With Ash Wednesday a week away, I’m going to share some traditional recipes from around the world over the next few days before the end of the carnival season . Here are previous recipes I have posted:
The Carnival season starts on the Feast of the Epiphany January 6th, and ends with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Ash Wednesday. Carnival is celebrated around the world, most notably in Louisiana, Europe, and Brazil. In New Orleans, parades started on February 15th and have been taking place along the Gulf Coast.
I am starting with a Louisiana recipe, Creole Jambalaya. There are two distinct versions of Jambalaya: Creole and Cajun, with the most notable difference of the absence of tomatoes in the Cajun version. Creole Jambalaya originated in New Orleans with the influence of the Spanish. It is the Louisiana cousin to the Spanish Paella. It is a rice dish with the holy trinity (onions, bell peppers, celery), tomatoes, meat, and seafood. It is occasionally called Red Jambalaya.
The recipe calls for tossing the shrimp with a tablespoon of Creole seasoning. Use prepackaged or make your own. I included the spices to make your own and have a bit extra to add additional seasonings to the Jambalaya or keep in an airtight container for future use.
I added chicken thighs, shrimp, and Andouille sausage to the rice. Andouille sausage is a spicy pork sausage from Louisiana. There is also a less spicy French version. It is available smoked and occasionally fresh. If you buy the fresh version, cook it (I have used an indoor countertop grill) prior to making the Jambalaya, then slice to add after the rice has absorbed the liquid. I have been able to find it smoked in the sausage section of the grocery store next to Italian sausages and fresh in the meat counter at Fresh Market.
Like paella, this is not risotto. Stir very occasionally once the stock has been added to the rice.