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.
Do not add the shrimp to the jambalaya until you are ready to serve it so they do no overcook.
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
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1½ cups chicken stock
1½ teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 pound smoked Andouille sausage, cut on the bias
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1½ cups long-grain white rice
1 pound extra jumbo (16/ 20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and okra to the pan and sauté until the onion is tender and the okra begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cayenne, stirring constantly until it is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Stir in the tomato paste then add the tomatoes with their liquid, chicken stock, thyme and oregano. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture has reduced, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the sausage and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage and peppers to the jambalaya and continue to cook.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium and combine the rice with 2½ cups of water. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
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.
Stir the rice into the jambalaya mixture; add the shrimp and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.