Jambalaya is one of those dishes that is so ingrained in American, and especially Louisianan, culinary history that its origin gets a bit muddled. Or at least mixed up, like jambalaya itself.
Like so many classic Louisiana dishes, jambalaya is a mashup of influences. There is connection to Spanish paella. In the Provence region of France the world jambalaia is used to describe a “mish mash,” which jambalaya certainly is. France is a strong influence in Cajun and Creole cooking, found throughout Louisiana. And so much of the food of the American South has roots in Africa. The West African word for rice is ya, which is neatly tucked at the end of the word. Various Internet sources, including Wikipedia, parse the word and dish.
This week, the Sunday Supper tastemakers are using jambalaya mixes and creole seasonings from Zatarain’s to put their own spin on the classic dish. On Sunday, Zatarain’s joins us at the table for our weekly 7 p.m. ET Twitter chat. We certainly expect the good times to roll for the virtual Mardi Gras party.
Using the original Zatarain’s jambalaya mix, I prepared a seafood version with bay scallops and shrimp. After letting the mixture cool for about 15 minutes, I used it as the flavor fuel for an 8-egg frittata. (Hot jambalaya will cook the eggs unevenly.) The results were delicious. And versatile. Seafood Jambalaya is a fabulous brunch entree, but it’s also a good offering for dinner, even lunch.
With just two people in my household, a large frittata can take a while to eat. After it cooled, I wrapped and stored it in the refrigerator and my husband ate it for breakfast three days in a row, heating it gently in the microwave. What a good guy.
The spice/rice mix from Zatarain’s is a convenient head start, leavings lots of room for interpretations. Check out the #SundaySupper variations below.
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package Zatarain’s original Jambalaya mix
- 2 cups water
- ½ pound bay scallops
- ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 eggs
- ⅓ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Heat a 10-inch non-stick, oven-proof (with lid) over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it shimmers, add green pepper and onion, plus salt. Stir occasionally and cook until mixture softens, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Gently incorporate contents of Jambalaya mix, then add water. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The juice from the tomatoes should release enough liquid with the water to cook the rice. If more is needed, add ¼ cup water. When rice is tender, add scallops and shrimp. Stir, cover and set aside. The heat from the rice will cook the seafood. Let jambalaya cool for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break eggs into a mixing bowl and add half-and-half. Whisk just until yolks are slightly blended. Don’t over beat.
- Reheat the skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup olive oil and swirl to coat. Scoop 3 cups of jambalaya into the skillet and spread evenly in the pan. (Save the remaining jambalaya for a work lunch.) Gently pour the egg mixture into pan. Let cook for a few minutes and then gently push in the sides to let eggs run underneath the cooked portion. Do this a couple times.
- When the egg mixture is set on the bottom but still loose on top, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place in oven and cook for 10 to 13 minutes, until top is set and slightly browned.
- Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. To store leftovers, wrap well and refrigerate. Reheat gently in microwave.
Appetizers and Soup
- Chicken Jambalaya Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Jambalaya Cajun Shrimp Bites from Daily Dish Recipes
- Skillet Jambalaya Dip from Life Tastes Good
- Tex Mex Jambalaya Taco Cups from Flavor Mosaic
- Chicken and Sausage Jamburritos from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Chicken and Shrimp Quinoa Jambalaya from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Crock Pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya from Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch
- Crock Pot Creole Jambalaya from Flour On My Face
- Easy Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Hawaiian Jambalaya from Shockingly Delicious
- Jambalaya Lettuce Wraps from Magnolia Days
- Jambalaya Pasta with Crawfish and Sausage from Bobbi’s Kozi Kitchen
- Jambalaya Salad Bowl from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Jambalaya Stuffed Baked Potatoes from Fearless Dining
- Jambalaya with Shrimp and Crispy Wings from Feeding Big
- Portuguese Style Jambalaya from Family Foodie
- Spicy Chicken Jambalaya with Sausages and Green Beans from Panning the Globe
- Turkey Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya from Cooking Chat
- Vegetarian Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers Casserole from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Zatarain’s Roasted Chicken with Jambalaya Stuffing from Recipes Food and Cooking
- And Versatile Jambalaya Recipes plus Seafood Jambalaya Frittata from Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
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This post is sponsored by McCormick in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are those of the individual bloggers.
Janet K. Keeler
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