Who Else Wants Jumbo YaYa? Recipe

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


Gather good ingredients

Gather good ingredients


  • 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.




The Process


Good ingredients

Prepare good ingredients ahead of time




Prepare, chop, and slice all of the ingredients you will need to make the “stew”





Put a pot on the grill over medium heat

Preheat a pot over medium heat





Preheat a large pot over a clean, medium high, heat






Add oil

Get the oil ready for the vegetable saute




Add a the oil to the pot and allow it to heat for a few minutes







Add onion

Add the onion




Start with the chopped onions






Add the rest of the vegetables

Add the green onion, pepper and parsley




Green onion,peppers, and parsley






Cook until tender

Cook vegetables until tender




Allow the vegetables time to sweat in the pot until the onion is tender and translucent






Sausage and Pork

Sausage and pulled pork




Add the sauasge, pork and continue heating







Add Rice




Add the rice and allow all of the ingredients to blend together for a few minutes, stirring constantly






Add Stock

Add Chicken Stock




Add stock and bring the mixture to a boil







Cook uncovered

Bring the stew to a boil and cook uncovered



Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes until it looks like the water level is below the rice.







Cover and simmer

Cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer



Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice is done






Let the water absorb

Cook until rice is done




Turn off the heat and allow the Jambalya to cool a little, stir to mix and fluff the rice.







Pork and Sausage Jambalaya




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!


GrateTV Jumbo YaYa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 3 Gallons

GrateTV Jumbo YaYa


  • 2 pounds pulled pork, or Chicken. You can use cooked or raw meat. If you use raw meat, brown it in the pot and remove it before you sauté the vegetables, then add it back in to finish cooking.
  • 2 pound smoked sausage, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups long grain rice. We used Jasmine rice in the show. It is delicious!
  • 2 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper or to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a heavy, high walled pot over medium heat, sauté the onions, bell pepper, parsley, and green onion until the onion is translucent and tender.
  2. Stir in the garlic, sausage, and pulled pork stir until heated
  3. Stir in the rice, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Continue cooking uncovered until the liquid has boiled to about even with the rice, about ½ hour.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed and the rice is done. About ½ hour.


Recipe by Justin Wilson



Fun Facts about Mardi Gras

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.

Fun Facts about Jambalaya

Jambalaya History

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.

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4 Responses to Who Else Wants Jumbo YaYa? Recipe

  1. Denise February 23, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    can not figure out how to download any written recipes ~~watch the episodes yes but not read them ??????

    • Denise February 23, 2013 at 2:57 am #

      oops now i see it came up ~~just took a bit ~~:) sorry


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