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Cookbooks often come with step-by-step directions. Recipes that come from older, more traditional recipes are often passed down from generation to generation, carrying tradition and family secrets all the way through.
In addition to being easy to make, some of the best traditional dishes also tend to be the most widely adapted. So it’s no surprise that there are countless recipes for the famous jambalaya dish that differ only slightly in ingredients.
Jambalaya is a dish that originated in Louisiana. It typically contains rice, shrimp, chicken and a variety of vegetables but beyond that, the specifics of the dish are completely to taste and to tradition.
Determining the Consistency of Jambalaya
Jambalaya can be watery due to the amount of rice used, as well as the cooking time. To avoid a watery jambalaya, cook the meat thoroughly before adding any other ingredients. Make sure the rice is fully cooked and stir frequently.
You might have made a mistake with the water when you cooked the food. The best way to ensure your jambalaya is rich and full of flavor is to use a thicker sauce, such as a béchamel or a white sauce.
With this being said, there are still a number of other situations that can lead to you having a watery, thin jambalaya, but these are two of the most common reasons why your jambalaya isn’t turning out the way you want it to.
Finding What You Need
There are a number of ways you can improve a jambalaya recipe. You can fix the sauce, or add a new one, or change your ingredients altogether. But whatever you do, you should make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy eating.
For jambalaya that has already been cooked and turned out too thin, this process will not work to start jambalaya out with. With that in mind, you will want to begin getting the ingredients that you need to fix the problem.
Start with a pot big enough to hold at least two quarts of liquid. Then find a large bowl. Add the ingredients listed below. Start the rice by placing it in a pot and add three quarts of water. Bring the pot to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes.
If you’re fixing a pot of jambalaya, you want to reduce its volume by two-thirds to one-third. So if you start with two quarts of jambalaya, you will want approximately eight ounces of tomato juice and four tablespoons of cornstarch. That’s a ratio of approximately four parts tomato juice to three parts jambalaya.
Tomato juice is one of the easiest products to make at home. In fact, there are only a few basic ingredients that you need to know how to prepare. You can even make your own tomato juice by simply crushing tomatoes and straining the pulp out of them.
Fixing the Jambalaya
Before you start cooking, think about what changes you’d like to make to your jambalaya. Do you want to lighten it up with less rice and more vegetables? Do you want to add more seasonings and herbs? Whatever you decide, remember that it’s always easier to make modifications once you’ve got the recipe down pat.
The jambalaya will cook in the crock pot for most of the time, so you can place it out of the way while you work with the tomato sauce and the cornstarch.
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You’ll next want to turn the stove to a low, simmering heat and pour the tomato juice you purchased into a separate mixing bowl. Once the tomato juice has been poured into the bowl, start stirring in the cornstarch.
If cornstarch doesn’t work for you, try another thickening agent, but cornstarch is often the most effective and easiest to work with.
Easy Slow Cooker Jambalaya Recipe
Slow cooker jambalaya is delicious, satisfying, and comes together with hardly any effort at all! Our family favorite slow cooker recipes are normally honey garlic chicken or beef tips, but this jambalaya is so good we’ve been adding it into the regular rotation.
It’s amazing the addictive powers of spice. The way the spices play with the tasty flavors of sausage and shrimp is so addictive. Savory, spicy, meaty, and juicy, I know this is a dish you and your family won’t be able to resist getting second helpings of!
Jambalaya is a one-pot, low-effort, and high-flavor meal. It can be as easy as throwing everything in a slow cooker and leaving it alone.
With this recipe, you’ll save a lot of time and effort. You can go about your day, knowing that the dinner you make is guaranteed to be a hit!
Making Slow Cooker Jambalaya With its delicious flavors, this recipe has been my go-to dish for years, and it’s now my family’s favorite!
Start by prepping your ingredients. Next, add them into your crockpot, turning it on low for 8 hours.
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Cook: Set the slow cooker to low for 7-8 hours and then set it to high for 3-4 hours.
Easy Jambalaya Tips and Tricks
These dishes are easily customized to match your individual tastes. With these easy tips and suggestions, you’ll make the best of every bite!
Gumbo or Jambalaya: The difference between gumbo and jambalaya is that gumbo typically contains a roux which is cooked to a deeply flavored brown stage.
Jambalaya is made from one pot with rice and other ingredients like meats, seafood, chicken, and sausage. It’s traditionally served with brown rice, which is also healthy.
Jambalaya is traditionally a stew made from chicken and rice that originated in New Orleans. This recipe for jambalaya is a little bit of a twist on the traditional and gives you the chance to add in a few different flavors.
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The trick to adding the right ingredients to this dish is to use a quality sausage. A good quality sausage is one of the most important parts of this recipe.
I love making this dish because it’s so versatile. My family likes it, and I like to change it up with whatever I have in the fridge.
I also enjoy adding in any seafood or chicken that I have on hand. And yes, I know that this isn’t a Cajun recipe but we eat it all the time and it never fails to please.
Rice is a wonderful, versatile ingredient for making meals like jambalaya and chowders. Don’t be afraid to add in extra spice for more flavor, and remember to garnish it!
Building a Flavorful Base
At the heart of the jambalaya are the three basic ingredients, the celery, the bell peppers, and the onion. They make up the “holy trinity,” which serves as the basis for a lot of New Orleans cuisine as well as many French dishes.
The stock provides the richness, the Creole spices allow the flavors to build over time, and the meat is cooked to perfection, allowing all those flavor compounds to emerge.
The Creole seasoning is one of those recipes that can add that extra zing to your meal or snack. It’s something I love to keep around for all the different recipes in which I use it. You’re going to find that using Creole seasoning will give your meals and snacks that special touch.
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White pepper is a key ingredient in a lot of Louisiana-inspired dishes. You’ll often see it used in Creole gumbo or crawfish pie. However, there’s also a milder type of white pepper that can easily blend with everything and create a more complex flavor.
You might also find some of our spicy Creole-style jambalaya with tomatoes. They’re Cajun and not Creole because they don’t have tomatoes.
Although the sweet flavor of strawberries is hard to beat, I prefer to leave out the acidity that comes with eating tomatoes.
Storing Leftover Jambalaya
I love how easy and delicious this recipe is, but also how amazing leftovers taste. You can find more about Jambalaya here.
In the Refrigerator: Jambalaya is perfect for those who want to prepare a quick dinner that will last the whole week.
My favorite way to reheat jambalaya is to cook it on the stove. I feel like it helps retain all of the delicious texture of the meat and shrimp.
What is the serving size for this?
Serve with 2 cups of rice for each person (this recipe makes about 3 servings). 1 pound cooked shrimp (16 pieces) will serve 4 people; add 2 tablespoons of butter to the shrimp if desired. 1/4 cup of frozen peas is a nice touch to go along with this jambalaya.
What’s the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?
Answer: Gumbo and jambalaya are very similar, but the differences between them lie in the meats and spices used. Gumbo is typically served with seafood, while jambalaya is traditionally made with pork or beef.
Andouille sausage is another traditional ingredient for a good gumbo. The Cajun seasoning used in both dishes is usually based on a combination of black pepper and other herbs and spices, but there are many variations.