I think it was about a month ago or so that my husband and I were talking on Facebook with his cousin and her neighbor who live in Mississippi about a Gumbo recipe, somehow I ended up googling Jambalaya recipes, I think it was because they said a Gumbo is more soupy where a Jambalaya is more thick, which is much more up my aisle. Also, it was the first time someone really told me not to follow the recipe, “if you don’t like it, don’t put it in or find a substitute you like” the gals told me, why had I never thought of that? Usually if a recipe has something in it I don’t like I won’t make it, this one thought changed how I cook…I went on a mission for a Jambalaya recipe I could tweak and make my own, here is the original version of the recipe I found for Jambalaya.
I’ve made this about 4 times now, one time even for my in-laws when they came by for dinner, it feeds between 3 to 4 people depending on how much rice you add but it’s easily doubled if you needed to make more and everyone seems to approve and says it doesn’t taste like it’s missing any of the ingredients I left out. Below is my Jambalaya recipe or as much husband screams when I make it “MAMA’S MAKIN’ JAMBABLAYA WHOOO HOOO!”
First I start off with about 1 or 2 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large cooking pot (best if it’s non-stick type), I turn the stove on about 4.0 on my stove (so medium-low heat). While the oil is warming up I cut this Johnsonville Sausage, this one has a spicy taste to it so it gives a little kick. I only use about half of the package for my version on this recipe, anything more it’s a little overwhelming. Once I cut the sausage in half I do small slices, this helps it brown up a little easier. After it’s all cut up I transfer the sausage into the pot with the oil and let it cook for about 8 minutes until most of the pieces have a golden crust on the edges.
While the sausage is cooking in the pot I cut up my veggies, I use about ½ a white onion and a whole green pepper (sometimes I’ll add red pepper too, just depends what I have on hand) I cut these veggies as fine as I can get them. Once the sausage is browned on the edges I remove it into a small bowl next to the stove, next in goes the veggies…these need to soften up for about 5-8 minutes, they will take on a little of that brown color from the sausage that I just cooked up.
Once the veggies are nice and soft I add in one small tomato pasta can along with 2 ½ -3 cups of chicken broth (again this can vary it just depends on if you like a thicker texture or more soup like), once those 2 ingredients are mixed in you will have what looks essentially like tomato soup…bring this to a rolling boil (takes only 2 or 3 minutes). I also add in a special mixture of spices (I measure by my palm so this is all guestimation) I add in ¼ - ½ teaspoon of red cayenne pepper, season all, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Once the soup is at a boil bring it down to a simmer and add in 3 bags (or 2 cups) of easy cook rice. I prefer the bags because there’s no measuring, just cut the tops and pour it in, also I add back the sausage that I put to the side earlier, cover and the rice should cook up in about 10 minutes.
I usually already have my lemon cut in half and de-seeded (there’s always a straggler) and my frozen jumbo shrimp set out, I buy the pre-cooked, de-shelled, de-veined shrimp at the store but you could add fresh if you wanted to. Once the rice is mostly cooked and the Jambalaya is really coming together with a thicker texture add in your shrimp and squeeze in the lemon juice on top. Give everything a nice stir and cover again for about 5 minutes (shrimp don’t take long to cook up).
You can serve this on a plate, in a bowl or however you’d like, you can garnish (we’re not that fancy around here) or add in more hot sauce like my husband does. Occasionally, I will add some garlic toast but most of the time this meal is enough to stick to your ribs on its own.
Oh and my husband wanted me to let everyone know…this is 100% husband approved!