Jambalaya, like ribs leads to arguments over which style recipe is better and what ingredients should go into it. Typically there are two main types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. Creole, or red jambalaya, is made with tomatoes along with the meat and vegetables. Cajun jambalaya does not have tomatoes and is more of a brownish color. Both have what is referred to as the “holy trinity” onion, celery and green bell pepper.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 clove garlic, minced
½ medium yellow onion, diced
¼ cup chopped celery
15 fresh okra pods, sliced into ½” rounds
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1½ cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 pound Andouille sausage
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1½ cups uncooked white, long-grain rice
1 pound extra jumbo (16/ 20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place a large pot over medium-high heat; add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic, onion, celery and okra. Sauté until the onion is translucent and tender and okra begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cayenne and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, until the cayenne is fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste until combined, then add the peeled tomatoes with their liquid, chicken stock, thyme and oregano. Let simmer until the mixture has reduced, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile in a sauté pan add the sausage and peppers. Cook until the Andouille sausage is cooked through and browned on all sides. Remove from the heat, and slice the sausage into circles. Add the sausage and peppers to the jambalaya pot and continue to cook.
While that simmers cook the rice with 2 ½ cups of water until all of the water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Pat the shrimp dry then season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a sauté pan add the remaining olive oil and cook the shrimp until pink, about a minute to 2 minutes on each side. So they do not overcook, do not add the shrimp to the jambalaya until you are ready to serve it.
To Serve: Stir the rice into the jambalaya mixture; add the shrimp and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #cwcr - I love getting to see what you make!