And another winner! Antonette, please drop us a line with your mailing address, since you’re the lucky recipient of the enormous Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook! Everyone else, thanks so much for playing along with us! We still have winners to pick, so stay tuned!
We gave the cookbook away, but not before we snagged what we think might be the second most important recipe in Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook: Creole Jambalaya (the first being the recipe for Bread Pudding, but given our New Year’s resolutions, we didn’t want to forgive our own temptations).
We’ve always loved jambalaya for its deep, spicy deliciousness, but we just don’t make it that often at home. We’re not sure why since it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and very forgiving with its flavors. Perhaps the most difficult thing about this recipe is sourcing Andouille sausage and pickled pork, both of which are easily substitutable.
Brennan’s Creole Jambalaya
For 6 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or 2 tablespoons if pork and sausage are very lean)
4 ounces Andouille sausage*, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
4 ounces picked pork** or ham, cut into ¼ cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
2 cans (10 oz size) crushed plum tomatoes
¼ cup canned tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole bay leaf
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
¼ teaspoon dry thyme leaves
4 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon Louisiana pepper sauce
2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled
* smoked or Polish sausage (kielbasa) can be substituted for Andouille
** pickled pork…any good-quality ham may be used instead
Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a heavy, non-reactive 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven.
Add the sausage and pickled pork or ham and cook until all of the fat is rendered out of the meats, about five minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the yellow onions, the white part of the green onions and the sweet peppers, Cook the vegetables until they are clear, about five minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping the pan bottom clean.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, bay leaf, table salt, black pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Cook and stir this base sauce about two minutes. (If the dish is being prepared ahead, allow the base sauce to cool, then place in a lidded non-reactive container and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. For the final preparation heat the base to a boil and proceed with the remainder of the recipe.)
Add the chicken stock and pepper sauce to the base and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer, and simmer the liquid uncovered until it is reduced by one third, about one hour 15 minutes. Skim and foam or coagulates as they develop on the surface.
Return the liquid to a boil and stir in the rice.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered until the rice is just short of being done (it should still look a little firm in the center), about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the shrimp and cook until the rice is tender and the shrimp turn bright pink, about three minutes. Do not overcook.
Stir in the green part of the green onions.
Notes for Making Ahead:
This recipe can be prepared up to two days ahead by completing steps 1 through 4, allowing the base sauce to cool a bit, then covering and storing it in the refrigerator. When it’s time to finish the preparation, bring the base sauce toa boil and proceed to step 5.