Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Jambalaya Cakes

When the Ombudsman starts givin me the eye, I know it's for one of two reasons.

He either thinks I've crossed some sort of line, or he is craving this delectable.

I like to pretend its always the latter. (Oh how wrong that assumption is...)

But when he is looking for tasty delights, I sometimes go a bit over the top...like with this Jambalaya.

Its fantastically sophisticated, and at the same time, as homey as can be.

Just like him, except, this one you can nibble on (and frankly, he doesn't take to that.)

Its a stellar example of uptown-downtown dishy-ness.

Sure, sure there is a lot going on with it, but that is just sometimes the way to go.

And please do realize, you can stop the dish before it becomes cakes, and eat it. I just cant resist going overboard sometimes. Its my way of "crossing the line."

So try this my peaches, and taste the joy.

1 link andouille sausage, chopped
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, also chopped
½ pound shrimp, in shell
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, juice reserved
Pinch of sugar
3 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup smoked ham
1 – 2 cup chicken broth
3 T fresh parsley, minced
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, beaten
2 cup panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

In a medium saucepan, combine the bay leaves and stock and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp shells and cook until they turn pink. Strain broth and reserve.

In a Dutch oven sauté the andouille sausage and chorizo in the butter. Remove the meat and sauté the onion, celery and bell pepper until translucent. Add ¼ c. of the tomato juice.

Chop the tomatoes, sugar, thyme, chili powder and cayenne and cook until all the ingredients are combined and soupy. Add the sausage, chorizo and chopped ham, stir to combine all the ingredients. Test for seasoning.

Strain liquid off and add enough chicken stock to make 2 ½ cups. Add rice to the pot over medium to high heat and begin adding the liquid to the pot just enough to cover each time. Continue stirring and adding until the rice is cooked through. Check for seasonings. Add parsley and spread on a sheet pan to cool.

When the rice is cool enough to handle add the egg and form it into small patties. Coat in panko bread crumbs.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry the cakes until golden on the outside.

Garnish with shrimp, mango and avocado salsa.


Jambalaya is a Creole dish that combines cooked rice with tomatoes, onion, peppers and almost any kind of meat, poultry, or shellfish. Similar in many ways to Spanish paella, the term is derived from the Spanish jamon for ham.

Gonzales, Louisiana hosts an annual Jambalaya Festival

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