As you long time viewers know, I'm a huge Seinfeld fan, and being a chef, one of my favorite episodes is The Soup Nazi. Today's video recipe features Newman's personal favorite, jambalaya. While true jambalaya is really more of a thicker rice stew, than a soup, it's one of those dishes that more stock can be added to easily make it into a soup recipe (and feed more people, of course). I'm not sure where the myth arose that Creole and Cajun food was complicated to make. Much like French, Chinese, and Italian cuisine, the best, and most popular dishes are actually the easiest to make.
This recipe is a perfect example. There's really not much chopping, there's only a couple steps, and it's a very easy recipe to alter and adjust to your tastes. This is a perfect dinner party dish, since once it's simmering, you can enjoy the party, and not have to fuss around in the kitchen.
Speaking of dinner parties, one interesting tidbit regarding jambalaya you can fascinate your guests with has to do with the name. No one really knows the true origins of the term "jambalaya," which means I always repeat the most entertaining version.
This is from the Dictionary of American Food and Drink:
Late one evening a traveling gentleman stopped by a New Orleans inn which had little food remaining from the evening meal. The traveler instructed the cook, "Jean, balayez!" or "Jean, sweep something together!" in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as "Jean balayez."
Hey, it could of happened. Enjoy!
2 tbsp butter
8 oz Andouille sausage, or other spicy smoked sausage, sliced 1/4" thick
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup diced tomato, fresh or canned
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced 1/4" thick
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 cup brown rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined