New Orleans Style Jambalaya – The Cajun Canadian Connection

18157217_sNew Orleans is a city that is famous for many things – including Mardi Gras, Voodoo and jazz legends. Of course a trip to “The Big Easy” would not be complete without sampling the distinctly “New Awlins” Cajun food like Jambalaya.   But did you know about the connection between New Orleans and Canada?

Many Canadians are unaware of the connection between the French influence in Louisiana and Canada’s past.  The Acadian peoples were among the first settlers in Canada, coming from France they worked tirelessly to farm the land of the Maritimes.  But after decades of battle between the English and the French, the Acadian people were expelled from Eastern Canada in the mid 1700’s.  Although some would eventually return to Canada, this mass migration of people created many French settlements, including one in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In fact, the word “Cajun” is thought to be derived from “Acadian”.

New Orleans is a true melting pot of culture, with African, Spanish and French influences that has resulted in very distinctive cuisine. The city is full of delicious food like gumbo, po-boys, beignets and of course, jambalaya.  Jambalaya can be made in many ways, usually with sausage, chicken, shrimp vegetables and rice.   The origins of jambalaya are thought to be Spanish as it is similar to the traditional rice dish paella.

This version of jambalaya combines spicy sausage, pinto beans and fire-roasted tomatoes for a warming and flavourful dish, guaranteed to warm you up on a cold winter day.

New Orleans Style Jambalaya

  • 2 cups white long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb spicy sausage (e.g. chorizo sausage or other hot sausage)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Cajun spice mix
  • 1 jar fire-roasted pasta sauce
  • Can of pinto beans, marinated in chili garlic sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (preferably habanero or jalapeno) (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Put rice in rice cooker, so that it is cooking while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Drain and rinse beans.  Place in a bowl and mix in chili garlic sauce. Set aside to marinate.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil to medium-high.  Add onions, garlic and green pepper. Sauté for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add sausages and 1/8 cup water, cook for 15 minutes.  Remove sausage and slice diagonally into ½ inch pieces.  Add sausages back into pan and cook for another 5 minutes until done.
  5. Lower heat to medium, add beans, pasta sauce, spices and hot sauce and simmer for 15-20 min.  Add 1/8 cup of water if it thickens too much. You want a thinner consistency in the sauce.
  6. Lower heat to low.  Add cooked rice into sauce and stir well.

Hopefully this dish has you inspired to try some more of the scrumptious food from New Orleans, or maybe to plan a trip to “The Big Easy”.  Remember you can make this dish as spicy or mild as you like, just adjust the amount of hot sauce you use. Try it and let us know what you think! Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature on the site.

Let the good times roll!

Stephanie

 

 

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