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Jambalaya

Jambalaya


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In this Holiday Foods video clip, we learn about what people traditionally eat during Mardi Gras. Famous Fat Dave talks about the history of Mardi Gras and its traditions. We learn how to make Jambalaya and how you can really make it how ever you like.


What’s the Difference Between Cajun and Creole Jambalaya?

There are two general kinds of jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. Both utilize what’s referred to as the “holy trinity” – onion, celery, and bell pepper (usually green). The main difference is that Creole jambalaya, also called “red jambalaya” uses tomatoes while Cajun jambalaya does not. Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. This jambalaya recipe is the Creole version.

An important element in this dish is the Creole seasoning and we STRONGLY recommend you make your own. The flavor will be fresher, bolder and SO much better than store-bought! It’s super quick and simple to make and trust me, it’s WORTH it!

Get our recipe for the BEST homemade Creole Seasoning!

Tender chicken, juicy shrimp and spicy andouille sausage and tossed with rice, bell peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and a generous dose of Creole seasoning. It’s comfort food with some kick (how much kick is up to you) and it’s sure to become a favorite. So come get your Creole on and laissez les bons temps rouler!

And now for a few words from The Carpenters (yes, that’s the version I like best. Sorry, Hank.). Hit it, Karen!

Goodbye, Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh.
Me gotta go, pole the pirogue down the bayou.
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh.
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!

Thibodaux, Fontaineaux, the place is buzzin’,
kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen.
Dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh.
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio.
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gayo,
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!

Let’s get started!

Make the homemade Creole Seasoning. Trust me, it’s so much better than store-bought and will make a HUGE difference in the flavor outcome of your jambalaya.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the andouille sausage. Stir half of the Creole seasoning in the chicken to evenly coat. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.

Add the andouille sausage and cook for another 3 minutes or until the sausage begins to brown.

Add the onion, garlic, green bell pepper, and celery and cook for another 4 minutes.

Stir in the rice, tomatoes, and the remaining Creole seasoning.

Add the broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, giving it a stir around the halfway point.

Stir in the shrimp, cover, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add more Creole seasoning, hot sauce, or salt and pepper to taste.

Serve sprinkled with some sliced green onions. Your jambalaya is ready to serve!


BpLite

History of the Jambalaya Festival
Gonzales, the "Jambalaya Capital of the World." In 1967, this term was only an inspiration in the mind of Steve Juneau to promote the City of Gonzales. Juneau, a native of Avoyelles, was very impressed with the Jambalaya prepared by area cooks. He thought this would be a great method to promote the city. The idea was presented to the Gonzales Lions Club and the annual Jambalaya Festival was born. As the idea spread across Ascension Parish, many non-profit civic groups and fraternal organizations were invited to get involved. The festival would be used as a vehicle to raise money for community projects supported by them.

By this time, what began as an inspiration was already too big for any one group to take on independently. An executive committee was formed consisting of Steve Juneauy, John D. Gonzales, Clarance Berteau, Sidney Amedee, Jr., McGuffy Fife, C.R. "Pete" Bourque, Melvin Hebert, Harvey Dupuy and M.J. Decoux. They met at the Fiesta Grill in Gonzales. Steve Juneau was elected as the first president of the newly formed Jambalaya Festival Association. They agreed that the sole purpose of the festival would be to promote the city of Gonzales. On June 10, 1968, John J. McKeithen, then Govenor of Louisiana, proclaimed Gonzales, Louisiana as the "Jambalaya Capital of the World."

In mid June of 1968, the first festival was held. Thirteen cooks vied to be crowned "World Jambalaya Cooking Champion." Participants included: Clarence Anderson, Earl P. Bercegeay, Linden Bercegeay, Edward Braud III, W.J. "Gil" Braud, Uton Diez, George Fairchild, Edward Gaudin, Charles M. Gautreau, Authur "Fatty" Lessard, Sitman Loupe, E.L. Marchand and Donnie Mire. This year the competition is greater than ever. At least 69 cooks have put their name n the line to out cook the others for the world title.

