Every culture has a traditional meat and rice dish. For us here at The Grate, Mardi gras is synonymous with the “Big Easy,” New Orleans, Louisiana. To pay tribute to the rich culture that surrounds New Orleans and the day it’s most famous for, our favorite meat and rice dish to cook outdoors is Jambalaya. It’s pronounced <jahm-buh-LIE-uh> or <jum-buh-LIE-uh. We pronounce it Jumbo YaYa!See The GrateTV Jambalaya Episode
Big celebrations always include fantastic traditional food. Fat Tuesday is the standing symbol for Mardi gras. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday and refers to the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Celebrated in many cities throughout the world the celebration of the day actually originates in Mobile, Alabama.
What You Will Need
- A heavy, well made pot. A cast iron Dutch Oven works best.
- Good quality ingredients.
- Sausage and Pulled Pork
- Chopped onion, green pepper, green onion, parsley,
- Long grain rice. Tip: Try Jasmine Rice. Yum!
- A clean, medium heat grill or outdoor burner.
Prepare, chop, and slice all of the ingredients you will need to make the “stew”
Preheat a large pot over a clean, medium high, heat
Add a the oil to the pot and allow it to heat for a few minutes
Start with the chopped onions
Green onion,peppers, and parsley
Allow the vegetables time to sweat in the pot until the onion is tender and translucent
Add the sauasge, pork and continue heating
Add the rice and allow all of the ingredients to blend together for a few minutes, stirring constantly
Add stock and bring the mixture to a boil
Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes until it looks like the water level is below the rice.
Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice is done
Turn off the heat and allow the Jambalya to cool a little, stir to mix and fluff the rice.
Serve in a bowl with hot sauce on the side. Delicious!
- Use Quality ingredients. Good Proteins are Pork, Chicken or Shirmp
- A good quality pot is paramount. Heavy cast iron works best.
- Cook the vegetables, add the protein and rice
- Add Stock last and let the liquid absorb some before covering the pot to finish.
- Season to taste.
- Serve with a nice hot sauce on the side
Enjoy authentic Jambalaya today!
—according to Wikki.
Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition, as it is associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins.
In many areas, the term “Mardi Gras” has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it is now called “Mardi Gras Day” or “Fat Tuesday”. The festival season varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras the entire period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. Others treat the final three-day period before Ash Wednesday as the Mardi Gras. In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras-associated social events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year’s Eve, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday. In earlier times parades were held on New Year’s Day.
Jambalaya is a blend of rice and various other ingredients – typically the trinity, which consists of onions, green peppers and celery with various meats and seafood.
According to the Acadian Dictionary; Jambalaya comes from the French word “jambon” for ham and the African word “ya” for rice. This proposed origin has largely been discredited since ham is not the signature ingredient of the dish and “ya” refers to grain sorghum in most known African languages. The first known reference to any variant of the word ‘jambalaya”, is the word “jambalaia,” used in Provence, France in 1837. The word “jambalaya” was used to designate a mish-mash of ingredients and is currently believed to be the accurate origin of the word “jambalaya” used today.
The earliest written reference to jambalaya in the United States was found in Alabama in 1878. The first known jambalaya recipe appeared in an American cookbook titled the “Gulf City Cookbook,” and was written from Mobile, Alabama in 1878. It was previously believed that a New Orleans cookbook, “What Mrs. Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking,” was the first. The “Gulf City Cookbook,” however, actually predates the New Orleans cookbook by three years.
Jambalaya originated in southern Louisiana by the Cajuns around the bayou where food was scarce, as opposed to the richer part of Louisiana.
Common belief is that it originated from the Spanish Paella, which has also transformed in the United States to a dish called Spanish Rice. Jambalaya is a bit different many times as it incorporates seafood , ham, link sausage rounds and chicken, although it doesn’t have to have all those ingredients.
It can be made (separately or all together) with ham, chicken, sausage, fresh pork, shrimp and oysters, to which is added shortening, rice, onion, garlic, pepper and other seasonings.
Starting with church fairs, which were the largest public gatherings at the turn of the century, Jambalaya emerged from small quantity indoor cooking to become the ideal dish for outdoor cooking over hardwood fire. Big black cast iron pots made preparation so easy and economical for church use that Jambalaya was rapidly adapted for political rallies, weddings, family reunions and other affairs. No fair or political rally around is complete without Jambalaya cooking.
The Jambalaya Festival and World Champion Jambalaya Cooking contest is held annually at Gonzales, LA and attracts area cooks who have spent years perfecting the art of cooking and seasoning this Creole delicacy. Gonzales really is the Jambalaya Capital of The World.