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 Commander's Seafood Jambalaya


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Seafood Jambalaya

Commander's Kitchen:
Take Home the True Taste
of New Orleans with More
than 150 Recipes from
Commander's Palace Restaurant
by Ty Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon
2000, Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.


Makes 8 large servings

“Jambalaya rivals gumbo as Louisiana’s quintessential Creole dish. All
you need is a tangy green salad, some garlic bread, and a feisty Sauvignon
Blanc. It’s a great party dish that you can prepare ahead so you can enjoy
the party yourself. (Now
that’s New Orleans.)"

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound
andouille sausageicon, in 1/4-inch slices
1 large bell pepper, any color, in large dice
3 ribs celery, in large dice
1 small head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
Creole Seafood Seasoning
any Creole seasoning, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
1/2 pound fish fillets, diced
(trout, catfish, redfish, bass, and
bluefish would work well)
2 bay leaves
3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed 3 times
6 cups water
1 pint shucked oysters, with their liquor
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

Combine the butter and sausage in a Dutch oven or heavy-gauge pot over
high heat, and sate for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell
pepper, onion, celery, and garlic, and season with Creole seasoning, salt,
and black pepper. Saut, still over high heat, for about 8 minutes, or until
the natural sugars in the vegetables have browned and caramelized.
Add the tomatoes, shrimp, fish, and bay leaves, and stir. Add the rice,
stir gently, and add the water. Gently move the spoon across the bottom
of the pot, making sure that the rice is not sticking. Bring to a boil, then
reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the
rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Turn off the heat, then fold in the
oysters, cover, and let sit for about 8 minutes, during which time the
jambalaya will continue cooking from residual heat.
To serve, transfer to a serving bowl, and mix in the green onions.
Season with hot sauce.

Chef Jamie’s Tips:
Jambalaya is a very versatile dish, so different combinations of other
ingredients will work well in this recipe. If you’d rather use chicken
instead of fish, or if you’d prefer to omit the oysters, go ahead.
After adding the rice, the less stirring you do the better. You don’t want
to pull out excessive starch from the grain. This is not risotto. While
simmering, be sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom. If it is, you
might need to add a little water or reduce the heat.
If no andouille is available, [andouille is
always available!] another
smoked sausage may be substituted.



“Only in New Orleans, while researching the derivation of jambalaya and gumbo, could I encounter dueling newspaper editorials on the subject. Imagine the major newspaper in any other city devoting valuable space to the argument of whether jambalaya is of French or Spanish origin.
’There is no need to make the difficult stretch to Spanish when the French heritage of jambalaya is obvious,’ said one writer, quite authoritatively.
Various pronunciations of jambalaia, jabalaia, jambaraia are all said to mean stew
of rice and fowl. Others say ‘alaya’ is from an African language and means ‘rice’.
And yet the similarities with paella, minus the saffron, seem obvious. Jambon is
French for ‘ham’, and was a common ingredient in early versions.
But the fact that we are still publicly arguing about it is what I love. To the
dismay of some, it seems to me that the jambalaya we eat today has multiple ancestors, but I hope the battle over just that wages on.”

Featured Archive Recipes:
An earlier version of Commander's Jambalaya
Emeril's Crawfish and Sausage Jambalaya
Hoppin' John Jambalaya (for a crowd)
Joe's Jambalaya
Michele's New Orleans Shrimp Jambalaya

More Lagniappe Recipes!
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