Jambalaya 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.15.11 Jambalaya!

Remember that glorious tasso ham we smoked up for the latest Charcutepalooza challenge? (Read all about it here.) Well, I found a classic way to use it that really maximizes its smoky, spicy flavor. I came across a recipe for jambalaya by Chef Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana legend whose blackened entrees were horribly bastardized by chain restaurants in the 80s. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “jambalaya” comes from the Provençal word "jambalaia," meaning a mish-mash or mix-up, and also a pilau (pilaf) of rice. Originally a humble combination of rice and vegetables, it has evolved into a rich expression of local New Orleans cuisine. There are two types of jambalaya: Creole, also known as “red jambalaya,” which contains tomatoes and is usually made with chicken and smoked meat; and Cajun, “brown jambalaya,” without tomatoes, which is more characteristic of southwestern Louisiana. The Creole version, which originates from New Orleans’ French quarter, was undoubtedly influenced by Spanish paella. As saffron was scarce, tomatoes were added for their vibrant color. Ultimately, Caribbean spices and the addition of tasso ham or andouille sausage make this a dish unique unto itself.
Tagged — tasso