Judges included the likes of cajun humorist Justin Wilson, state comptroller Roy Theriot and the owner of Don's Seafood, Rolan Landry. The judges agreed that the best tasting pot of jambalaya was that cooked by George Fairchild. He became the first Jambalaya Cook Champ. The first festival was attended by approximately 15,000 and actually made a profit. Countless pots of tasty jambalaya was served. There was a children's carnival, bingo in the gym, boxing on the football field and street dancing to five area bands that performed. The first Jambalaya Queen, Linda Sue Collison, reigned over the event.

By 1971, the festival was drawing crowds of nearly 50,000. Sixteen cooks stirred their paddle in the pot, trying to win the silver trophy. That year, the Jambalaya race for quarter-horses emerged at the Dutchtown racetrack. The Jambalaya Art show attracted over 500 participants which made it one of the major art shows in the south. 1972 introduced the "Mini Pot" jambalaya cooking contest. In this case, the chefs had more fun cooking it than eating it. The dish was cooked in the "World's Smallest Jambalaya Pot," a tradition which continues to this day. This year, over 40 will participate in this event.

Many innovations have been tried throughout the years, including a car show, boxing contest, 5K and 1 mile Fun Run, craft show, story telling, sky diving exhibition, hot air balloonists, model airplane exibition, Jambalaya Singers, bike races, bed races, cloggers, dancers, can-can girls, Jambalaya Beauty Pagent, Crowning of a Jambalaya King & Queen, Champ of Champs Cooking Contest, baseball, tennis and golf torunaments and many more activities. By now, you are probably wondering what will be taking place at this year's festival. Hint - see the Schedule page. But as my ole friend Justin Wilson would say, "Don't worry your little head about dat, just come on out and pass a good time!"


History Of Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a term related to the cuisine and it originated in Louisiana and was invented by the Cajuns. It came from people who lived around the Bayou and also food was scarce there. Louisiana was known to be a rich state but the region near the Bayou was not. The word jambalaya is a combination of the word Jambon which means ham in French and Aya means rice in an African language.

There were many slaves from Africa at that point of time in Africa. The common belief about Jambalaya was that it could have originated from the Spanish Paella. Then later the same dish was converted into a dish known as Spanish Rice in the US. It had some ingredients of seafood, ham and sausage links in it along with onion, garlic and pepper and many other seasonings. Overall, it was a very tasty dish to be had.

Louisiana had two main varieties of jambalaya. One is the Creole jambalaya which originated in the French quarter of New Orleans and this dish was mainly served in these pars. The Creole recipe included tomatoes and typical Cajun recipes would not involve any tomatoes. The Cajun jambalaya originated from the swamp regions of Louisiana, and is simply known as jambalaya. It used a combination of meats like chicken, turkey and many more. It had a smoky flavor and also was much spicier than the Creole version. The jambalaya festival is held each year, and the best jambalaya recipe is awarded in the festival.

The Kentucky Derby is also called the run for the roses. The entire sports last only for two minutes and it is the most exciting two minutes that anybody can experience. The Kentucky derby holds a 1.25 mile race for three year old horses that are thoroughbred. This particular event draws more than one hundred and fifty thousand visitors when the event is held every year. Several people come from other places in the United States to witness this special event. It is not held anywhere else but Kentucky. More..


A Brief History of Jambalaya

New Orleans is known for many dishes. Gumbos, crawfish, more ways of cooking alligator than most of us have ever dreamed of.

However, there are three big ones the Cajun and Creole cooks are world-famous for. I’ve already shared two vegan versions with you – Red Beans and Rice and (Not So) Dirty Rice .

The third, of course, is Jambalaya.

