It’s Mardi Gras time!! This time of year, I always get a craving for my spicy jambalaya. I stole this recipe from my dad! Just like my father, I too love to play with ingredients in the kitchen. One year when I was in high school he served my brother and I, his version of spicy jambalaya and every year now, around this time when it’s super cold in Indiana it is just the perfect time to cook this baby up and warm myself up with wonderful spicy flavors and a seafood medley. I should warn you, if you decide to make this recipe exactly as I have it written, you will sweat and love it! If you only like a little spice, I would make sure all seeds from jalapenos are removed and omit the habaneros as well. If you do not like any spice, just omit the jalapenos and habaneros all together.
Over the years, I have added my own spin to my dad’s Jambalaya but it still brings me back to such a great time of hanging out with my Dad and my brother, gathering over food. Now true and traditional Jambalaya is a dish based out of Louisiana with Spanish and French influences served with mixed meat and with rice. I change it up a bit by adding my thick sauce and meat over the rice, but it tastes just as great.
Just to share a little background. My dad’s soup always used a base of Campbells tomato soup! Every time I make it that way it always tastes just as good. However, my version here uses organic tomato soup and added chunky tomatoes. So, if you’re a Campbell’s soup fan, definitely go for it. I did mention that this recipe was spicy, right? You will notice the chopped jalapenos with the seeds still in and the chopped habanero, also not in focus are the cans of tomatoes with habanero’s and the sofrito has habanero in it as well. I’m not playin’ around. 😉
When you are ready to start cooking, add your base of sofrito. If you do not feel like making a homemade version, they have store-bought versions. I will add a store-bought version to my resources page that I’ve used occasionally when I can’t find the right ingredients to make it homemade.
Add your soup, cans of ingredients, fresh vegetables and seasoning to a large stock pot. Get to a boil and then take it down to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
You will add your meats in increments, starting with the longest to cook first and finish with the quickest to cook. I like to call it layering. Add your andouille sausage first. I used fresh made sausage so I had to sear the sausage until it was half cooked in a frying pan before cutting it up and throwing it in. This will help it to keep it’s shape. If you buy like a Johnsonville sausage, it might already be cooked so those you can just throw in chopped into pieces. They always keep their shape and never break up. After about 15 minutes you can throw in the shrimp.
Once you start to see the shrimp curl (about 15 minutes), you can throw in your fish and 15 minutes after that throw in your mussels until they’ve opened and you’re done!
I use basmati rice and cook it with chicken broth instead of water and add a tablespoon of my sofrito for a little color. Any fluffy white rice will work though. Thank you so much for reading this post. This recipe holds many memories for me and I am glad that I have the opportunity to share it with all of you. When you make this recipe for yourself, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using #savorparadise.