This Easy Shmeezy Oven Jambalaya is the perfect marriage of flavors prevalent in Bayou Cooking, defining the perfect #onepotmeal
#FatTuesday is tomorrow, otherwise known as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans since 1699. Also known as Carnival. The date for this festival changes every year as it all depends when Ash Wednesday is. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and Mardi Gras falls on the day before Ash Wednesday. This Christian based festival is also celebrated throughout the Caribbean, European countries with a large Catholic base (France, Spain) and many other countries throughout the world.
Many foods from New Orleans/Cajun cuisine start appearing in restaurant specials around this time, whether or not you are in New Orleans. Every single bar is having a #FatTuesday party. I am here presenting one of the most traditional Cajun dishes to celebrate Mardi Gras with you. Practically every culture in the world has a form of Tomato Rice and this is New Orleans’ version. Jambalaya is a one pot meal made of tomatoes, rice and any variety of proteins that usually include, shrimp, sausage, chicken and any other varieties of seafood from alligator to crawfish. Louisiana is basically swampland so frog, alligator and many of these swamp creatures find their way into Cajun jambalaya, gumbo or seafood boil’s.
In the past, I always made jambalaya stovetop like most other rice dishes. However, I was teaching a culinary summer camp a few years ago and one of my students was from New Orleans. After reading the recipe, she said that is not the way her Mom makes it. Her Mom just combined everything, tops with a few pats of butter and sticks in the oven. I always feel no matter how long you have been in the culinary industry, you must always be open to learning new techniques otherwise you will never grow as a chef. I was willing to try it and love the way everything was gently steamed in the oven. This is the easiest jambalaya ever – no sauteeing, no constantly stirring so the tomato sugars don’t caramelize too much and start to stick to the bottom of the pot. Just stick it in t he oven and forget about it!
Before I get to today’s Jambalaya, let’s take a look at some other foods of New Orleans –
New Orleans Cuisine
- Bourbon Bread Pudding
- Shrimp & Okra Gumbo
- Zulu King Cake
- Blood Orange Beignet
- Fried Okra Salad
- Hush Puppies with Spicy Corn Aioli
Have some of this delicious Jambalaya and get transported to the French Quarter!
IN THE MAKING
The jambalaya gets gently steamed in the oven and this makes the perfect #onepotmeal
Easy Shmeezy Oven Jamabalya
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1 large bell pepper chopped
- 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 oz. smoked chicken sausage chopped
- 1 lb chicken tenderloin cut into bite size pieces
- 7 oz peeled and deveined shrimp
- 3 cups rice
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun or Blackened seasoning
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large casserole dish, combine all ingredients except the butter.
- Stir to combine.
- Divide the butter and place dollops of the butter on top.
- Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Give it a stir. Bake for another 45 minutes.