I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans earlier this month. A city with a fascinating history, culture, and steeped in rich food traditions. A friend had to attend a series of planning meetings for a conference and she invited me to tag along. The first thing I thought was here’s a chance to work on my Jambalaya.
Several years ago I was unable to attend a family member’s wedding in Louisiana. They brought back an ice cooler filled with Jambalaya. It was different from the Jambalaya I’d had in the past and I hadn’t had any that tasted that good. Every time I asked for the recipe, they’d say, “Oh we just had this old Cajun guy make it for us. He makes the best.”
Well, I’ve researched recipes, and watched many demonstrations and couldn’t come up with a dish that came anywhere close to that “Old Cajun’s” — until now. Before flying to New Orleans I signed up online for a cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. The chef, Chef Michael, demonstrated Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Pralines, a Creole sugar confection. His recipe and technique for Jambalaya produced the flavor, color, and texture reminiscent of the Jambalaya made by that “Old Cajun” guy!