I change this recipe up from time to time. I cannot tell you what my original source is or what additions or changes I made to it. I started by finding a slow cooker recipe and tried to mimic the jambalaya that I found on Bourbon Street while visiting New Orleans in 1992. The dish I ordered had no seafood of any type, though most recipes call for shrimp or crawfish. I tend to have issues with shellfish (aside from the fact that I do not like seafood), so I stick to a basic sausage recipe.
This recipe is by no means traditional and I cannot find another like it. It does not even approximate the dish I fell in love with in New Orleans. And it is most definitely NOT kosher. It has been a hit with my co-workers every time I make it even though they have weak Minnesota palates.
You can play around with the spices to increase the heat. I have a tendency to double them along with the vegetables. If I want more left for me, I increase it even further with some habanera sauce. This will take a six quart slow cooker to make. Measurements do not need to be exact.
- 4 lbs sausage – I vary this up each time by changing the types of sausage. I generally buy one pound each smoked kielbasa, Cajun sausage,andouille, and another pound of polish sausage for good measure. Everything should be cut into large bite sized pieces.
- 1 lb ham diced – I generally buy the thick sliced ham steaks and cut into large cubes.
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 red pepper – cored, quartered and cut into strips
- 1 green pepper – cored, quartered and cut into strips
- 2 – 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- ¼ cup oregano
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 bunch green onion tops cut up
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 cube beef bouillon
Start by cutting the meat to bite sized pieces and adding to the slow cooker. Next add the onions, peppers and garlic. Add the dry ingredients such as parsley, oregano, cayenne pepper, bouillon and crushed red pepper flake. On top of that, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Put the lid on it and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours. Give it a good stir every hour so that everything mixes together well. Fair warning – The aroma will permeate everything in your house.
Most recipes call for adding rice to the mixture at the end of the process and mixing it in with the dish. Instead, I cook my rice separately either with water or chicken broth and server the jambalaya over the top. Technically, this makes it an etouffee, but it all mixes in your stomach anyhow. The rice helps to balance the heat of the dish.