Yes, I probably should have made this for Mardi Gras, but I didn’t think of it in time. Besides, there’s absolutely no reason not to eat Cajun food every chance you get! The jambalaya recipe is adapted from Gulf Coast Cooking by Virginia T. Elverson; my dad used to make it, though I haven’t cooked up a batch in years. The cornbread recipe is from Shan-made; I found it on Pinterest. I’ve never been to Disneyland, so I can’t speak to whether it actually tastes like the stuff they serve there, but the idea of combining cornbread mix with yellow cake mix seemed pretty awesome. The sweetness of the cornbread goes very well with the spicy jambalaya!
- ½ cup vegetable oil (less is probably fine, just coat the bottom of the pan)
- ½ pound andouille or smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 pound medium shrimp*, peeled & deveined
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery (I used maybe a third of that because I hate celery)
- 1 cup chopped scallions, including tops
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1-16 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
- Cayenne and black pepper to taste (The book called for ¼ tsp cayenne and 1 tsp black pepper, but that was WAY too much black pepper.)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- chopped parsley to garnish
*About the shrimp: The cookbook says to cook it with the sausage and chicken and then add it back while the rice cooks for 30 minutes, but that sounds like a recipe for rubbery shrimp. Dad recommended adding it raw when there’s 30 minutes to go, so it’ll cook as everything simmers. Or if, like me, you can’t find raw medium shrimp at the grocery, you can buy precooked cocktail shrimp, take off the tails, and add it when there’s about 8-10 minutes left, so it’ll heat up.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Dutch oven) and sauté sausage and chicken until browned, then set aside.
In the same oil, sauté onion, bell pepper, celery, scallions, and garlic until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, pepper, cayenne, and salt; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in rice.
Mix the reserved liquid from tomatoes, chicken stock, and Worcestershire sauce, and add water if needed to bring the total to 2½ cups. Add to the rice mix, bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Add sausage, chicken, and shrimp. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until rice is done. Sprinkle with parsley to serve. (You don’t actually have to do this; it’s just so 1991 I had to share.)
- 2 boxes cornbread mix
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- All ingredients that the boxes call for (with the brands I bought, I needed 2/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water, and 5 eggs)
In a very large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and then add the liquids and eggs. Pour into a greased 9×13″ pan and cook at 350° for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I think I’ll have to make some plain white rice to dilute the over-spicy jambalaya (and to stretch the leftovers), but I have no idea what to do with all the extra cornbread. Any favorite recipes? Otherwise, I’ll probably just be eating it for lunch for a week. (Not that I have a problem with that!)
This post originally appeared on Persephone Magazine on March 12, 2014.