleans. I’ve been there twice and after the first time I seriously considered buying a winter home there. (Not a summer home. No way could I deal with the heat and humidity.) And one of the things I love about N’awlins is the food. Shrimp étoufée? Filé Gumbo? How about Jambalaya?

What do you do when your partner can’t eat spicy food?

Onion, bell pepper and celery "sweating" in the stock pot for tonight's Jambalaya.
Sweating the Vegetables

Kevin told me the chili upset his stomach. I know to avoid certain things when I cook for him. He was the one who asked for chili. I cannot use oregano. I cannot use cayenne. I’m not sure what ingredient upset him this time, but he focused on the cumin. Great, now I can’t use cumin either. I showed him the recipe for the Cooking Classy Jambalaya I wanted to make. Next, I suggested he cross off any ingredients that might cause trouble. He immediately black balled the andouille sausage, the oregano (I knew he would), the cayenne (ditto) and the thyme. What? I can’t use thyme now? But I grow it in the garden. In many different varieties.

Starting with the Cooking Classy recipe, I made the following substitutions. We had some Hillshire Farms Beef Smoked Sausage in the fridge. Kevin bought it, so it must be ok. I asked. He said sure. I omitted the oregano, thyme and cayenne altogether. Lately, rather than keep fresh garlic in the fridge, I’ve been using Gourmet Garden garlic paste in a plastic tube. A good squeeze of the tube, and I have all the garlic I need in the dish. We even had a couple bags of Walmart’s Great Value Frozen Shimp in the freezer. And last week, I took a whole chicken and made Instant Pot™ Rotisserie Chicken for supper. I used the left overs from that meal to finish my Jambalaya.

Using Word Press’s neato-keeno recipe widget, I have put my final recipe below. I call it
“No Heat Jambalaya” because the only spice comes from the sausage. If spicy foods are not a problem for the gentle stomachs in your house, by all means add some heat.

Jambalaya? What does Jambalaya even mean?

I did wonder about the etymology for the word. Doing a on-line search, I found several different explanations. Turns out, the first use of the word was in a 19th Century French poem where apparently it means rabble, or maybe mish-mash. Some sites claimed that the word was Provençal in origin. Another said absolutely not. One claimed it was a French bastardization of an Italian term. This was getting tiring. Eventually, I found the New World Encyclopedia website. There, nestled between Jamaica and James A. Naismith was Jambalaya. I found it fascinating, so I share it with you. And if you want to try my No Heat Jambalaya, here’s the recipe:

A bowl of home-made Jambalaya

No Heat Jambalaya

My partner cannot eat spicy foods, nor most herbs. This recipe contains neither.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Creole/Cajun
Servings 6 grown men

Equipment

  • Stock Pot

Ingredients
  

  • Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 12 oz Smoked Sausage
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 1 squeeze Garlic paste substitute 4 cloves, minced
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth, divided
  • 1 can Small Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 tbsp Spanish Paprika Subsitute Hungarian Paprika if you have any
  • Dash Sea Salt to taste
  • Dash Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups Long-grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 12 oz Frozen Shrimp (1 bag), peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken, chopped

Optional

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced frozen okra
  • 3 each Sliced Green Onions, both green and white parts
  • Chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Slice the smoked sausage into disks.
  • Peel and chop the onion. Chop the bell peppers and the celery. Set aside.
  • Put the stock pot on the stove and preheat. Put enough oil in the pot to cover the bottom.
  • Add the sliced sausage and brown well, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the sausage and drain on paper towels. Leave the oil in the pot.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the hot oil in the pot and stir occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent and the peppers and celery soften.
  • Add the garlic to the pot and stir for one minute.
  • Add 3 cups of the chicken broth to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the tomatoes. Stir in the rice and the browned sausage.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. 20-25 minutes. If at any time the mixture appears too dry, add in the additional cup of broth.
  • Stir in the frozen shrimp and the okra if using. Cover and continue cooking 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken. Stir in the green onion and parsley if using.
  • Serve. You may want to have hot sauce available as the dish is pretty bland as cooked.
Keyword creole jambalaya, jambalaya, Louisiana

Cooking–It’s My Topic for Mondays

If you missed last Monday’s cooking show, here’s the link. It even has my recipe for Instant Pot™ Chicken and Dumplings. Who knows what I’ll cook up for next Monday’s post. But rest assured, I’ll come up with something. Keto gingerbread, anyone?

Good-bye Joe, Me gotta go! Me-oh, My-oh.

TTFN

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