Jambalaya with Orzo Pasta
A great creole dish with a pasta twist.
With Mardi Gras right around the corner, a classic New Orleans recipe seemed appropriate to feature in this week’s Recipe Corner. Jambalaya can either be Cajun or Creole. Creole is typically tomato-based while Cajun contains no tomatoes and uses the juices of the meat for color and flavor. This recipe leans more toward the Creole side because the closer to New Orleans you get, the more common tomato-based Jambalaya becomes. I add orzo pasta because of the flavor and the texture it brings. Enjoy!
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground sage
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ cup green onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ orange/red pepper, chopped (whichever you prefer, I used orange based on color, not flavor)
½ cup sweet onion, chopped
1 lb crushed tomato
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
½ lb Andouille sausage, sliced
½ lb shrimp, peeled/deveined, seasoned
2 tbsp butter (or oil, to coat bottom of the pan)
1 lb orzo pasta
Combine ingredients for seasoning. Sprinkle seasoning onto shrimp and set aside.
In a cast iron pan on medium heat, brown the Andouille sausage. When the sausage is almost finished browning, add the shrimp, celery, onions, and peppers to the pot and brown.
Add the tomato and remaining seasoning to the mixture. Bring to a slow boil. The last ingredient to enter the pot is the chicken broth.
Bring the Jambalaya back to a boil, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Stir after 10-15 minutes and let rest the remaining time.
Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions and combine with Jambalaya when plating. If you want to use rice, add it at the same time as the chicken broth. Use equal portions of rice and broth.
This Jambalaya packs a punch! The heat from the cayenne, chili powder, and Andouille lit up my palate without being incredibly overpowering. The seasoning was spot on, and the essence of the shrimp mingled in nicely with the flavor of the tomato.
The soft texture of the orzo was exactly what I was looking for. It fused well with the subtle crunch of the now soaked peppers and onions, as well as the sausage and shrimp.
As I’ve stated before, tomato dishes are delicious as leftovers. This Jambalaya is no different. All of the flavors seem to be intensified while losing no textural integrity. The orzo was clumpy after a night in the fridge but once it was heated up, it was fine.
I added hot sauce this time, and it was fantastic.
This recipe gets an A. It combined great flavors and textures while providing a spiciness you expect out of a Jambalaya.