Thursday, May 22, 2008

Creole Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya with a Side of Newman

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!



Ingredients:
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

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chef John! This is Chef Lin Chen. I got this website from your wife. Have long time not see/hear from you, i just like to see hi and wish you evrything is well.

Anonymous said...

That looks good!

Love New Orleans! Its one of America's greatest treasures for culinary and musical experiences.

Chef John said...

Thanks! Great to hear from you!

Bill W, NH said...

I promise to watch the video before I comment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef. Thank you for a very enjoyable web site. I've always heard that "creole" was the more sophisticated cuisine, leaning toward French, while "cajun" was the more rustic. Kind of country mouse vs. city mouse. But I think they are used interchangeably now. Nice touch w/ the brown rice, too.

Chef John said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

WOW! This is happining tonight! But please educate me.....Why leave the tails on?
I'm learning.

chef_the_city said...

do you watch Top Chef?

if so, check out my recap at:

http://chefthecity.blogspot.com

Dan said...

One of my all-time favorites.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Cajun is derived from Acadian, those who descended from early French Canadian settlers, who were banished from Nova Scotia in early 1700's and settled in Southern Louisiana. Creole comes from the French and Spanish settlers together.

Chef John said...

I just like how the tails look, and its nice to pick up the shrimp by the tail and suck out that little piece of meat. The shell makes it extra sweet.

Ann Marie said...

I was so excited to see you posted a classic New Orleans dish! A hint on the ingredients, if you don't feel like chopping veggies, get the Creole Seasoning Mix in the "cold foods" section of your grocery store. I know they sell it here (New Orleans) but I would hope they'd sell it everywhere. It's basically chopped onions, bell pepper, celery all combined into one handly container. It's a must-have in my fridge and it stays fresh for a good while. Also, invest in some Tony Chachere's if you can. A great spice mix for any dish. If shrimp aren't in season, chicken is great in Jambalaya as well. Overall, I find Jambalaya to be even better the next day.

Come visit us in New Orleans! It's festival season and the smell of crawfish boils, fried seafood, and even Jambalaya (although it's getting a little hot outside for that) are lingering around every corner!

Chef John said...

I so envious! I've never been. The store's here sell carrot, celery onion mixes, but I haven't seen the "trinity"

I would LOVE to come to NO, what kind of accommodations are we talking about?? :)

Ann Marie said...

Oh and the difference between cajun and creole...creole foods tend to have tomato based prducts and cajun foods do not.

Examples of creole: red fish courtbouillon (COO-be-yawn) or (coo-be-YAWN); grits and grillades (gree-odds); crawfish etouffee

Examples of cajun: fried [insert favorite seafood here] poboys, gumbo, boudin (boo-dan)

Ann Marie said...

Oh and the difference between cajun and creole...creole foods tend to have tomato based prducts and cajun foods do not.

Examples of creole: red fish courtbouillon (COO-be-yawn) or (coo-be-YAWN); grits and grillades (gree-odds); crawfish etouffee

Examples of cajun: fried [insert favorite seafood here] poboys, gumbo, boudin (boo-dan)

Ann Marie said...

Wait a second. You're showing people how to make Jambalaya and you've never even been to New Orleans??? tsk tsk tsk.

This really is a great time to visit. Neighborhood festivals pop up every weekend. They are free, full of great music, and restaurants set up booths and serve delicious food (not free of course). It's a great time to sample cuisine from all of your favorite restaurants. Granted, it's getting hot and muggy, but a tasty sno-ball will cool you off.

Ok I'm done trying to sell New Orleans to your viewers.

Scott said...

First off, LOVE your videos and so does my wife since she gets to eat everything I try from your videos.

One question.. How come you never put serving size on your recipes? is it for 2, 4, 6?? : )

U THE MAN!!

Scott

Chef John said...

One wife's 4 is another wife's 6.

This makes 4 portions...depending.

Scott said...

Thanks John,

I'm cooking this tonight for my wife. She loves the spicy food!! I'll let ya know how it goes over.

