Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham/Sausage

This week's CEiMB recipe is jambalaya, a dish I'm very familiar with considering that I'm a born and raised Louisiana girl. You can't go to an LSU football tailgate without being offered a bowl. And every "tailgate chef" thinks his or her recipe is the best!

That being said, I have never actually made jambalaya! That's almost sacrilegious!

So, thanks to Anonymous New York (who selected this recipe), I can now stand proud and say I have conquered this traditional Louisiana dish (and with a lighter version). Compare it to your standard jambalaya recipe (if you have one) could you adapt your version to make it lighter? Use less oil? Add more veggies per cup of rice (Ellie's has a ratio of 4:1)? Use more lean protein (chicken/turkey breast, seafood) and less fatty protein (sausage)?

  • Per serving - 440 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 50 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 38 g protein (exchanges: 2 fats, 1 vegetable, 2 1/2 starches, 5 protein)
  • Notes - I made a few changes/additions...I added a cup of diced celery (you can't make jambalaya without the "trinity"), swapped the onion for leeks (I already had them in the fridge), used turkey andouille sausage instead of ham, used fresh oregano/thyme instead of dry (I have these herbs growing at my house and I used 3 times as much...dried herbs are more potent than fresh), and used boiled shrimp instead of raw (they were on sale at WholeFoods...already peeled, devained, and cooked - I couldn't resist); I was tempted to try the recipe with brown rice, but after reading the reviews, I decided not to (maybe next time); note the serving size (2 cups)...that's a lot of jambalaya in my if you wanted to, eat a little less and fill up on a salad
  • Tips - I cut my shrimp in half to make them bite size (they were pretty big) and to give each serving more bites of shrimp; if at the end of the cooking time, your rice is still slightly crunchy (mine was) add a little more stock or water, and cook for a while longer;
  • My Thoughts - There are 2 versions of jambalaya in Louisiana, those that use tomatoes and stock (the Creole-style "red" version) and those only use stock (the Cajun-style "brown" version)...after trying this recipe, I think I prefer the Cajun-style; I'm not sure if it was because I didn't measure the cayenne well, but it was really spicy, so you may want to add less at first; I'm also not sure about the paprika...there was an "unexpected" flavor and this might be it; All this said, I'm just being picky/ is really good, and you should give it a try!


  1. My rice was a little crunchy too which made me especially happy that I hadn't tried brown rice like I originally thought to do.

    Great pictures!

  2. Great pics! I also used a turkey sausage in place of the ham.

  3. Looks fantastic. We really enjoyed this recipe. I think I should have been raised in Louisiana since I haven't had a native dish yet that I didn't like. Love the spices.

  4. I don't have much jambalaya eating experience, but now I would like to try the cajun version as well. Any tips on a good recipe to start with? Cutting the shrimp into bites was a good idea, i think i will do that next time, as well as add some celery. What a weird ingredient for Ellie to omit.

  5. This was our first time making jambalaya as well, and we were very pleased.

    I wish I had an herb garden (sigh). My father allots me a small amount of space in his garden, just enough for 1 (now huge) thyme plant, and some chives (which, magically come back year after year even though they are supposed to die off at that latitude). I'd love some fresh oregano...

  6. I did use brown rice, but based on the reviews on Food Network, I parboiled it and it worked out fine. Your fresh oregano looks sooo good. I'm glad you liked this dish and you can now say you cook jambalaya!

  7. Thanks everyone for the picture compliments!

    Sara - If you go to and search "cajun jamabalaya", Emeril has a few versions...and then apply Ellie's healthy changes...less oil, more veggies, and leaner meats!

  8. Next time, I'll use celery, too so I have "the trinity". Looks wonderful!