I've cooked jambalaya a number of times now, and I really have no excuse for not getting it just the way I want. Even worse, I offered some to my neighbors before even tasting it; worst thing a chef (can I call myself that? probably not) can do is not taste her food first. I was late for an engagement, and I had my husband try it. Doesn't work for an excuse? Then, I've got none.
He (my husband) said it was spicy hot but in terms of overall goodness it was comparable or better than the other times I've made it. My neighbor left me a message saying she and her husband enjoyed the soup and didn't find it too spicy. But, they like spicy hot stuff. All this is to say, this recipe, the way I prepared it, may work for people who add hot sauce to everything they eat. You may not even be phased by this. However, for those who are not seasoned and adjusted to spicy foods, beware. Beware!
What follows is an abridged recipe, followed by a photo essay of part of the preparation process. I didn't take photographs of the cooking process, since I'm still at the mercy of a camera without a working flash and there was too little natural sunlight in the kitchen when I was working.
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp rubbed sage
- 2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- a few pinches of red pepper flakes
- some sea salt
- a few cloves of garlic, diced
- a small to medium sized onion, diced
- 2 things of green onions
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 package of carrots (1 lb), diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 5 or 6 small ripe tomatoes (fresh)
- small can of tomato sauce (14 oz., approximately)
- 1 cup of rice (measuring the rice before it's cooked), medium grain rice
- 1-3 cups of chicken broth
- 2 tbsp worcestershire
- chicken sausage (all natural, no preservatives or additives, no msg), cut into pieces
- 16 medium sized raw shrimp
- Cook the shrimp and chicken sausage separate from everything else. Truly successful soups, I believe, need to always do this. Don't overcook the meat and make it shrivel up super small and chewy. In a pan, I threw in the diced onion with a bit of olive oil and caramelized the onion. Once caramelized, I took most of it out and set it aside. Dropped the sliced chicken sausage into the pan. Once that was cooked thoroughly, I left the chicken broth that came through the cooking process but removed the chicken sausage and set it aside. Dropped the shrimp into the pan and cooked it until it was done. Again, I set the shrimp aside.
- In a large pot (I used a stock pot, because I'm known for making huge quantities), everything else goes in - the vegetables, the herbs, chicken broth, water, the garlic, etc. I cooked the rice separately, in a rice cooker; and once the rice was done, it, too, went into the pot. Once everything has had time to soak up the flavor and the vegetables are tender to liking, put in the onions, chicken sausage, and shrimp; the soup is ready to serve.
Keep following along in this post for the photo essay and for some cutting tips, if you're interested.
Here are the ingredients I used this time cooking:
Ground mustard seed.
Ground black pepper.
Ground white pepper.
Cayenne pepper. This is the sort of pepper that takes the heat up exponentially.
Red chili pepper flakes. I love Trader Joe's. They need to open some stores here in the Denver area. Please?!!!!
Fine sea salt.
Garlic. Oh how I long for you.
Medium yellow onion. It was the cheapest of the onions available.
15 oz can of tomato sauce.
Worcestershire sauce. Mmmmm.
Rice - medium grain. I cannot live without you.
Raw shrimp with shell in tact.
Chicken sausage - no preservatives or additives or msg. All natural. Made daily.
Thus begins the preparation process.
Peel and cut the ends off.
Sometimes into quarters.
Celery, cut into somewhat small pieces.
Onion - cut off one end.
And then cut off the other end. Peel the top layer off and throw away.
Cut in half this way.
Then slice thinly from one end to the other like so.
Then I sliced perpendicular from the last, two cuts.
Green onions. Chop somewhat fine.
Dice the garlic.
Tomatoes. I don't have a problem with the seeds or any other part. First, cut each tomato in half.
Then cut them into wedges like this.
Then finish the dicing process by cutting them in a perpendicular position.
Ready to make your own?