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Entries in piquance (1)

Wednesday
May182011

How To Make Jambalaya

Ember, Sean Healy

Just found out some people can’t eat shellfish. Holy smokes, how can that be? Without shellfish and Andouille, what does one put in the jambalaya?

The key to jambalaya is to start with the pan hot. Get way up in that med-high range.

Chop the onions, green pepper and celery together and toss in the pan with a light pour of safflower oil. (Note: If you don’t have any celery, just stop now. You ought not make jambalaya without celery; it’s just not right.)

Warm up a couple of cups of stock for about ten minutes, then add a quarter of it to the pan. Let those vegetables get soggy.

Next, cube a few links of precooked Andouille and throw them in the pan to brown and seep. After about five minutes, add more stock.

Oh, just add all the stock.

Smoke Breakers, Sean Healy

Wait a few minutes for it to boil and then lower the temperature and add a heavy half-pound of fresh, peeled, raw shrimp from Houma’s roadside stand on Plank Road. (Mr. Houma’s usually on the east side of the road, sitting in the afternoon sun under his umbrella. He keeps the best catch in the red Playmate cooler.)

Keep a tiny simmer going. This is just fancy rice flavoring now. Let it all cook for about six minutes, until the shrimp curl over and turn white and firm.

Add a cup of dry rice, lower the temp half a tick, cover and wait until it's ready.

A microscope cannot tell you what to look at. Inside a Carolina cayenne pepper is a world of cayenne pepper powder, and inside each powder, more powder and more powder.

When cayenne gets in your nose, pain rains behind your eyes and cheeks, blurring your vision the way water shoots off the roof during thunderstorms in West Scoville, Piquance Parish.

Add some cayenne powder to your jambalaya. Then add a little more.

Eat.

Photos taken at Elizabeth Leach Gallery.