Jambalaya in Louisiana means “cleaning up the kitchen”. On Sunday afternoons, after a weekend of jazz, dancing, and drinking, folks would fill a huge pot with rice and whatever vegetables and meats were lying around to make a enough jambalaya to feed an army of hungry partiers. It’s not surprising that early Creole chefs would combine their “Holy Trinity” of onion, green pepper, and celery, with the Jollof Rice that the early slaves brought with them from West Africa and then enhance it with local vegetables, meats, and spices. Jambalaya is almost always served with a warm, crusty baguette.
New Orleans Creole Sausage and Ham Jambalaya
- Large Dutch oven with cover or large heavy pot
- Food processor (optional)
- 1½ lb Hot andouille sausage or another
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1½ lb Smoked Tasso ham(or another), diced
- 4 medium Onions, chopped
- 5 ribs Celery, chopped
- 2 Green bell peppers, chopped
- 26 oz Can of diced tomatoes
- 6 cups Beef or chicken stock
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 4 Bay leaves
- ¼ tsp Each: powdered allspice and cloves
- ½ tsp Dried ground thyme
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Each: salt, ground pepper, cayenne pepper
- 4 cups Raw white rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup Uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional).
- 1 bunch Scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- Prep – Slice sausage into ½-inch disks. Cut ham into ½-inch dice. Rinse and drain rice a few times. Chop all vegetables, either by hand or in a food processor. Measure out beef or chicken stock.
- Make Base – In a large pot, add oil and cook sausage slices over medium-high heat until browned, a few minutes. Diced ham is added next and cooked for about 3 minutes. Stir in onions, green peppers, garlic and celery. Cook until soft, about 5 more minutes. Add all the spices, bay leaves, and diced tomatoes with liquid. Cook a few minutes and then add stock and simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat..
- Cook Jambalaya – Add rice and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce the heat to very low. After 15 minutes, remove cover, and stir. If using shrimp, add now. Return cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Stir in scallion, cover, and cook 5 minutes more. Rest jambalaya off the heat for 5 minutes with a kitchen towel between the pot and cover. Remove cover and towel, adjust salt. Fluff-up rice with a fork and serve in bowls with warm crusty French bread and Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce on the side.