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Creole Jambalaya

Creole Jambalaya is a version of the classic South Louisiana rice dish that includes tomatoes, flavors, techniques and ingredients of legendary Creole cooks dating back to the early settlers.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: creole jambalaya, jambalaya
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 369kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled, cleaned and rinsed
  • 2 strips smoked bacon sliced into 1" pieces
  • 1 pound andouille sausage sliced into medallions
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1 small green pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 15 ounces whole peeled roma tomatoes See Recipe Notes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 cups long-grain rice See Recipe Notes
  • 3 ½ cups shrimp stock See Recipe Notes

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning plus some for the shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Here's What You Do

Prep the Ingredients

  • Peel, clean and rinse the shrimp. Pat dry with paper towels and mix about 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning into the shrimp and place in refrigerator until needed.
  • Slice the bacon and sausage, chop the yellow onions, bell peppers and celery; chop the green onions and garlic; measure the stock, rice and Herb and Spice Blend; open the cans of whole tomatoes and sauce. Set all aside until needed.

Make the Jambalaya

  • Fry the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat to render the fat, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sausage and saute to render the fat, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the Trinity (yellow onions, bell peppers and celery) and saute until starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  • Add garlic and green onions and saute about 2 minutes
  • Add about ¾ of the Herb and Spice Blend plus the Bay Leaves, stir to mix for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes by crushing each tomato by hand as you add to the dutch oven. Add in any juice from the tomatoes.
  • Increase the heat to a heavy simmer for 5 minutes, then add tomato sauce and stock.
  • Stir well and bring it to a heavy boil, then reduce the heat to a heavy simmer and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes while all the flavors merge.
  • Mix in the rice and return to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. Cover the dutch oven and cook for 15 minutes. Do not open the lid during this period.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the lid, stir well. Add the shrimp, a few at a time, and stir to combine completely.
  • Replace the lid and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, again, do not open the lid during this period.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the lid to test rice for seasoning and doneness. If rice is still a little hard, replace the cover and simmer for up to an additional 10 minutes until the rice is done. Add some reserved Herb and Spice Blend, if needed.
  • Remove the dutch oven from the heat and let sit covered for another 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Notes

I commonly use parboiled rice, such as Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, which cuts the cooking time slightly, but regular long grain rice is perfect for this recipe as well.
Andouille sausage is a highly seasoned (that doesn’t mean it’s always spicy) coarse-grained smoked pork sausage very common in Cajun and Creole recipes. Any smoked sausage, like kielbasa can be substituted for the andouille but keep in mind that the andouille add’s a lot of flavors that other sausages do not. 
In addition to smoked sausage, you can also add some smoked ham or tasso to the recipe.
Homemade shrimp stock is perfect for this recipe and can be made with the shells of the fresh shrimp. If you do not have that, commercial seafood or chicken stock can be substituted.
Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for the canned tomatoes. Make sure the tomatoes are very ripe and peel them by parboiling the tomatoes for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Use 2 cups of tomatoes. 
Frozen shrimp are perfectly good in Creole Jambalaya. Make sure to thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight and rinse before using. The shrimp do not have to be large. Medium or small shrimp will work if that's all you can find. 
If you are buying fresh shrimp in the shell, buy more than 2 pounds to net 2 pounds of shrimp-the shells and heads add to the weight. As a rule of thumb, without heads, I would buy about 2 ¾ to 3 pounds, with heads, I buy about 4 pounds. You may end up with more shrimp than you need, but they freeze well and you could have worse problems.  
Leftovers will last about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and should be stored in an airtight container. Reheat the Jambalaya in the microwave or on top of the stove. Add a little water to the saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
Creole jambalaya does not freeze well because the rice will tend to get mushy. If you do freeze the leftover jambalaya make sure to use an airtight container or a vacuum sealer for best results. 
If you want to cook this ahead of time, consider cooking up to the point just before you add the rice. Freeze the mixture in an airtight container and when you are ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to a boil and add the rice and shrimp as the recipe directs. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 1681mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 623IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 3mg

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