Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A 'Super Bowl' Meal--Jambalaya--by Philip S. Kampe

Are you tired of serving the usual food each year at ‘Super Bowl’ time? Why not consider making Sunday night a special night by serving homemade Jamabalaya? According to ‘Food History’, Jambalaya originated in southern Louisiana. The Cajuns lived near the bayou where food was scarce, as opposed to the agriculturally richer part of the state.
The word Jambalaya is said to be a compound word, Jambon from the French, meaning ham and Aya, meaning rice in African. The pronunciation is jum-buh-LIE-uh.
Common belief is that it originated from the Spanish Paella, which has also has been transformed into a dish called Spanish rice.
In the past, Jambalaya was always made a bit differently each time it is made because the ingredients changed due to seasonality. 
Today, with the numerous markets, it is easy to pick-up all necessary ingredients at the same time.
Jambalaya can be made with (separately or all together) ham, chicken, sausage, fresh pork, shrimp and oysters, to which is added rice, onion, celery, peppers, spices and other ingredients.
Starting with church fairs, which were the largest public gatherings at the turn of the century, Jambalaya emerged from small quantity indoor cooking to become the ideal dish for outdoor cooking over a hardwood fire. Big black cast iron pots made preparation so easy and economical for church use that Jambalaya was rapidly adopted for political rallies, weddings, family reunions and other affairs.
Today, in Gonzales, Louisiana, area cooks have created the ‘Jambalaya Festival and World Champion Jambalaya Cooking Contest’.
Gonzales is the Jambalaya Capitol of the World.
I usually serve an oaked Chardonnay or Sangiovese with Jambalaya.
If you a beer person for game day, the beer choice will be a pilzner.
My family has made Jambalaya for over sixty years.
I am originally from New Orleans and would love to share our adopted family recipe, especially for your ‘Super Bowl’ party.
Remember, all ingredients can be purchased locally.

INGREDIENTS for 6-8 people:
3 cups long grain rice
3 cups chicken broth
4 tbs. olive oil
3 tbs. butter
1 pound kielbasa, chorizo or sausage (spicy preerred)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound medium to small peeled shrimp
1 large scallion sliced
1 large onion diced
2 cups diced celery
2 large peppers (red, yellow or green) cored and diced
3 large tomatoes diced and seeds removed
4 cloves of diced garlic
3 jalapenos diced with seeds removed
2 tbs. dried oregano
2 tbs. dried thyme (fresh if you have it)
4 bay leaves
1 can tomato tomato paste
1/2 tsp.cayenne pepper
Tobasco sauce
½ cup of parsley
1 lemon juiced
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot, sauté pan or paella pan over medium heat.
Add a tbs. of oil and add sausage and sauté for ten minutes.
Take out of pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pot and cook until brown on all sides.
Do not overcook.
Remove chicken and add butter and rest of oil.  Lower heat and add onions, celery and  pepper to the pot and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, oregano, thyme and tomato paste and stir. Cook 5 minutes and add chicken broth.  Bring to a broil and add rice, sausage, chicken, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir.
Lower heat, simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
When finished take off lid, turn off heat and add shrimp, lemon zest and lemon juice, parsley, scallions and cayenne pepper. When heat is off, stir and cover for 15 minutes, making sure after 15 minutes that the shrimp are cooked.
Serve, while watching the ‘Super Bowl’ and enjoy!


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