IMG_1106 jambalaya plated cropped

Jambalaya

the recipe ↓

Just a short time ago everyone was still in boots and heavy jackets, after all the complaining and torture, mother nature finally listened and started warming up everyone. In NYC there was a really brutal winter, in England it was just the opposite, sure we had tons of flooding rains, but it wasn’t nearly as cold as I expected (and I’m always cold). For the first time in a very long time I didn’t have to put on my snow boots, I didn’t even have to look at them, obviously I left them in New York knowing I wouldn’t have to trek through a foot of snow to get to the train. With these warm days it almost feels like there was no winter, doesn’t it? NYC has that interesting climate where you are wearing boots and puffy jackets one week and two weeks later you find yourself basking in the green fields of central park or strolling the boardwalks of Brooklyn forgetting the torturous winter. As the temperature is heating up outside, it’s also heating up in our kitchen… with a spicy jambalaya. jambalaya ingredientsFor some, summer is a strictly salad and waist happy foods time, for others it’s a time to celebrate your taste buds, to heat them up from the cold. Summer BBQ’s on the porch or park, beer gardens with smoked meats, a burger topped with chili, topped with cheese, topped with bacon… this recipe is for those types of days. The days where you can pre make a huge pot of spices, meats, vegetables, and carbs to eat with your friends at a BBQ or just straight out of the pot while you hover above with a large spoon. The jambalaya starts with smoked kielbasa (I suggest a Polish store for this), bacon and ham that is sautéed until it’s just crisp and set aside.jambalaya meats sauteedOnions are cooked in the rendered oils until they are soft and clear. A melody of crisp vegetables and a spicy chili pepper are added in and cooked slightly to absorb the bits in the pan.  jambalaya vegetables and meatOnce the vegetables are slightly tender, they are then placed into a larger pot and combined with the cooked meats and spices to develop on the layers of flavor. jambalaya spicesTomatoes seal the deal and add the last layer or flavor, balance the acidity, and add extra moisture. jambalaya platedThe only thing left is to add the rice and stock to create a simple, spicy, taste bud happy jambalaya. jambalaya platedAnd there you have it, lots of layers of flavor built into one dish, it can be enjoyed on its own, as a side dish, or even frozen and hidden away for a chilly fall night. jambalaya plated

Oh no… did I just mention fall in June… my bad… ah how the days go by so quickly!

        

Jambalaya - The Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 8oz smoked kielbasa, sliced and quartered (227g) (or andouille sausage)
  2. 4oz smoked bacon, diced (114g)
  3. 4oz smoked ham, diced (114g) (or shrimp)
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  6. 3 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
  7. 1/2 red pepper, diced
  8. 1/2 green pepper, diced
  9. 2 small or 1 large stalk celery, diced
  10. 1 hot red chili, diced
  11. 1/2 zucchini, diced
  12. 14oz diced/chopped canned tomatoes (390g)
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. a few whole grains of each, mustard, coriander, all spice, juniper berries, colorful peppercorn, mashed or ground
  15. 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  16. 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  17. 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  18. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  19. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  20. 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  21. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  22. 2 cups long grain white rice (depending how much rice you want in the dish)
  23. 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (depending how much rice you want in the dish)
  24. additional water or stock
Instructions
  1. Warm olive oil on medium heat in a large saucepan and add kielbasa, bacon and ham. Sauté the meats until the kielbasa is browned and crisp around the edges, do not over cook or burn the meat. Remove meats from the pan, leaving the fat/oil in the pan, and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same saucepan, reduce the heat to a medium-low and deglaze the pan with a bit of hot stock or wine, stir in onions. Cook the onions until they are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper, green pepper, celery, red chili, and zucchini to the pan and cook for an additional 7 minutes, or until the celery softens a bit but not completely.
  3. Place all the contents of the saucepan and the reserved meat into a medium-large pot. Add the bay leaf, and all remaining seasonings to the mixture and sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. Finally add the tomatoes, rice, stock and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes before reducing heat to the lowest setting. Cover and simmer until the liquid has cooked away or until the rice is tender and you have the consistency you desire, adding more stock or water if the rice is not tender enough.
Notes
  1. For a meat/vegetable heavy jambalaya, use less rice; for a rice heavy jambalaya, use more rice.
  2. As rice and cooking times vary you will need to adjust how much liquid you use and cooking times. Some rice will require less liquid and some will require more. There is also a lot of moisture in the canned tomatoes that will be absorbed into the rice.
  3. Jambalaya can be saucy or more on the dry side, this is your preference. The kielbasa can be substituted with andouille sausage and the ham with shrimp.
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2 thoughts on “Jambalaya”

  1. Wow these pictures make my mouth water! Nice Polish touch with the kielbasa ;) What would you do to make this spicy? Tabasco sauce?

    1. it is already spicy due to the chili, you can use one very hot one like a scotch bonnet and cook it down or a few mild ones. I used 1 large hot chili and chili powder. you can add some cayenne powder and maybe a tabasco for more heat.

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