Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Crawfish Boil: Jambalaya

Prior to the wedding extravaganza, I found myself back in the two states that I have spent most of my life in- Louisiana and Texas. It was a bittersweet trip back as it started with my grandmother's funeral, but it was also a great chance to reflect on the awesome life she led. A tremendous part of that life was keeping her family happy and together with some truly amazing cooking. From the world's most spectacular okra gumbo to a chicken stew that the English language does not have words to adequately describe, everything she made was utter comfort and perfection. So, when I found myself back in Houston later that week, I decided to honor her memory with some great Louisiana cooking that would've made her and her famous Sunday dinners proud.

Adapted from Emeril
Servings: 8-10
Time: 45 minutes

It felt good to be doing prep in Kevin's kitchen again.
24 shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
12 oz Andouille sausage, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, choppped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco to taste
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
5-6 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp Tony Chachere's Seasoning (at least but you'll want more)
At first, it will appear to be soup. Do not be concerned. Continue drinking beer whilst it gets deliciously absorbed.
  1. Sauté the sausage, onion, and green bell peppers together in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is tender and translucent. 
  2. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, and tabasco. Let cook for another minute.
  3. Add in the rice, and slowly pour in the broth. Start with 4 cups. Stir occasionally and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Add additional liquid until it the rice reaches the desired tenderness and consistency.
  4. Mix in the shrimp and let cook until orange and finished (3-5 minutes).
  5. Decide you can't wait to get a fork and start dipping tortilla chips in the pot until people start looking at you funny then join in.
The final delicious, risotto-y goodness.
This jambalaya was unbelievably delicious. Somehow, despite not trying to replicate my personal favorite Jambalaya Risotto, I managed to make a similarly creamy Cajun treat. This was less tomatoey than the typical jambalaya, but all those great Cajun spices and flavor really came through. People were seriously just dipping tortilla chips into the pot after a while because it was so good. This definitely would've made Maw-Maw and the family smile. But, no matter how hard I try,  I'm still not sure if I can ever live up to the legendary meals she crafted.

Stay tuned for the main event of the evening- the crawfish!


  1. I’m sure your grandma must be really happy up there looking at you cooking her recipes for the family. I’m so sorry to hear about her demise.