Keep the videos coming. You are the first to really keep me coming back for more!

Enjoy the 3 day!

Scott

Chuck said...

John,

I love the dish and Cajun food. My wife and I are heading to New Orleans in mid July. We are going there for the food. Not to sure what restaurants we're going to yet but, it should be a tasty holiday!

michelle @ TNS said...

it is a crying shame that i've never been to new orleans, because i love both cajun and creole cooking. this jambalaya is making my mouth water.

Kevin said...

That looks really tasty!

Gunnar said...

Another excellent recipe! Thanks!

Mine is on flickr :)

Chef John said...

looks perfect!

Cindy. Lo. said...

God I love jambalaya!

Scott - Boston said...

Luckily, I'm going to NO next week for an expo. I've never been. Does anyone need anything while I'm there? :)

I'll report back.

Scott - Boston

robert said...

Hey chef john, this looks so good but my wife is allergic to shrimp, is there a good alternative rather then leaving it out?

Scott from SF said...

Well. Cooked it for my wife. Everything went great until I added the shrimp before checking if the rice was really 5 minutes out. I cooked the brown rice to the package directions of about 50 minutes. At 45 it looked as if it was going to be done in 5 so in went the shrimp.

After a good 5 I checked the rice and it was not even close to being done. The flavor was great but not the rice. I added more liquid and gave it another 10 minute. Still rice was hard. Not sure what went wrong here. I guess i'll try it again and use a bit more liquid and give it a bit longer to cook. Any thoughts?

Chef John said...

If she decides to stay with you, and you get to try again... Check the rice after 45-50 minutes and if it's getting dry add more stock, no problem adjusting that.

The flame may have been higher, or the lid not tight and some evaporated away. Next time add liquid and keep cooking-don't worry about over cooking the shrimp! Hard rice is worse that over cooked shrimp. Also - to play it really safe, you can even wait until the rice is perfect and then add the shrimp as it only takes a couple minutes and the rice will not over cook that much.

Chef John said...

Scott, can you mail me a po'boy?

texichan said...

Nice video! I've lived in Houston the majority of my life, so Cajun and Creole foods are in my blood, along with the TexMex, barbecue, chili, steak, Southern fare, etc. :P

I'd say there's a bit more of a difference between Cajun and Creole. Cajun is pretty simple, heavy on rice, beans, seafood. Cajuns are closer to the Texas/Louisiana border in the west. Creole was mostly developed around New Orleans, and it's kind of a mixture (as the name "creole" implies) of several different cuisines, as NO was always an important port city. So, the food is generally a good deal fancier. Lots of people get the two confused, and generalize one or the other to encompass all - but, really, they are different! Sometimes similar, but there are distinctions.

I could go for a fried crawfish poboy now!

Chef John said...

robert, use chicken instead of shrimp

Scott - Boston said...

Scott - Boston

Chef, I work for a non-profit company during the day and am a musician at night.
So, "...mail me a po'boy?" Hell, you're talking to one!

Chef John said...

speaking of sandwiches and poor boys, remember the song on the Blues Brother's album about the "wish" sandwiches?

Anonymous said...

Chef John! I love your videos! Thanks so much for all the new recipes and keep up the great work!
-Kylie :)

Chef John said...

thanks! i will.

Joe Horn said...

Cool recipe. I just found your blog while looking around for other shrimp recipes. I just recently posted a recipe for Caramel and Ginger Shrimp that I adapted from “The Spended Table” cookbook and posted it on my blog @ http://cookingquest.wordpress.com if you would like to come take a look. I love feedback and other cook's opinions for sure.

Thanks and have a great one!

Joe

Nicole said...

