Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Foods a la Louisiane: Jambalaya

Did I tell you I collect cookbooks? One of the guidelines I use is that the cookbook have the name of a person attached to each recipe; if your name is on a recipe going into a book, you know you are going to be very careful that this recipe is really, really good.

I don’t remember buying this cookbook, but it is a gem. On the other hand, there have been some surprises . . . there is a recipe for making boudin, that ubiquitous Cajun sausage, and it starts off with “1 large hoghead.” The directions state that you boil the hog’s head until tender, let it cool, remove meat from bones, then grind hoghead meat with heart, kidney, onions, parsley, etc. in a meat grinder.

Thank goodness boudin is not a favorite of mine. Andouille, a spicier sausage, IS a favorite of mine and if I see a recipe for andouille, I am NOT going to look at it.

I love making jambalaya – and here is a genuine Louisiana recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil or drippings
2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Red Pepper to taste
Pepper to taste
Browning agent or 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet
2 lbs peeled raw shrimp
4 cups long grain rice

Heat oil over low heat in a heavy 6 quart Dutch oven until warmed. Add vegetables; saute until lightly browned. Add enough water to cover vegetables; add seasoning and browning agent. Bring to a boil; add shrimp. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in rice; cook 10 minutes. Cover and cook until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Yield 10 – 12 servings.

I do jambalaya all the time (DISCLAIMER: I am neither a Louisiana native nor of Cajun descent, so what I do cannot be taken as authentic, even if it is tasty 🙂 ) and I use more spices, chopped tomatoes and I don’t add the shrimp until the rice is cooked; I add it at the end and give it five minutes for the heat of the rice and cooked ingredients to cook the shrimp. We also use andouille sausage (or a turkey sausage if we are entertaining Moslem friends) and some cut artichoke hearts, maybe a small jar of pimentos, maybe some leftover peas. Sort of like a jambalaya/paella 🙂


October 24, 2012 - Posted by | Books, Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, NonFiction, Recipes |


  1. I love Jambalaya….Love Boudin too but would never attempt to make it. Have you been to Cajun Specialty Meats? You mentioned when entertaining Muslim friends you make it with Turkey sausage…They actually have a Chicken Andouille that is quite tasty. At any rate all of their food is awesome…I highly recommend it. They are located on Heinburg Street, just behind McGuire’s so if you haven’t already, definitely check it out.

    Comment by Lissa Sventek | October 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. I must make the same disclaimer, and also agree with you….Needs chopped tomatoes and shrimp last. those little guys would cook for about 30 minutes according to this. Sounds like tough shrimp to me. On the other hand, it just got cold here (finally) and I’d enjoy some nice spicy jambalaya made by most any recipe! Happy weekend!

    Comment by Grammy | October 26, 2012 | Reply

  3. Lissa, you gave me a big smile as I tried to imagine you trying to stuff that sausage meet into the intestines, after, of course, you cleaned them all out and sterilized them, LOL! Yes, I love Cajun Specialty Meats, but I never saw the chicken andouille – what a great suggestion, and thank you. We love ‘tasty.’

    And happy weekend to you, too, Grammy, and I hope a winning weekend 🙂 It is about to get cold here, you know me, I love it. Did you get a goodly amount of rain? Will there be wildflowers in the Texas hills in the spring? 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 26, 2012 | Reply

  4. Where do you buy Red Pepper?

    Comment by K ath | November 5, 2012 | Reply

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