Jambalaya is one of those words I've heard a few times but had never eaten and to be honest, I didn't even really know what it was. So when I stumbled across this recipe recently on the delicious magazine website I thought I'd give it a go.
Jambalaya come from New Orleans. The story goes that the spanish were trying to make paella but couldn't get hold of saffron and substituted it with tomatoes. The Caribbean influence in the area led to the edition of spices and jambalaya was the result. As for the name there is an old wives tales that tells of a travelling gentleman who stopped by a New Orleans inn which had little food remaining from the evening meal. The innkeeper instructed the cook, "Jean, balayez!" or "Jean, sweep something together!" in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as "Jean balayez." I don't know if it's true but I love the story so I like to think so.
When I was prepping the dish I just loved the beautiful array of ingredients. Just look at the colours! This recipe actually does use raw prawns but my recommendation would be to always by prawns raw. They take moments to cook and are so fresh and tasty, that for me it's a no brainer.
The dish was yummy. It went down a storm with the family. Not too spicy for the children, who kept stealing prawns from my plate! Definitely one to make again.
I even remembered to serve the garnish with it. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in the kitchen to clear up after dinner and found a little bowl of something I was supposed to sprinkle on at the end.
So if you ever pop in to see me just call me 'Jean' and I'll balayez something for you.
And a Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers in the USA from both of us! xxx