Hi, native New Orleanian here. Just wanted to let everyone know that Cajuns are indeed the folks exiled from France & Canada, they brought their French influenced cuisine with them. The creole influence is the heat & spice brought with the slaves from the West Indies & the Spanish. 1 other tid bit is that we call the 3 main ingredients that start almost all food here (onions, celery, bell pepper)the holy trinity! The dish looks good, but please no tails on the shrimp & way more rice!

sam rod said...

hello chef john my name is sam and i just finish cooking the shrimp jambalaya it was a hit i thank you very much my wife an kids now call me master chef sam i owe you one.

sam minneola fl

John said...

Hi Chef John,

I made this recipe today and it was delicious. You were right about the brown rice. It brought a nice nutty flavor to the dish. Now ill be
forced to use the rest haha

John - Los Angeles

DavewinPS said...

How about making a stock out of the shrimp shells, as you did in your shrimp ragu dish that you presented with the (luscious!) corn custard? Use in place of, or to supplement the chicken stock?

Sorry about the sentence structure, but I've gotta run ...

Chef John said...

yes, that would be a great idea!

Nishant said...

I just made this dish, and it was awesome. Thanks Chef John!

Constantin Moraru said...

Hi Chef John.

Do you have a recipe on site of how to make chicken stock ?
I can't find it in my near stores.

Thanks

Grace said...

wow, this looks so good; can i substitute a scallop, or clam or some sort of fish for the shrimp since I'm deathly allergic to shrimp? If so, what would be my best bet for the closest taste/texture/etc?

:(

Chef John said...

scallops are closest

Marta (Comeaux) Morgan said...

I know this is pretty old post, but the basic difference between creole and cajun is creole is everything made with tomatoes.. cajun usually no tomatoes... I'm cajun and I never seen anything cooked with tomatoes.. And dark roux.... MMMMMmmmmm... I love me some fricassee, cher!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Delicious, delicious. I have craved for Jamabalaya since I first had it at Nola's in Palo Alto many years ago. This is one I'll be doing over and over again.

Thomas

Blood Red Roses said...

My boyfriend had a craving for jambalaya and I had an inkling you'd have a recipe. The flavor of this dish is, impossibly, even better the next day! It also had the perfect amount of veggie-to-other-stuff ratio and not too much heat. The only downside is the brown rice, which is just too chewy for my tastes. Luckily, Whole Foods lets you bag a ridiculously small portion - $1.27 worth. I think I'll just pour the stew over some steamed white rice next time. Oh, and my boyfriend thought you were Alton Brown - no really!

Sy said...

I made this but added more sausage and deleted the shrimp due to my son's allergies. It was SO delicious. I kept wondering what I could cook as a side, but we just ate it solo.
Bravo, Chef John!

Rodge said...

Hello Chef,

You asked in your video the difference between Cajun and Creole. Cajun is derived Acadian, French people who lived in Acadia. Acadia was what is now three Canadian Provinces : New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In in 1755, the British Troops, after defeating the Frenchs, deported a big part of the French population to Louisiana. I am not sure about Creole but my Haitian friends do refer to their cooking as Creole. I guess you can find more in History books. There is a very popular Cajun signer in Louisiana called Zachary Richard (http://www.zacharyrichard.com/).
Hope this brings some light.

Yoonhee said...

Hello John, Thank you for the recipe. Your jambalaya became one of my boyfiend's favorite food. Thanks again.

Anna said...

Long time watcher, first time cooker. This recipe inspired me to try jambalaya for the first time. I substituted the spices with a Creole spice blend I make at home, but otherwise, amazing!

Michele said...

I was thrilled to find your video online so I could see exactly what to do to make this marvelous dish. (I think I was a little heavy handed on the cayenne pepper, but still relish).
Thanks again for being my teacher.

Jesse said...

Hi Chef John, this looks delicious! How many does this recipe serve?

Chef John said...

probably 4 large bowls

Crazy Daisy Arts said...

I just made this last night and it was delicious! A little too spicy perhaps, I might cut back a little on the heat next time but it was delicious. I'm excited to dig in to the left overs :)

lisa0116 said...

