Shrimp Jambalaya


Shrimp Jambalaya

What is Shrimp Jambalaya? It is a one dish vegetable and rice dish comprised of a variety of pork, chicken, or seafood carried in a sauce of tomato or broth. Gumbo is similar, but is typically served over rice and based on a roux, a brown sauce thickened with filé (FEE-lay) or okra. Everyone seems to have a regional family favorite version.

The first time I made jambalaya, we were hosting a big parish dinner, and I failed to peel the shrimp. Once we realized the mistake, we all just laughed, picked them from our bowls and peeled them at the table.

Mistakes can be funny ice breakers… just roll with them!

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Time: 0hr 40mins
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound ham, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces.
Circulate butter in a 5-quart tri-ply stockpot set over medium heat until it begins to foam (2-3 minutes). Add ham and brown (5-6 minutes) turning once or twice with a bamboo spatula. Tri-ply is nonreactive with acidic tomatoes. Bamboo is gentle on cookware.
  • 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) diced white or yellow onion
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) diced celery
Add to ham; cook until softened (2-3 minutes).

Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard stem and root. Cut in half from pole to pole; discard dry or tough layers. Place cut sides down and slice parallel to the equator to ¼ inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice. Rinse celery; cut off light colored bottoms and leafy tops. Cut lengthwise into ¼-inch strips; cut across strips to dice.

Cooked onion adds natural sweetness.
Holding together reduces exposure to eye-irritants.
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
Add to ham; cook until garlic is fragrant (2-3 minutes).

Tip: Lay a pepper on the workspace. Cut off a side, staying far enough out to avoid the pale membrane and seeds. Repeat all the way around. Cut ¼-inch slices; cut across slices to dice. After separating a garlic clove from the head, cut off the root. Place the broad side of a chef’s knife on top; strike hard with your fist or palm to crush. Release skin and discard. Rock blade over garlic to mince.

Red bell peppers are attractive and add sweetness.
Flat pepper pieces are easy to dice. Garlic presses waste garlic flesh, and a knife is easier to clean.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
Add all to the stockpot, tossing to coat rice in butter (50-60 seconds). It will seem like insufficient rice, but it is correct. “Toasting” rice improves flavor and texture. As the rice cooks, it swells as it absorbs liquids.
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (we like roasted)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Add all to stockpot; gently stir to deglaze the pan (release the tasty browned bits). Increase heat to high to bring to the boil; promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer (where bubbles gently, but continually, break the surface), occasionally stirring, until rice is tender (18-20 minutes). Simmering (versus boiling) minimizes texture-damaging turbulence.
  • 1 pound tailless shrimp
  • (51-90 count), raw, peeled, deveined, and frozen
Increase heat to high. Stir shrimp into jambalaya. Cook, gently stirring, until shrimp turn pink (2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp). If not living on the coast, flash frozen is an excellent alternative to fresh shrimp. Increasing the heat offsets the cold shrimp.



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