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Old 02-03-2010, 03:19 AM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
Sep 2005
West Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 1,172
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I have recently moved from Wisconsin to Louisiana and am trying to cook some local dishes. My first attempt at red beans and rice was very successful, but the I was not thrilled with the jambalaya I made yesterday.

Anyone have any tips on how to make really good jambalaya?

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Old 02-03-2010, 04:51 AM   #2

My dad picked up a recipe decades ago from a local chef in New Orleans. My dad apparently had the best jambalaya of his life from a restaraunt while on vacation there and decided to ask the cook on a whim. The guy actually gave up his recipe and my dad has been making it since then. My dad adds venison to his and it's an excellent dish. I'll call him tomorrow afternoon and see if I can con him into giving up the recipe.
He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven.

Another HERMS rig...

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
smakudwn's Avatar
Mar 2009
St.Charles, MO
Posts: 1,046
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Originally Posted by McCall St. Brewer View Post
I have recently moved from Wisconsin to Louisiana and am trying to cook some local dishes. My first attempt at red beans and rice was very successful, but the I was not thrilled with the jambalaya I made yesterday.

Anyone have any tips on how to make really good jambalaya?
id like the recipe to your red beans and rice please!

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
SpanishCastleAle's Avatar
Jan 2009
Central Florida
Posts: 4,345
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I just searched for Justin Wilson's recipe (he's the guy that always says; "I garontee"), thinking he must have a good recipe but his recipe doesn't have any tomato in it nor any shrimp (no chopped celery either). Since Emeril is from LA I searched for one of his recipes and it looks good (or at least more like I would expect it to look). Here's Emeril's recipe.

I've made jambalaya several times but I just wing it (and it's usually made with leftover cooked chicken) so I don't have a specific recipe. But it's similar to Emeril's. Sometimes I just make it without rice and then ladle it over rice.

Maybe if you post the recipe you made someone could 'troubleshoot' it. Did you use stock and not just water?
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
Jan 2009
Chicago, Il
Posts: 1,330
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I usually wing it, but it comes out close to what Emeril's recipe is.

I almost never add the rice to the pot/crock pot. I usually serve on rice. When I make jumbalaya, I'm the only one in the house eating it (SWMBO doesn't eat anything spicy, or with meat), and it doesn't seem to keep well with the rice already in there.

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
Oct 2009
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,370
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zataran's jambalaya mix and andouille sausage.

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
XXguy's Avatar
Dec 2008
Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,118
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Click down below on the "similar threads" and read the one on Zatarain's ..... I got some good info out of that thread before.

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:54 PM   #8
Beerrific's Avatar
Mar 2007
Posts: 5,562
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I once asked a friend that was friend of a guy who won the Jambalaya contest at the Jambalaya Festival a few years back. He does not have a written recipe, he does it all by taste, but has some guidelines. Here is my expanded version of that:

1.Cook some chicken (boneless) and andouille (you can also use chunks of pork) in oil (I use corn oil) in the bottom of a cast iron pot.
2.Take out the meat once it is pretty well browned (does not need to be completely cooked), put it aside.
3.Add more oil if neede, use you judgment here. You need the oil, don't skimp.
4.Add the trinity: onion, celery, green bell pepper. (I use roughly equal amounts cutting the celery and pepper very, very fine leaving the onion rougher; maybe 1c each for a big pot).
5.Cook well, they should be soft, translucent and almost turning brown.
6.Add the meat back.
7.Here is the key: cook this mixture until "black $h!t starts to form on the bottom." (his quote). This is where you get a lot of flavor and color. If stuff is starting to burn and you don't have enough color, add a little Worcester sauce (or soy sauce in a pinch).
8.Add ~2-3 cloves of garlic and let it cook a bit. You don't want it to burn.
9.Add water according to how much rice you want to make. I just use the amounts on the pack of rice. I use regular long grain rice. It has been my experience that if you use anything else it won't taste right.
10.Once you get that water in there, you want to season it. Make your own blend, here is where I start at a minimum:
-Salt (remeber you are seasoning all that rice)
-Black pepper
-Cayenne pepper
-Garlic powder
-Onion powder
To a lesser extent:
-dried basil, thyme and oregano (make sure any herbs are a dried powder, I don't want to see green in my Jambalaya)
-chili powder
11.Taste the water. You have to get the spices right here, take into account that you are seasoning a lot of rice.
12.Bring to boil, add the rice and cook the rice like normal.
13.When the rice is done, take a wooden spoon and stir the pot once from bottom to top, do not over stir or it will get mushy.
14.Serve. I spice mine to my taste in the pot, but if you want you can add some hot sauce in the bowl. But, most of the Jambalaya I have had is not that hot.

This is making my mouth water, I think I am going to make some this weekend.

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:58 PM   #9
BioBeing's Avatar
Jan 2009
Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,520
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I make a version of Emeril's turkey and sausage jamalaya from, IIRC, his NOLA cookbook. It is great with left over roast turkey or chicken.. almost as good as his gumbo! In fact, whenever I roast a chicken, I always do an extra one specifically for gumbo or jambalaya. Or, get one of those pre-roasted ones from the store.

One key I have found is to use a quality sausage. This really adds a lot of the flavour/character of the dish. I prefer it with a "real" (or as close as we can get in Memphis) andoulie sausage, but that is too spicy for my children. A good compromise for us is Costco's chicken andoulie sausage. I also do not like shrimp or sea food in general, so don't add any of that.

What I'll do is saute 1 onion, 1 stick of celery, 1 green and/or 1 red bell pepper, maybe a carrot if I have one. Whatever I have laying around, basically. When tender add several smushed cloves of garlic and salt, some Emeril's cajun seasoning and a pinch of cayenne, to taste! Add about 1 lb of sliced sausage, and brown. Add 2-3 cups of rice, enough chicken stock (and sometimes, a can of crushed tomatoes) and the roughly chopped cooked chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and cook till rice is done, about 20 mins. Fluff with a fork and serve.

I have to make it fairly tame, so serve with a good bottle of hot sauce on the table!

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Old 02-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #10
McCall St. Brewer
Sep 2005
West Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 1,172
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Wow, thank you everyone. I think I see the biggest area where I went wrong- I stirred my rice and it turned out creamy like risotto.

Also, I now remember watching on tv a show about the jambalaya contest. It was interesting how the ingredients for the competition jambalaya were so limited. No tomatoes, for example.

I think I'm going to try a version without them.

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