Jambalaya is a type of stew consisting of rice, the “Trinity” of celery, onion, and green pepper, assorted vegetables, and one or more kinds of meat. Sausage is usually a given, and sausage and chicken is probably the most common combination but seafood, especially shrimp, is very common as well. As you move away from New Orleans into the swamplands, you’ll find more wild game – including duck and alligator.

What does word Jambalaya actually mean? Some say it’s a combination of the French word “Jambon,” (ham), and the African word “Aya,” (rice).

Others say a traveler once came to an inn late at night after dinner had been served. There wasn’t enough of any one meat left to prepare a meal, but the inn’s cook, named Jean, was told by the owner of the inn to “Balayez!” – throw something together.

(Can’t you just imagine this? Jean slamming pots and pans in the kitchen, muttering, “Mon Dieu!” under his breath. “How do they expect me to fix a meal when those imbeciles have already eaten everything?! There’s some rice left in the pot. I’ll scrape the poulet off this plate. I’ll scrape the leftover sausage off that plate. And here’s a crawfish that fell on the floor! Merde! Maybe that wasn’t a crawfish! Who cares … ze want Balayez – ze will GET Balayez!” And then wouldn’t you know, it became kind of a “thing” and from that point on, all Jean heard at the Inn was, “Jean, Balayez! Jean, Balayez!” which eventually became, “Jambalaya! Jambalaya!”)

Still others say there is a Franco-Provencal word “jambalaia,” which means jumbled up, or confused. And this makes sense – people creatively combining foods in unusual ways to stretch their resources in a new country.

How does Jambalaya differ from Gumbo? There are several differences, but the biggest difference is with Jambalaya, the rice is cooked in the same pot as everything else. With Gumbo, rice is cooked separately, and the gumbo is served on top of the rice. This makes a huge flavor difference in the rice.

What is the difference between Creole Jambalaya and Cajun Jambalaya? TOMATOES.

Creole Jambalaya has lots of tomatoes – hence the nickname, “Red Jambalaya.”

But the further you got from New Orleans, the more expensive and rare tomatoes became. So Cajun Jambalaya (without tomatoes) came to be known as “Brown Jambalaya” – because the rice would take on a brownish tone from the browned meat.

There’s even a third version, “White Jambalaya,” which means rice is cooked separately, then added to everything else at the end. I don’t recommend you do this. First, the rice will be missing out on a LOT of flavor. Second, people will be able to tell you did this, and they’ll think you’re lazy. They’ll smile to your face, and then say things like “Bless her heart,” behind your back. Yes, even Louis and Lestat, who can’t even eat Jambalaya anyway!

And since this post is getting long and unwieldy, I’ll share my vegan versions of Jambalaya in my next post!

In the meantime … Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)


Jambalaya

Jambalaya is probably one of the most emblematic dishes of Louisiana!

It is a one-pot meal composed of meat and vegetables that are mixed with rice. Traditionally, it includes smoked sausage like andouille, mixed with other meat or seafood, including chicken, pork, crawfish, or shrimp.

Louisiana has historically been influenced by several peoples and cultures, all of whom claim a role in the paternity of the jambalaya recipe. Indeed, the Spaniards, French, Creoles, Cajuns, as well as Africans, probably influenced this iconic dish of the South.

What is the origin of jambalaya?

The origin of the name of the dish itself is subject to controversy.

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One common theory states that jambalaya is a combination of the French word “jambon” (ham), and “aya” which would mean rice in a West African dialect, leading to “jamb a l’aya”.

Another possible origin is that the word “jambalaya” is based on the Provençal word jambalaia. The word appeared in a French-Provençal dictionary in 1878, but had first been used in a Provençal poem in 1837 (Leis amours de Vanus, by Fourtunat Chailan). The word means mishmash, much like the dish itself.

Yet another popular story suggests that the word jambalaya comes from the Spanish word jamón (“ham”) associated with paella. However, this story doesn’t seem to have legs, as ham is not an ingredient of the traditional recipe, and Spanish speakers would say “paella con jamón” as opposed to jamón paella.

