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Old 07-20-2011, 10:30 PM   #1
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Different ways of making jambalaya?

Usually, we make jambalaya by first making the "sauce" and then cook the rice in it. I recently read a menu from BJ's (a restaurant), and they say:

Our distinctive jambalaya combines blackened chicken, shrimp and chicken-andouille sausage, sautéed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes in a spicy sauce. Served over a rice pilaf and topped with green onions.

Note that they prepare the sauce and the rice separately. I'm guessing they might cook the sauce, separate the "food" from the sauce and cook the rice only with the sauce (hence a pilaf), and then just poor the "food" on the pilaf. Is this something people do usually?

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Old 07-20-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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I was always under the assumption that it was a one pot meal, based on browning/blackening the proteins, then go in with veg, then essentially deglazing with h20/stock/ cough...beer/or a combination of said variables, THEN in with the rice, and kill heat, cover, let it sit and then fluff at the end. Bigger cast iron vessels work the best?

For dietary/allergen restrictions, I can certainly see the need for separation, but it's like trying to do paella as individual components.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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BJs is not serving jambalaya.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:43 PM   #4
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I was always under the assumption that it was a one pot meal, based on browning/blackening the proteins, then go in with veg, then essentially deglazing with h20/stock/ cough...beer/or a combination of said variables, THEN in with the rice, and kill heat, cover, let it sit and then fluff at the end. Bigger cast iron vessels work the best?

For dietary/allergen restrictions, I can certainly see the need for separation, but it's like trying to do paella as individual components.
will the rice cook through without applying heat?
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
BJs is not serving jambalaya.
Maybe it stand for Bad Jambalaya's?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:01 AM   #6
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I'm guessing they use the same rice for other dishes like gumbo and use the meat sauce on other things like steak &/or catfish.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:51 AM   #7
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I'm guessing they use the same rice for other dishes like gumbo and use the meat sauce on other things like steak &/or catfish.
I'm sure you're right, BigAl. Once the rice is in the Jambalaya, the dish is done. Separately, both can be used in other ways.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:42 AM   #8
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Tattrat nailed the methodology part of Jambalaya cooking above....Browning of the proteins and vegetables (usually the trinity in some proportion) then De-glazing the pot, removing the fond etc. with a liquid...water/stock/broth etc. Then adding the raw rice. The liquid and the rice amounts need to be the correct proportions...Normally 2:1 ...2 Cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice for the right consistency. ~~~ There is a "red" (Creole) jambalaya..red from the addition of tomatoes....Commonly found in, and in close proximity to the city of New Orleans proper. Also there is a "brown" (Cajun) jambalaya....brown from the browning of the meats and vegetables normally found elsewhere in South Louisiana. Obviously examples of both types can be found in both general areas. ~~ There is a third type of (Faux) Jambalaya known in some circles as "White" jambalaya where the rice is cooked separately from the proteins and vegetables and are combined at the end of cooking....The dish described by the OP is not jambalaya----jambalaya is not served *over* rice....Jambalaya *Is* rice....cooked in the goodness of the meats/proteins/vegetables/seasonings/liquids etc in a single pot. HTH
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:10 AM   #9
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Bob said it better than I could.

Restaurants often take liberties with food names, using them on dishes that bear little resemblance to the real thing.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:35 AM   #10
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I'm guessing they use the same rice for other dishes like gumbo and use the meat sauce on other things like steak &/or catfish.
I thought the same thing. But in this case, they are missing the point. One size does NOT fit all.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:43 AM   #11
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Tattrat nailed the methodology part of Jambalaya cooking above....Browning of the proteins and vegetables (usually the trinity in some proportion) then De-glazing the pot, removing the fond etc. with a liquid...water/stock/broth etc. Then adding the raw rice. The liquid and the rice amounts need to be the correct proportions...Normally 2:1 ...2 Cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice for the right consistency. ~~~ There is a "red" (Creole) jambalaya..red from the addition of tomatoes....Commonly found in, and in close proximity to the city of New Orleans proper. Also there is a "brown" (Cajun) jambalaya....brown from the browning of the meats and vegetables normally found elsewhere in South Louisiana. Obviously examples of both types can be found in both general areas. ~~ There is a third type of (Faux) Jambalaya known in some circles as "White" jambalaya where the rice is cooked separately from the proteins and vegetables and are combined at the end of cooking....The dish described by the OP is not jambalaya----jambalaya is not served *over* rice....Jambalaya *Is* rice....cooked in the goodness of the meats/proteins/vegetables/seasonings/liquids etc in a single pot. HTH

