Categories:Cajun/Creole Food HIstory Mardi Gras Rice Recipes Shrimp Shrimp Pastas/Rice/Casserole Dishes
It is thought that the word “jambalaya” comes from the French word “jambon” mean “ham,” the French words “a la,” meaning “with” or “in the manner of,” and the African word “ya,” meaning “rice.” Put the words together and they mean “ham with rice.” The dish is a takeoff from the Spanish paella and is also amazingly similar to the West African dish called jollof rice. Jambalaya is a one-pot dish – most cooks prefer to cook it in cast-iron pots.
There is one rule in cooking jambalaya. After the rice has been added, jambalaya should never be stirred. Instead, it should be turned, as this prevents the grains of rice from breaking up. Most cooks turn jambalaya only two or three times after the rice is added, being sure to scoop from the bottom of the pot to mix rice evenly with other ingredients. Shovels are used when cooking outdoors in large cast-iron kettles.
Jambalaya is a favorite at church fairs, political rallies, weddings, family reunions, and any other affair with an excuse to serve food.
In Gonzales, Louisiana, the Jambalaya Festival and World champion Jambalaya cooking Contest is held annually. This event attract participants who have spent years perfecting the art of cooking and seasoning this wonderful stew.
Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe: