6 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) trimmings reserved

3 medium stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup), trimmings reserved

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup), trimmings reserved

2 pounds large (31 to 35 per pound) shrimp, preferably wild-caught (head on if possible)

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 cup)

¼ pound ham, cut into ¼ inch dice

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 dried bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

pinch of ground cloves

kosher salt

2 cups long grain white rice

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

hot sauce, preferably Crystal (optional)



1.In a 4 quart heavy duty saucepan, combine the scallion trimmings, celery trimmings and onion trimmings with 5-1/2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp, let the water return to a boil, and cook until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Strain through a sieve set over a large glass measuring sup, reserving the stock. You will need 4-1/2 cups of stock, so add water if necessary.

2. When cool enough to handle, peel and devein the shrimp (if you’ve used shrimp with their heads intact, behead them now). Discard the shells and trimmings.

3. Melt the butter in a 5 to 6 quart enameled cast iron Dutch over (or other heavy duty pot) over medium high heat. Add the celery, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the ham and the reserved shrimp and cook, stirring often, until any excess moisture evaporate and the ham and vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until a shade darker, about 3 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, thyme, cayenne, chili powder, allspice, cloves and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt.

4. Stir in the rice. Add the reserved stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, undisturbed, just until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Check the rice for oneness in several places.

5. Remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle the paprika over the jambalaya and, using a fork, gently fluff the scallions and paprika into the jambalaya. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with hot sauce, if you like.


from Poppy Tooker, Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March, 2013


Leave a Reply