Jambalaya Juggle

in qurator •  last month  (edited)

There are certain things about Sunday Suppers that are always a juggle: the kitchen arrangements, for starters. It's an open plan space and a large proportion of the space is occupied by the stove and other appliances. Working surfaces are limited, so I have to be super organised. To begin with, there was a lot of juggling which, with practise and better organisation, has become a lot easier. Like ensuring I've got all the bits out and don't have to go thundering around the house to fish out dessert dishes or ice bowls or... It doesn't really matter as long as I'm not having to make like a duck diving for food in a pond when our guests are enjoying supper.

Different seasons also present juggles of a different kind. Each week's menu needs to suit both carnivores and vegetarians which, somehow, in summer is easier to do. Not that I am complaining. I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy discovering dishes that are sufficiently versatile that they can accommodate a range of dietary requirement. One of these is the humble jambalaya.

A couple of years ago, I had a short stint doing streetfood type suppers for a friend of mine who has a little wine bar in the village. When winter approached, the type of fare had to shift from a boerwors roll (a type of hot dog) to something that might be a little more substantial and which would stay hot. Anyhow, for various reasons I canned the idea of stir fry (I don't have the equipment and when the wind howls - as it does - the gas flame just blows out). Similarly, paella and risotto went the same way, but for different reasons, but my research - which was focused on the vegetarians - threw up a Jambalaya recipe.

I had only ever heard or read about Jambalaya in novels set in Louisianna or New Orleans. The word had certain appeal. And I liked the basic ingredients - onions, peppers, butternut squash - and, of course herbs and spices including chilli. I had found a one-size-would-fit-all dish: with the addition of slices of chorizo or similar some cooked chicken or shrimp, I had found the solution.

Suffice it to say that that first attempt was a hit. I came home without as much as a grain of rice. I have since looked a little more into the origin of the dish and, like the bredie I wrote about a while ago, it's a great exaple of the fusion of foods from different cultures, and reflecting the history of Louisiana:

Jambalaya has its origins in several rice-based dishes well attested in the Mediterranean cuisines of Spain, West Africa and France, especially in the Spanish dish paella (native to Valencia), West African dish jollof and the French dish known as jambalaia (native to Provence). Other seasoned rice-based dishes from other cuisines include pilaf, risotto and Hoppin' John. (Source)

I have, since making that the first time, made some adjustments, some necessitated by my own preferences and others simply because of what may (or may not be available). One of the key changes is to replace the herbs with McGregor Herbes de Provence and to roast the butternut and either add it later and/or to use it as a garnish. A third change, for vegetarians, has been to add either chickpeas (plain or spiced - recipe to follow in time) or lentils.

So, without further ado, here is my basic jambalaya:

Basic, slow cooked Jambalaya

meat or vegetarian proteins added later

Serves 8

This Jambalaya can be the base for either a meat or a vegetarian meal. The quantities are such that the basic dish, once prepared can be split into two quantities making it easy to do both meat and vegan meals at the same time. It's also done in a slow cooker which is not just easy, but really encourages great flavour development.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 sweet bell peppers (all colours, chopped)
1 chilli (de-seeded if you don't like heat) and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ bunch soup celery, finely chopped
1 tin peeled, chopped tomatoes or 2 – 3 fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 – 2 fresh or dried chillies, chopped
2 cups rice
2 cups vegetable stock
25g (sachet) tomato puree
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp McGregor Herbes de Provence
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

For vegans

1 tin of lentils or chickpeas or other spicy vegan substitute

For carnivores

1 large chorizo sausage and/or left-over bits cooked chicken or frozen mixed seafood

What to do

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and celery to oil.
  2. Cook onions until they begin to soften, about three minutes then add in garlic, chilli and tomatoes. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and rice. Cook rice in mixture for 1-2 minutes before adding liquids.
  4. Finally, add remaining ingredients.
  5. Once combined, pour into the slow cooker and set to low.
  6. Do not disturb for 3 – 4 hours, but watch the liquid. Once it’s all been absorbed, open the lid and stir. If the rice is not cooked, add more liquid and replace the lid and allow to cook until the rice is soft.
  7. At this point, add your choice of additional ingredients, replace the lid and allow these to cook/heat through.

Serving suggestion

Serve with roasted vegetables like butternut, cauliflower and broccoli o r a side salad to make a hearty, complete meal.

Download a PDF version of the recipe here.

Post script

This is my second contribution to @quorator's #tastytuesday series. https://steemit.com/qurator/@qurator/qurator-s-tasty-tuesday-85

Until next time
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

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I just had dinner, and if I wasn't full of homemade General Tso's chicken right now, I'd have at least a couple bowls of your Jambalaya. It just looks so good!

Thank you!

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Ah! I remember the song "Jambalaya" and now I have a recipe to make my stomach sing as well.
A great dish here my friend!

Thanks so much!

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  ·  last month (edited)

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Thank you! Mwah!