Still, jambalaya was probably an attempt to recreate saffron-scented paella using New World ingredients like tomato. The earliest recipe also called for a type of sausage called chaurice, a version of Spanish chorizo.

A far-fetched theory comes from the story of a traveller who was staying in an old guesthouse in Louisiana. One night, he asked the cook named Jean to “sweep something together” in French. “Jean, balayez!” would eventually become “jambalaya”.

Native Americans also probably influenced this dish. They have come up with a theory to explain its origin. Indeed, the Atakapa tribe claims that jambalaya originates from the phrase “Sham, pal ha! Ya!” meaning “Be full, not skinny! Eat Up!”

What is certain is that the authentic jambalaya recipe has benefited from the influences of various similar rice dishes including paella (Spanish), jambalaia (French provençal) or jollof (West African).

Gumbo vs. Jambalaya

Jambalaya is also similar to other Louisianan staples such as gumbo or étouffé. Gumbo is very similar. However, the stewed meat and vegetables are typically served over white rice and that the dish includes filé powder and okra. Filé powder is a spice made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree.

Étouffée, on the other hand, is a stew which always includes shellfish, often crayfish. Like gumbo, it is usually served over separately prepared white rice.

Hoppin’ John is also a traditional rice dish from Louisiana. It is mostly composed of black-eyed peas, onions and bacon.

How to make jambalaya

There are two primary methods for making an authentic jambalaya rice recipe. Those methods primarily differ by the presence of tomatoes.

The first method is called Creole or “red jambalaya”. It obviously includes tomatoes.

The second method is more traditional of southwestern and south-central Louisiana. It is called Cajun or brown jambalaya and doesn’t contain any tomato.

Creole jambalaya originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. As stated earlier, it was an attempt to make paella without saffron which was available. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. You can find this creole version primarily in and around New Orleans.

Cajun jambalaya comes from Louisiana’s rural, low-lying swamp country. In this region, crawfish, shrimps, oysters, alligators, ducks, turtles, boars and venisons are plentiful and these are the traditional meats being used in the Cajun version. This version is also known as “brown jambalaya” as the meats, typically browned at the bottom of a cast-iron pot, give this recipe its particular color.

The Cajun people descend from a group of French Canadians who were expelled from the former French colony Acadia (Eastern Canada) in the late 18th century, and settled in Louisiana’s low-lying swamps.

Cajun cuisine is considered rough and robust. Dark roux and very spicy flavors often characterize the cuisine. It also often includes large amounts of animal fat. Creole cuisine tends to be more refined with the use of ingredients like cream and butter.

You may also prepare this Southern recipe in a slow cooker (crockpot) or a pressure cooker (instant pot).

You can also adjust the heat of the recipe by adding more Cajun seasoning or hot sauce.

Make this very easy chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe at home and you will feel transported to the French Quarter!


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Jambalaya Festival History

Gonzales is the "Jambalaya Capital of the World." In 1967, this term was only an inspiration in the mind of Steve Juneau to promote the City of Gonzales. Juneau, a native of Avoyelles, was very impressed with the Jambalaya prepared by area cooks. He thought this would be a great method to promote the city. The idea was presented to the Gonzales Lions Club and the annual Jambalaya Festival was born. As the idea spread across Ascension Parish, many non-profit civic groups and fraternal organizations were invited to get involved. The festival would be used as a vehicle to raise money for community projects supported by them.

​​​​​​​© 2021 Jambalaya Festival Association - Written permission from the JFA is required for use or duplication of any content or photos from this website.

By 1971, the festival was drawing crowds of nearly 50,000. Sixteen cooks stirred their paddle in the pot, trying to win the silver trophy. That year, the Jambalaya race for quarter-horses emerged at the Dutchtown racetrack. The Jambalaya Art show attracted over 500 participants which made it one of the major art shows in the south. 1972 introduced the "Mini Pot" jambalaya cooking contest. In this case, the chefs had more fun cooking it than eating it. The dish was cooked in the "World's Smallest Jambalaya Pot," a tradition which continues to this day. This year, over 40 will participate in this event.

