For all those who might be thinking that Jambalaya is some spice, then this is for you. Jambalaya is a popular Louisiana-origin dish of Spanish, French and West African influence which consists of mainly meat and vegetables mixed with rice.
The meat includes sausages of some sort, or often smoked meat such as andouille along with pork or, chicken and seafood such as shrimp or crawfish.
It is a much-loved favourite for many because its cheap, filling and full of flavour. It is also very versatile and can be adapted to make use of whatever ingredients you have in the house.
The Main Variations Of Jambalaya
Creole jambalaya is made using tomatoes. The holy trinity of onions, peppers and celery are cooked with the meat, then the tomatoes, stock and rice are added.
Everything is brought to the boil before being covered and left to simmer until the rice has absorbed all the stock. The dish is left with a red hue because of the tomatoes, and this is why Creole jambalaya is sometimes called red jambalaya.
Cajun jambalaya does not use tomatoes. In this recipe the meat is cooked first on its own until it caramelizes, then the trinity of vegetables is added and once cooked, the stock and rice are put in. Cajun jambalaya usually has a brown colour due to the meat dissolving in the broth.
It also has a smokier flavour because of the meat being allowed to brown first.
Side dishes that go well with Jambalaya
There are plenty of standalone dishes that you can make, and Jambalaya is one of them. It has a delicious flavour which you will undoubtedly relish.
If you compare it with a dish like gumbo, it is considered dry.
You can ideally serve it alone, but it would also be excellent with a side dish.
To start, this will appeal to salad enthusiasts. You could consider making this salad because it is a great companion for Jambalaya. It is economical since most of the ingredients are inexpensive and locally available.
It is also refreshing, especially if you have yours during the summer. On top of that, it is delicious and therefore, worth your time. There are many versions that you can make.
You could go with a blend of tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell pepper, onions, olives, and feta cheese.
There are many zucchini cooking ideas that you can employ when making a side dish for Jambalaya. You can sauté or fry them. Using your vegetable peeler to turn them into ribbons before cooking them is also an excellent idea.
The summer squash is healthy and easy to make. Zucchini when making this recipe brings out the best flavours. If you have ever purged an eggplant before, do the same for your zucchini to remove all its moisture before frying it.
Cornbread is a southern staple food thats a total breeze to prepare. It takes just a few minutes to stir together all the ingredients. Since the whole cook time is so low, you can easily make cornbread while your Jambalaya simmers.
Itll be more than cool enough to eat by the time you need to serve dinner. If regular cornbread is too dull, there are a few variants you can try.
Hushpuppies are deep-fried cornbread batter, while hot water cornbread is a southern and straightforward twist on the classic recipe. Both options are excellent sides to pair with Jambalaya.
Nothing is more southern than okra. Try sautéing chopped okra in a thin layer of bacon grease and then making a salad with a sweet oil and vinegar dressing.
Add tomatoes, peppers, onion, and the bacon you cooked for a diverse blend of flavours. Alternately, deep fry it! It takes a bit of work to bread and deep fry your okra, but its delicious and will have your guests coming back for more.
Adding more greens to your menu is a great way to have your Jambalaya. This chard recipe is one of the simplest you can ever make. Cook them in some olive oil, crushed red pepper, and sliced garlic.
Since the stems can be a little tough, you may include them in the dish or remove them. To make them tastier, you can add some onions and a little vinegar. You might also like this side because it has a lot of nutritional benefits.
Besides, it is ideal if you are looking for a collard greens alternative. Even if you can have Jambalaya alone, getting a side dish would make it more enjoyable.
Of course, its not easy, especially if you are serving a group of people whose preferences you dont know.
Simple Corn on The Cob
If you want to serve the freshest, most authentic side dish, look for some local ears of corn and prepare them on the grill. Corn is an absolute breeze to make and serves as a pleasant counterpoint to the flavours of Jambalaya.
Be sure to offer plenty of butter and a bit of Cajun seasoning for your guests to top their corn with.
Collard greens are pretty quick to prepare. Sauté them in a little bit of fat until they wilt, add some water, and let them simmer for about five minutes.
A traditional dressing is usually based on sweetened vinegar, but youre free to season your collard greens as you like.
Pies generally are always good with dishes such as Jambalaya, not only do they pair well in servings, they also come out well in taste, and the crawfish pie is a good option.
The fact that it is seafood, it compliments all the other sausages and ingredients used in the Jambalaya preparation and as usual, you can combine it in the best way that will go with the Jambalaya you intend preparing.
Jambalaya is a dish that is very nutritious because of the combination of different vegetables and beef or chicken in it. When you set out to prepare it, be sure to be very experimental. You are free to bring in new ideas and make use of different spices to add flavour to your dish.