If you ask anyone raised in Louisiana what the best jambalaya recipe is, likely they will say their mama’s. Rich in flavor and steeped in culture every family seems to have an amazing, better than everyone else knock your socks off jambalaya recipe. This is not that recipe! Is it Authentic? Absolutely not! Is it a flavorful one pot meal that is easy to make for a hectic Meatless Monday after you rush home from work? Is it comforting to eat and easy to clean up afterward? You betcha!
Most Jambalaya starts with some kind of meat chicken or pork and Andouille sausage. This one is meatless so it starts out with mushrooms and butter. After the mushrooms are seared the trinity of vegetables are added and then a pinch of this and a dash of that before you add vegetables and rice. It benefits from a long simmer and your one pot meal is transformed into a very tasty meal.
Step 1: The Recipe
2 tablespoons of butter
8 oz mushroom (crimini or oyster work well)
1 white onion
2-3 celery stocks
1 large green bell pepper
1 large 10 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon Cajon seasoning
1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup long grain brown rice
Preheat a large Dutch oven. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add mushrooms quartered and cook in butter until mushrooms are slightly brown and have released their moisture. That brown bit on the bottom of the pan, you want that. Season with Salt and Pepper and add the onion, celery and green pepper and cook until vegetables have started to sweat and become tender.
Add 1 can petite diced tomatoes in juice, and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste is smooth and incorporated. Stir in seasoning and vegetable stock and cook until soup reaches a rolling boil. Add long grain brown rice and allow soup to simmer covered on low for about 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Don’t watch the pot! Go do something else so the brown bits on the bottom of the pot are allowed to happen. That is where the magic is.
This recipe should take about an hour and a half, but 50 minutes of this is time you can be, and should be spent doing other things!
Step 2: Tips
Creole dishes often start with the trinity of vegetables: onions, peppers, and celery instead of the French mirepoix: onions, carrots, and celery.
Mushrooms are like a sponge soaking them in water is not advisable. Instead clean the dirt off of mushrooms with a damp cloth.
Smoked paprika is used in this dish because it’s absent the smoked sausage. Granted nothing is a substitution for smoked sausage, it does bring a little smokiness to the dish.
Instead of coming up with your own blend, use a premade seasoning blend. There are a lot of great Cajon seasoning mixes on the market that will do the trick. Avoid seasoning blends with MSG in them.
If you want more texture you can always add vegetarian sausage, but it's best to add it at the end as some vegetarian sausages fall apart in soups and stews.