Just made this and it is wonderful! Better than the Jambalaya I had on a visit to N.O.. I used home grown tomatoes, green bellpepper, and bay leaf! Used half of a vidalia onion for the onion..had no green ones. I put in chorizo leftover from yesterday in place of the shrimp. Used a regular smoked sausage..the chorizo gave the spice. Just scrumptious!! Thank you Chef John!!!

Lisa in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

tried this recipe and it was awesome! awesomeness about it was that it was easy to make without compromising the delicious flavor. thanks for sharing. :)

Robert said...

Hello Chef John,

First let me say that I've made a lot of your recipes and I've loved them all. I made this last night - scaled it up to 6 servings - but didn't change anything besides omitting the green pepper.

It was good but it tasted like the cumin overpowered the dish. The adjusted recipe called for 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin. Should I have not added so much? Or could I have done something technically wrong like not letting it saute in the butter long enough?

Thanks for the help and please keep your recipes coming!

Robert said...

Any chance on getting an answer to yesterday's cumin question? Thanks!!

Chef John said...

You didn't do anything wrong, but maybe you just don't like that much cumin. Taste is subjective, so all spices. salt, etc. need to be added "to taste" Add some taste, and add more if you want. This goes for ALL my recipes, and all recipes in general.

Crazy Daisy Arts said...

Hi Chef!
I've made this dish now several times for my boyfriend, parents and friends and everyone absolutely loves it (especially me!) I usually cook and eat a lot of Italian foods so this was a nice change. It's delicious and I could seriously eat this every week. Thank you for all your great recipes, you're a genius. And you're helping amateur home cooks like myself learn a lot and try new things. YUM! Thank you!

cookinmom said...

All I can say is excellent...had to double with my crowd. I have kids with hollow legs. Kept it at 1 lb. of large shrimp but doubled the sausage. Again EXCELLENT! TKS CHEF!!

Megan Braga said...

Hi Chef,
My name is Megan. I am 24 years old and I am from Boston. I must express my feelings. I recently discovered foodwishes.com and have become OBSESSED. I visit your site on a daily basis. Today, I was thinking of maybe trying to cook something with duck fat, so I went on youtube and entered my search. I saw a potato with duck fat recipe video so I clicked on it. When I heard your voice, I melted. I was so happy it was one of your recipes!! Had I known you had a duck fat recipe, I would have gone straight to your site. Silly me!! Cooking is truly a passion of mine and I want to get better and better. Your videos guide and direct me. AND, you cut out all the "in between" boring parts of the video. You keep it clear, concise, and best of all- FUNNY!! You are so funny I laugh over here in my little cubicle. And then my colleagues ask me what I am laughing about and then I brag about you. What really made me realize how much I loved foodwishes.com was when I got a little tipsy last Saturday and I started bragging about you LOL!! Chef John, I decided to leave a post on this recipe in particular because this is the first one I made and I will always have a soft spot for it. It's funny, I dated a dude for 2 weeks and cooked him dinner and ran into this website. Even though he is a bonehead now, I am glad I met him and cooked dinner for him because it brought me to you!! With the cold winter approaching, I am going to conquer your soup section. You are such an inspiration! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Meg

Chef John said...

Thank you, Meg!! :) You're going to make someone a very lucky man.

Mindy Brown said...

Chef John! I made this last night and it was a hit! First time and it came out perfectly. Don't know why I imagined this dish would be complicated, but it couldn't have been easier.

Thanks so much!
Mindy

ajuniverse said...

Chef John,
Still waiting for the rice to cook, and I put a bit too much cayenne but I'm down for spicy. But the saucy part is smelling and tasting delicious! Thank you for such an excellent recipe! My boyfriend and I are huge fans. You're charming and make us excited to cook up your plans. We already made the irish shepard's pie which was SO amazing. We were wondering if you had any recommendations of restaurants in the sf bay area? We live in Oakland but like going to Sf often. Let me know if you get a chance!
-Ajuni

Anna Berman said...

AJUniverse - spice is good! Chef John is out on a well deserved vacation this week but I am sure he'll send you a list of his favorite San Francisco restaurants when he gets back.