One of the things I love the most about traveling is learning different cultures through their culinary traditions. And when you think of cultures filled with vibrant life and joyful traditions I bet New Orleans comes to mind. Full of flavor and love, New Orleans cuisine satisfies the tummy and the soul!
I remember the moment I found out about sweet rice flour being a substitute for flour in a traditional roux (butter and flour cooked together to thicken a sauce). I felt like the heavens had just opened back up for me! Jambalaya was attainable! Gravy was once again possible! Just make sure you use sweet rice flour and not regular rice flour. They are not interchangeable!
Yield: 8 servings
1 pound large shrimp (26-30’s), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 tbs + 1 tbs butter
4 tbs sweet rice flour
2 andouille sausages, cut in ½ inch thick coins
1 cup tasso, small diced (about 6 oz)
1 cup yellow onion, small diced
½ cup celery
½ cup green pepper
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs creole seasoning
2 qts chicken stock
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ pound crawfish tails
½ pound crab meat, picked
salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons, zested
Place 1 quart of water in a small saucepot. Add the shrimp shells, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the shells steep for 4 minutes, then strain, reserving only the liquid.
In the meantime, make the roux by placing 4 tbs of butter and 4 tbs of sweet rice flour in a small saucepan, and cook on medium heat, stirring every 2 minutes or so, until it takes on a dark color, about the shade of roasted peanut butter.
Take a large enameled dutch oven and heat up the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the andouille sausages. Cook until golden brown and then remove from the pan. Reserve.
Cook the tasso in the same pan on medium heat until the fat is rendered out, about 8 minutes. Next add the celery, green peppers and onions, stirring occasionally.. Sauté for another 8 minutes, then add the tomato paste and creole seasoning. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
Add the chicken stock, shrimp stock and the rice. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to low heat and cover the pot with a lid, stirring occasionally. Allow to cook for about 25 minutes, or until rice is just tender. Add more liquid if desired.
To finish the jambalaya turn the heat up to medium and add the shrimp, andouille and the roux. Stir them in and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, until the shrimp are starting to turn from translucent to pink and opaque. Add the andouille, crawfish and crab meat. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Serve hot or cool and refrigerate. Jambalaya will be good stored up to 3 days.