Well yet another adventure that begins with me watching the Food Network on the weekend.  One of my favorite personalities is Anne Burrell , she is kind of a bigger girl with a LOT of spunk.  I have said before and will say it again, I am not sure I trust those skinny bitches in the kitchen.  😀 So she was making Jambalaya and it occurred to me that I have most of those ingredients right here and many of them would be from the garden.  I have made this recipe now 3 times and I still like it!  First let me educate you on the things I learned this morning while doing a little research.  Jambalaya to me wasn’t any different that Gumbo and I was compelled to intermix the ingredients.  Thanks to our friend Wikipedia we shall know the difference:

Jambalayais traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture. There are two primary methods of making jambalaya. Jambalaya is normally considered a Cajun cuisine. The first and most common is Creole jambalaya (also called “red jambalaya”). First, meat is added to the trinity of celery, peppers, and onions; the meat is usually chicken and sausage such as andouille or smoked sausage. Next vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, followed by seafood. Rice and stock are added in equal proportions at the very end. The mixture is brought to a boil and left to simmer for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the recipe, with infrequent stirring. Towards the end of the cooking process, stirring usually ceases. Some versions call for the jambalaya to be baked after the cooking of all the ingredients.

Gumbois a stew or soup which originated in south Louisiana. It consists primarily of a strong stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onion. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder, or the French base made of flour and fat, roux. The dish likely derived its name from the either the African word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).



• 2 pounds medium gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into rounds
• 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 4 cups of stock
• 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• Kosher salt
• Pinch crushed red pepper
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
• 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cups long-grain rice (I am going to recommend Basmati)
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 1 bundle fresh thyme
• 5 scallions, whites and greens thinly sliced, for garnish

Now we need to discuss the ingredients.  First off I don’t care for shrimp and I in no way used 2 lbs.  In the first batch it was a hand full, second about 1/2 a bag frozen for a double batch and this time 1/2 lb.  I also didn’t use the shells to make stock because there were none.  OK that is a lie last night I used the dozen shells to make about 1 cup of stock.  Next is the Sausage.  First 2 tries I used smoked sausage in the every day variety and something along the lines of this.  This last time I picked up some andouille and use the chicken sausage.  I wanted to use the chicken sausage because it is healthier and has less calories.  Alright the other interesting thing here is STOCK. I used home made but there was an interesting twist one of the times.  I had smoked a pile of chicken leg quarters, once the meat was picked from the bones I threw them in a pot and made stock from them.  WOW it was some good stuff.  I recommend using your own stock because you can pronounce all the ingredients used in making the stock, go read a can of stock — right.  Money saving tip for you, if you have run out of tomatoes from your garden then you have to buy canned.  You can go to Sam’s club and GFS and pick up giant can of whole tomatoes (102 oz) that is more than 3 – 28 oz cans for under $3.  I just packaged and froze the rest.  Use whole tomatoes they have more flavor, just cut them with kitchen sheers in what ever you have measured them in.  Now back to the prep work.


Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the andouille and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage starts to brown. Add the peppers, celery, and onion to the pan, season with salt and a pinch crushed red pepper. Cook 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture has softened and is very aromatic. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne. Stir in the rice. Add 4 cups stock, bay leaves, and thyme bundle. Season with salt and taste it to make sure you are on the way to something delicious. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until the rice is done. First attempts at this were partial fails because we used brown long grain rice that takes FOREVER to cook. You don’t want to add the shrimp until the rice is done and you are about ready to serve. Add the Shrimp, they take somewhere between 5-7 minutes to cook and will turn pink when ready. We have served this every time with green onions as a garnish (but I don’t think you need it) and crusty baguettes (yes you NEED those!).

Variations, right or wrong we put okra in our Jambalaya. 1st it cooked away to nothing and you didn’t know it was there. So if you are going to add it, wait and add it with the shrimp. Every time we used different colored peppers because that is what we had diced in the freezer, it looks pretty. And lastly I used some frozen diced yellow squash in the final batch. Those are pretty tender so added them with the shrimp.


This is great for left overs and for feeding large crowds.  You can make it as spicy or not spicy as you like.  ENJOY!

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