Many innovations have been tried throughout the years, including a car show, boxing contest, 5K and 1 mile Fun Run, craft show, story telling, sky diving exhibition, hot air balloonists, model airplane exhibition, Jambalaya Singers, bike races, bed races, cloggers, dancers, can-can girls, Jambalaya Beauty Pagent, Crowning of a Jambalaya King & Queen, Champ of Champs Cooking Contest, baseball, tennis and golf tournaments and many more activities. By now, you are probably wondering what will be taking place at this year's festival, hint - see the Events page. But as my ole friend Justin Wilson would say, "Don't worry your little head about dat, just come on out and pass a good time!"


Add the chicken back to the pot along with the stock. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the rice has plumped and absorbed all the stock, and the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. At the finish, fluff the rice with a fork and tweak the seasoning. Here is where you could add optional shrimp or crawfish, stirring into the dish for a few minutes, until they are just pink throughout.

A sprinkling of chopped scallion and parsley adds freshness and color. Jenny Huang


The History of Jambalaya, a True Melting Pot of Flavors

Once again, Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and, as with most other things, my first thoughts revolve around food. Because Mardi Gras is nearly synonymous with Louisiana (at least in the United States), I thought I’d explore a uniquely Louisianian dish and uncover the history of jambalaya.

I’m not a big drinker. Perhaps because of this, I’m also not a huge partier. So, the carnival aspects of Mardi Gras never had much appeal to me. The eating aspects, however? Now we’re talking! Mardi Gras, translated from French to mean “fat Tuesday,” refers to the final day before the Christian season of Lent, where many of the faithful fast. Which means Mardi Gras is the last day to…indulge (i.e. stuff your face) in all your favorite goodies before giving them up in prayerful contemplation. As if I needed an excuse for food to be the highlight of any holiday. Still, there it is!

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Eat like a local wherever you are with the community cookbook generations of Louisianans have relied upon.

When I think of Mardi Gras, I think Cajun and Creole foods (yes, they are different). And there’s really nothing more universally Cajun and Creole than jambalaya. Ah, jambalaya. Just imagining it makes me feel like Newman from “Seinfeld” must have felt while taking a big whiff of his recently purchased bowl, and excitedly exclaiming, “Jambalaya!” before giddily running off to eat it. Rice? Protein? Veggies? Savory seasoning? A complete dish, with the taste to match. It’s a veritable powerhouse food!

That said, it’s odd and somewhat confusing that Newman obtained his jambalaya from a soup joint. Why? Because jambalaya is most certainly not a soup. That’s gumbo. While sharing similarities with gumbo, jambalaya is a rice dish. Actually, in its truer forms, it sort of reminds me of paella, and there’s good reason for that. But, wait! Paella is a Spanish dish, and Louisiana has its roots in French culture. Right? Right. Well, sort of.

While Louisiana has strong French roots, there was a time in the region’s history when the Spanish held control—from 1762 to 1800, to be precise. Prior to that, the French held control after settling in the area. Then, in 1800, the Louisiana Territory came under Napoleon’s control (and therefore rejoined the French empire), though the Spanish were still heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the state—at least until 1803. At that point, Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States by way of the Louisiana Purchase.

That 38 years, while relatively short in the grand scheme of things, was plenty of time for Spain to leave its mark on local cuisine. By many accounts, during this time of Spanish control, they sought to bring flavors from their culture to their new home. In trying to make paella near New Orleans, they encountered one significant snag. They couldn’t find saffron. To get around this, they used something that was more plentiful—tomatoes. And so, red jambalaya, also known as Creole jambalaya, was born.


Watch the video: Jambalaya On the Bayou by Naudo (May 2022).