Creole Jambalaya
Food and Drink

courtesy of New Orleans Restaurateur Ralph Brennan, Excerpted from The 2014 Ultimate New Orleans Tailgate Guide,

Creole Jambalaya

"Over the decades, jambalaya has taken on a multitude of identities in south Louisiana. The classic New Orleans dish with shrimp and ham is among the “red” jambalayas, thanks to the presence of tomatoes in it. In many of the Cajun communities to the west of the city, “brown” jambalayas, with oysters, giblets and lusty country sausages, are more familiar. "

ralph brennan
Serves: 6


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds

4 ounces pickled pork or ham, cut into cubes

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

1 bunch of green onions, chopped, with white and green parts separated

1 medium-sized green pepper, chopped

2 10-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup canned tomato purée

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 whole bay leaf

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/4 teaspoon dry thyme leaves

4 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon Louisiana pepper sauce

2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked

1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled

Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a heavy, nonreactive 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the sausage and pickled pork or ham, and cook until all of the fat is rendered out of the meats, about five minutes, stirring occasionally.     

Add the yellow onions, the white part of the green onions and the sweet peppers. Cook the vegetables until they are clear, about five minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping the pan bottom clean. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, bay leaf, table salt, black pepper, cayenne and thyme. Cook and stir this base sauce about two minutes. (If the dish is being prepared ahead, allow the base sauce to cool, and then place in a lidded nonreactive container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. For the final preparation, heat the base to a boil, and proceed with the remainder of the recipe.)     

Add the chicken stock and pepper sauce to the base, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer, and simmer the liquid uncovered until it is reduced by one third, about one hour and 15 minutes. Skim off any foam or coagulates as they develop on the surface. Return the liquid to a boil, and stir in the rice.

Reduce the heat to medium, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just short of being done (it should still be a little firm in the center), about 25 minutes.

Add the shrimp, and cook until the rice is tender and the shrimp turn bright pink, about three minutes. Do not overcook. Stir in the green part of the green onions.

Serving Suggestion: Spoon the warm jambalaya onto a heated serving platter or into a wide, shallow serving bowl.