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Super Bowl O’ Flavor

February 8, 2010

I took a Creole/Cajun cooking class a couple of years ago, and it was a lot of fun and very educational.  For instance, I learned that Creole food is the real muddy, swampy backwoods food of the bayou – crawfish cooked over an open flame, etc.  Cajun food is the urbanized, city version of Creole food.  I also learned about the “holy trinity” for this style of cuisine:  onions, green bell peppers and celery.  It’s the base of all Cajun/Creole dishes.  One of the recipes we made that night was a classic New Orleans dish, jambalaya.  It was terrific, and in honor of the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl victory, here is a jambalaya recipe from one of the great chefs of the region, Art Smith.  You could easily omit any of the proteins based on your preferences.  Enjoy!

Art Smith’s “Jambalaya For Company”

(serves 4)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ pound chicken thighs, cut into pieces
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound tilapia, white fish or halibut, cut into cubes
½ pound smoked sausage, sliced
½ large onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1½ tablespoons Creole seasoning:

-1 tsp. cayenne pepper

-1 tsp. ground black pepper

-1 tsp. white pepper

-1 tsp. dried oregano

-1 tsp. dried thyme

3 oz.tomato paste

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

2 cups long-grain white rice

½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Place the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and place over medium heat.  When hot, add the chicken, shrimp, fish, sausage, onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Cook until just lightly brown. Add the Creole seasoning, tomato paste, tomatoes, and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves, season with salt, and stir in the long-grain rice. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers, then cover.  Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 30 minutes.  Great jambalaya should be a little wet.  Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in the freshly chopped parsley.  Eat!

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5 comments

  1. Love the holy trinity of Cajun/Creole cooking. I prefer the Cajun style personally. Perfect description of the differences between the two! I enjoyed my two Southern inspired meals on New Year’s Day and a random playoff weekend in January but I def. needed a salad after all that!


    • That is not a perfect description… Many people are miss informed about that. Cajun food is peppery hot and Creole food is spicey… That’s the difference my husband is creole he should know


      • Ok I will blame my misinformation on the cajun chef who taught the class.


  2. I understand u took creole Cajun cooking class but you need to know the facts about Creoles culture vs Cajun before you start posting things on here. Your Jambalaya … If you are cooking the authentic creole version it does not have chicken in it.


    • Well you can see the recipe is from Art Smith, a highly celebrated chef from New Orleans with award-winning restaurants, so you can complain to him about the lack of chicken in authentic creole jambalya.



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