thanks for mentioning brown jambalaya.. there was once I saw on DDD a louisiana restaurant made jambalaya that has a really deep color and I really liked it, but I had only seen red jambalaya before.

How does browning meat and veggies let the rice become brown?
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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I make brown jambalaya, but I know it's not true jambalaya because I start with a brown roux. I call it gumbolaya. It's not true to any authentic dish, but I like it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:11 AM   #13
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I make brown jambalaya, but I know it's not true jambalaya because I start with a brown roux. I call it gumbolaya. It's not true to any authentic dish, but I like it.

It would really stink if you made it all the time and didn't like it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #14
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It would really stink if you made it all the time and didn't like it.
Ain't that the truth
I've got it pretty much where it needs to be, but next batch I'm going to try to find some okra and file(?) powder. It's one of those work in progess dishes.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #15
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Something else to consider is the location of this BJ's restaurant. If it was in ....say W. KS not too many would know any better. I love cajun foods, make cajun dishes, but have never had "true" deep south cajun food.(well 'cept for once, but they went out of business due to drug deal'n)

I guess I'm say'n some of us are gullible......er I mean some people are gullible.

Reminds me of texmex vs mexican food.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hyperion
How does browning meat and veggies let the rice become brown?
Browning the meat/vegetables creates a "fond"~~ It's made up of browned bits of meat/vegetables etc. that stick to the bottom of the pot during high heat browning/sauteing ... These particles have a very intense (delicious) flavor. When the liquid is added to the pot it deglazes... removes all of these particles along with their flavors and color....It colors the water a shade of brown....as the rice cooks, it absorbs the 'brown liquid' turning the rice brown...Brown (AKA Cajun Jambalaya) does not include tomatoes...With the addition of tomatoes/tomato products etc. it turns the rice/dish Red as well as alter the flavor of the dish... This is known as Red (AKA Creole) jambalaya......HTH
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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I have been using a Paul Prudhomme recipe from his first cookbook (pre-Magic Blend spice mixes). He emphasizes browning the proteins to create a fond and incorporate that into the recipe (Brown) but he also adds tomato (Red).

So what do we call this? Does the tomato trump the fond so any jambalaya that includes tomato is creole style, even if it's brownish red??

BTW, he also suggests serving it with Creole Sauce... More tomato. Did I answer my own question?
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:45 PM   #18
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Andy I've seen that recipe....The methodology initially is the same for the Red and Brown. The fond is additional flavor either way.... When you add tomatoes or tomato products it becomes a Red "Creole" Jambalaya...The suggestion to add a creole (tomato based) sauce over the top is "gilding the lily" IMO... Maybe something unique to him?? I dunno. I've never seen that suggestion anywhere else that I remember....One could argue that many of his (Prudhomme's) cookbook's recipes as well as some/many of his menu items are neither Creole nor Cajun....but rather (His Version) of "New Orleans Cooking" ....Which is really a style of cooking all on it's own........
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #19
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Thanks, Bob. I think I'll try it without the tomato ( and the creole sauce) next time.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:56 PM   #20
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I cheat and use beef stock. But, I do brown my meats and onions first, also. I like to use leftover ham for this dish. And tomatoes. It is a version of a dish that my mother made to use up leftover ham, and it bares no resemblence to any authentic dish, but it is still good and I gotta call it something.

But, now that I have been following this thread, I think it is time to do a bit of research and attempt something more authentic.
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