sausages, ham, scallops, prawns, spice, mmmmm….
The TAOs first cooked Jambalaya for Jon and I during one of our many visits and it definitely did not help subside our cravings given that the TAOs would try to cook it for us as often as possible. Jambalaya is certainly comfort food and it is the best feeling when you eat it during the winter months because Jamabalaya will make your stomach feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Cooking this dish requires a bit of hard work at the start but all in all, it is a pretty easy dish to make. The only challenge would be to get fresh seafood, which was in abundance all year round for us back when we were in Seattle. This dish is also highly customizable and you can put in more of the seafood you like and less or none of the seafood you don’t like.
Since we were back in Singapore, Jon has cooked this dish 3 times and each time, it has always been a hit! Whenever Jon suggests to cook Jambalaya at home, we usually all respond to him with a…”yesssssssss jambalayaaaaaaaaa!!!!” and throughout the day, my younger sister, Jane, would come to me grinning ear to ear saying “we’re gonna have jambalaya for dinnerrrrr!!!” Yes, it is really that good!
I took this picture from a recent Jambalaya dinner with the TAOs and I love how colourful and happy looking their plates look <3
Just before I end this post, I just wanted to say that it really made my weekend when I received a newsletter from David Lebovitz and he has released a new book – My Paris Kitchen. So excited! *pre-ordering*
Recipe from the TAOs
Serves 4 hungry people – 6 (normal people?)
1.5 lb smoked ham or a combination of ham and sausages
2 sausages of your choice, sliced (we like using spicy sausages!)
2 tbsp oil
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced, or 2 cups canned tomatoes crushed
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
0.5 tsp crushed dried red pepper (or more, to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb seafood (shrimp, large scallops, squid, etc)
1. Cut the smoked ham (and sausages) into small pieces and process through a blender till it looks like the picture below. The bamix works best for me. Slice the sausages and set aside.
2. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the onion, green pepper, ham and sausages until they are beginning to brown.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and let it simmer until meat is cooked. If you do not find the sauce “red” enough, feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree. At this point, the sauce can be frozen for later use or kept in the refrigerator for 2 days. Ensure that the sauce is cooked to room temperature before storing. When ready to eat, put sauce in a saucepan and simmer until very hot.
4. 10 minutes before serving, add scallops and stir the sauce all over the scallops to ensure that the scallop cooks evenly. Add in the shrimp and stir. Do not overcook.
5. Pour Jambalaya into a large serving bowl and serve with rice.
Note: Real jambalaya is usually cooked with the rice in it. However, we’ve found the jambalaya more versatile if it is cooked separately from the rice as it risks the seafood from getting cooked too well done. Also, I don’t quite like my rice too soaked through with sauce and helps with the portion control since some people like less rice while others like more.