You are seriously making me hungry. and, I have just eaten my dinner!

Ha! then my job is done.... ;)

Well presented lovely warm dish, using local herbs or freely available additions to a dish like this makes for good eating.

Good luck in #TastyTuesday contest on @qurator

Thanks, Joan!

Oh man!!
Talk about teasing my taste buds!
The dried chillies? Oh yes!

Or fresh with extra on the side?

Mm mm mm! That looks goooooood! If only I could smell it! And then taste it 😋😋😋 good food for the belly!

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I'll do it for you when you visit :P


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I love rice based dishes and this one looks great

I rememer - from your time in Thailand. This one is great - and easy. One pot meal...

I love Jambalaya!! I lived in Louisianna for 6 months and that was the first time I was tempted with this delicious yumminess from Creole country! The flavors melding together form taste so distinctive of the area.

I love mine with all of the carnivores mixed together. :) As an aside, andouille sausage is the typical sausage that is used (as you already know) and chorizo does have some of the flavors similar, but, not the texture. I have used it and like it. Another alternative that many use is smoked kielbasa, in case no chorizo is available.

This recipe was done so wonderfully and it has made me want a touch of the Cajun tonight. When they did a party in the bayou there, a huge caldron was set up on-site and the flavors were slow-cooked overnight to ensure the melding of the ingredients! They took their jambalaya seriously!!!

PS... I loved your explanation of how you cook in your kitchen!

Great post and thanks so much for reminding me that there is more than one way to make a dish!!! I will have to try it your way!

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You know, Denise, I alwyas think twice when I share food from other countries especially when I've never tasted it "au naturale" if you know what I mean. So you're saying that the recipe is evocative of all the right flavours, makes me really deighted.

Good and authentic sausage is really difficult to come by here, and if it is available, it's really expensive.

And hearing that you made jambalaya in a big cauldron in the garden: well that just makes sense.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the !tip

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Sweetheart what are you doing to me !!! Now I am hungry again hahahahah always thought it was really hot-hot but I just cut down on the peppers and the recepi is for the veggie daughter too

always thought it was really hot-hot but I just cut down on the peppers and the recepi is for the veggie daughter too

BOOM! Exactly! Hope your daughter enjoys it!

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I loved this, it made me hungry, it's something I definitely have to try.

Congratulations @fionasfavourites! This post was selected by the Power House Creatives as today's Rally Upvote Post :)

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Thank you!

Looks pretty intense 😛😛

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I love jambalaya. Being from Texas, it fits the palate. A good cajun jambalaya has some bite to it. Now that I live in Pennsylvania, it's interesting how the Dutch heritage here views the staple dishes of the south. My first taste of "chili" up here was quite an experience. Folks here have their own great staples, such as chicken corn soup and, of course, chicken potpie. In Dutch, it's hinkle bottboi (chicken potpie). I'd shoot a Texan if they tried to make it. I feel the same way about the Dutch up here trying to make the southern dishes. Don't make chili and don't make jambalaya. Otherwise, happy eating!

It's so interesting how the ethnic roots of different regions are reflected in the cuisine. We think that we have the monopoly on the Dutch. Not so, as you note. Our Afrikaans compatriots are also found of their pies which they call "pastei" - chicken is not popular, but beef and venison. In Afrikaans venison is "wildsvleis". Literal translation: wild meat.

I hope my recipe does the Southern taste justice. I said in another comment that I think twice before sharing recipes that "belong" to other cultures.

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Yeah, it's one thing to post a recipe, or to follow one. It's another thing entirely to infuse a dish with panache. One must know something more than simply how to read.

This is really an interesting dish !
I've got to share it with my vegan friends now

Hope they enjoy it!

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Just sent this to my mom. She loves spicy foods like this! I am sure I will be having some when I go see her!

Oh wow! Let me know how it comes out? You did see that you can download and print the recipe?

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One of my favourites!

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How yummy, I love jambalaya @fionasfavourites but usually with shrimp. 😘

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I should make it with shrimp sometime. I know I'd like it. The Husband - not so much...

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Very creative, cook a creative dish, then write a creative post about the dish.

@fionasfavourites - I can easily see this becoming a favorite at my house. I've had jambalaya before but have never tried to prepare it myself. This crock pot version looks every easy (love my crock pot!) and can easily be tailored to our taste buds. Thanks for sharing - even a PDF version!

I am glad! You're the first to give me feedback on the PDF - it's a new thing I'm doing - partly because I waste time scrolling through my posts to find recipes and then wading through the guff... So, thank you for that and I hope that the recipe works for you


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Looks delish! I've pinned this on my Tasty Temptations board -




Bless you!

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Looks right. Will have to try it out. With jambalaya there is no gray it's either good or bad, at least with my experience. The best I have had was my mom's neighbors. The made up a crawdad batch and a chicken batch on one our visits. Homemade is so much better than anything I have had.

Thank you so much @tryskele. Pardon my ignorance: "crawdad"?

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