Best I can figure Jambalaya is a bit of a Cajun classic that may have its roots in the Spanish paella. It’s a tasty-assed mash up some kind of meat, smoked sausage, a few vegetables and rice in a pot, where they are left to make love and produce a love child of immensely really good flavour to go in your face… or at least that’s what I hope it is – I’ve never actually tried it, but I’m set to give it a go today. I am a jambalaya virgin and today my cherry shall be popped. I am excited. I am excited like the teenage boy who is at last going to break the shackles of unintended celibacy. Fo real.
Cajun cooking has a bit of a thing going on with the celery, capsicum (bell pepper) and onion, the holy trinity of Cajun cooking if you will… and I certainly have no problem with this. It works, it does what it is meant to do, it doesn’t cause any trouble and it’s clean… I love a good clean house guest… or holy trinity… I have no explanation for the things that happen when my head tries to convince my fingers to type things for you to read.
Ummm, read it or don’t I guess.
Andouille sausage is another ingredient that features a lot in Cajun cooking, but is a product that I have not yet been able to lay my dirty little mits on. Probs not trying hard enough I guess – lounging around asking the universe to make some Andouille sausage appear, via carnie delivery service, at my front door is trying pretty damn hard though, yeah? I picture the scenario as this; I would be sitting on the couch in front of the fire typing away, producing a poignant story and an equally as emotional recipe, when I hear a knock at the door. I open the door to be greeted by nothing but a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied with string – fully old school styles. I scan the front yard for the deliverer of said package and catch a glimpse of a small carnie looking beast as it scurries through a crack in the fence. My gaze returns to the brown package on my doorstep… I open it, carefully undoing the string and then peeling back the wrapping, slowly as if it were the super models knickers. Peeling it back to reveal my prize, the golden brown Andouille sausage…
Possibly a metaphor for life, but more likely the result of a youth spent in a smoky haze, or even the affects of fluoride in the drinking water, or possibly that small vile of clear liquid I was given by the guy down the road who kinda looks a lot like Gandolf…
Here is the recipe for the pork chop jambalaya we ate on this fine evening. It received a standing ovation, which was in fact a sitting “yeah, this is really good”. Good enough for me.
PORK CHOP JAMBALAYA (serves 4)
800g pork chops (I really am a fan of the fat and the flavour of something old breed and free-range)
1 chorizo sausage, chopped
1 medium (or two small – common sense yeah?) onion, diced
1 capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 stalk celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice or even just a pinch of dried thyme and chilli
2 cups of brown rice, soaked in water for a few hours (some kind of long grain white rice would be the norm, and if used you would not need to soak it)
4 cups stock or water
A splash of oil
Parsley, coriander (cilantro) and lemon wedges to serve
• Heat oil in a heavy based pan. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and fry in pan until browned on each side but not fully cooked. Set chops aside
• In the same pan, sauté chorizo, vegetables and garlic in rendered pork fat until softened and starting to brown
• Add spice mix and cook out for a further minute
• Add rice, stock and resting pork chops to pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked
• Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Check seasoning,
• Garnish with chopped parsley and coriander, and then serve. Onto a serving dish of some description and then into your face in the norm…