Sunday, May 20, 2012

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!

Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Gumbo file' Son-of-gun we're gonna have great fun, down on the bayou ...(you can find the lyrics here: ) (You can listen here: 


         Goodness! I’ve had an exhausting week and I think my house is going to permanently harbor the stench of cooking onions.

         I cooked a huge batch of jambalaya mix to freeze. While the idea of sitting down to a wonderful plate of “instant” jambalaya sounds enticing, getting it to that point isn’t so great.

         One day I am going to learn to chop and cook the onions in the outside kitchen, then move the process indoors to my kitchen. Seems I have this revelation every time I cook onions. It has obviously yet to stick. I spent the better part of a day chopping many (lots and lots) onions in preparation for cooking. Once I finished up with the onions, I cubed two slabs of honey ham, chopped two packages each of Hillshire Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage. With this huge pile of chopped ingredients taking up residence on my counter, I was ready to begin cooking.

         I tossed the onions into a huge pot and cranked up the fire (I think faster is always better – not so). So, with the candles burning and the windows opened to allow fresh air to penetrate the onion odor infested kitchen, I stirred and stirred and then stared at those onions willing them to brown and caramelize (oh me of little patience). Well, needless to say, no onion will caramelize before its time; and believe when I say - that onion had its own time table!

         The onions finally caramelized and it was time to toss in the chopped meats. Gosh! Once the meat starts browning and blending with the onions, it is slap yo’ mama good let’s have a party time. Oh! My Goodness! You want to just grab a bowl and start dishing it up to eat! After the meat and onions were cooked and a little gravy was forming, I threw in the peeled shrimp. A little more cooking and stirring and then it was “grab a bowl” time.

         I put the rice to cook and sat down to enjoy my bowl of jambalaya mix thinking all is right with the world (and it sure is great to be from the South!)


10 onions, chopped; 2 packages of Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage, chopped; 2-1/2” slabs of honey ham, 4 cups peeled small shrimp, ½-teaspoon Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil

How To:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the bottom of a heavy pan, add onions and cook until brown and caramelized. (I always sprinkle a little sugar over onions to help in the caramelization.)

Caramelizing onions

Sausage - chopped in quarters
Quarter pieces
Add chopped meat and stir. (See picture - sausage is sliced down center and down center again forming four links - slice - this will give you quarter pieces) Cook down. Drain any grease that has accumulated (sausage has lots of grease.)

Little Smokies

Add peeled shrimp and ½ teaspoon liquid crab boil. Stir. Lower fire and let simmer. Add a little water if necessary.

I do not normally add any additional seasoning because the meat helps to season the dish as well as the liquid crab boil.

Chopped sausages, ham
Cooked, ready for shrimp
Cooking before shrimp

Shrimp added


To Do:

At this point, you can either cool mixture and freeze or mix in cooked rice and enjoy. The mixture is also great on French bread as a sandwich mix. Enjoy!

*If you have any questions about the recipe, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to clarify.

You might also enjoy Hubby's Southern Pecan Pralines! Nielsen-Massey Madagasgar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

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  1. That Jambalaya looks so delicious!! I am a new follower actually from Link Referral and so happy I found your page!!

    Please check out my site when you have time!

    1. Thank you for visiting Jean! I will definitely check out your blog. Thanks. Donna

  2. Hi Donna, that looks yummy.
    Like Jean, I'm from Link Referral too.

    Colors and Grays

    1. Thanks for visiting Lawrence. Will definitely visit your site.

  3. Oh my, what a lot of work. No wonder I love homecooked jambalaya so much!

    1. It's a little work - oh - who am I kidding - it's a lot of work - lol but so worth the effort! Gather up a group of friends to help chop and have a hen party. If you cook up a huge pot, then everyone goes home with a little "mess" of sauce for dinner or have a big party after! Let me know if you try it.

  4. Donna,
    I'm not good at following my own advice either, but I've heard you can freeze the onions and cut them with little smell and little crying!

    Maybe it works?

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for visiting. Actually, for me, onions aren't a problem to chop. I have a ceiling fan over my island and it blows the fumes away. No crying. Most people do not put fans in their kitchens. I think I am the Southern exception there. Thank goodness though that I discovered this trick - I love caramelizing onions! Which means chopping lots of onions!


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