Sunday, February 19, 2012

Creole Jambalaya

New Orleans has always been a place that appears fascinating in its unique way.  It's on my travel bucket list, but not in the top ten.  However, it's moving up quickly.  Why?  Because of its cuisine, a mix of seafood to make up a creole, gumbo or jambalaya.  So, what's the difference?  From what I can gather, in jambalaya the base is shrimp, ham and rice.  With Creole, the dishes refer to a cuisine derived from the French, Spanish, Indian and African influences.  Then, gumbo is a Creole dish (soup or stew) which is thickened with ocra or other thickening agents.  Are you confused yet?  At any rate, the people of Louisiana appeared to be wizards with the ingredients that were available to them.  Craw fish and alligator in the same pot?   Put it all in, add spices and simmer!

I  made my first creole jambalaya last week.  Our friends  had recently returned from a trip to New Orleans and came back bearing gifts, a cookbook called, "The best of the best of Louisiana cookbooks".  We took care of their amazing labradoodle, Lulu.  Watching this dog is a "gift" in itself.  She keeps me motivated to take my walks and also, whips my sassy spoiled cat into shape, if that's possible!

Cat: "I don't want to share your bed with you!"

Dog: "Okay, be that way...I'll sleep on your bed!  We're  color coordinated now!"
I love trying new recipes so I started with this one.  It's not as spicy as I expected it to be, so I sprinkled a bit of chili flakes on mine after serving.  Much better!  Next time I'll switch up the spices...


2 Tbsp butter or margarine

3/4 c chopped onion

1/2 c chopped celery

1/4 c green or red pepper

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups cooked and cubed ham

1 (28 oz) canned tomatoes, cut up and juice used

1 (10 1/2 oz) can beef broth

1 can water

1 cup long grain rice, uncooked

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 tsp dried thyme (I omitted)

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lbs. raw, peeled and cleaned shrimp

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add the onion, celery, peppers, parsley, and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the shrimp.  Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Add the shrimp and simmer, again, until shrimp are cooked, about 10 minutes.   This makes 6-8 servings.   Pretty good!

Thanks, Lulu...we always enjoy watching you!  And thanks, Paul and Cathie for the cookbook!

A "love tap"

My dad's lap is off limits!


  1. this is one meal I've really wanted to make- thanks for the recipe!

    1. You're welcome...It's easier than I thought!