I grew up in one of the River Parishes, in the town of LaPlace, aka, the Andouille Capital of the World. As such, the jambalaya we ate growing almost always featured andouille and was the Cajun-style. As I've mentioned before, my husband grew up in New Orleans, and ate the Creole-style of jambalaya. Basically, the difference between the styles is the addition or lack thereof tomatoes. Neither is better than the other, as both are delicious in their own right, so it just comes down to preference. I prefer the Cajun-style and the husband prefers the Creole-style. So, the first time I made Creole jambalya for my husband, I used my standard jambalaya recipe, but added a can of tomatoes. Well, it turns out that not only is the husband anti-sausage, he's also anti-chunky-tomato. Next! My second attempt was better. I used bacon and tasso in place of the sausage and instead of tomatoes, I used a combination of tomato paste and sauce, but I thought it somewhat bland for my taste. You know the old saying third time's a charm? In this case, it was true, along with the tomato paste, I used a can of Rotel tomatoes that I whizzed in the food processor - no chunks! It's full of flavor, there's no tomato chunks or sausage, and I've been making this version ever since, to the husband's delight. Of course, I still make my beloved Cajun-jambalaya, and while the husband doesn't eat it, I've always found willing volunteers that jump at the chance to share.
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb tasso
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
6 stalks celery, diced
2 large onions, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes, pureed until smooth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (my new favorite)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 cup beef broth
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 green onions, sliced
1-2 tablespoons parsley
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon. Remove bacon, chop and set aside.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon grease and add diced tasso. Cook until brown, and remove from pan.
Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the Dutch oven and allow to melt. Add all of the vegetables and cook until tender and the edges are turning lightly brown on the edges.
Add the the pureed Rotel tomatoes and tomato paste to the sauteed vegetables, mix well.
Add the rice, bay leaf, all of the seasonings, tasso, bacon, and the broths.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, uncover and stir in shrimp. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through and the rice is tender. Stir in parsley, green onions, and serve.
and Tuesday Night Supper Club