Jambalaya is one of the most treyf things you can eat when made in the usual way (with shrimp and pork) but it is super easy to make in a kosher way while losing nothing in the translation. The key is kosher beef kielbasa, which adds a smoky flavor to this traditional creole dish.
Jambalaya can be spicy or not, depending on your preference. Before I had a kid, my husband and I preferred it spicy with hot chili, hot jalapeños, and a pinch of cayenne, but now with a kid sitting at the table I make it milder. Jambalaya is also one of those dishes you can put in anything you feel like. You’ll notice in these pictures some carrots, which I probably put in because I didn’t have any celery that day and I wanted to bulk it up. My kid hates carrots though so I rarely do this even though they don’t change the flavor of the dish one bit.
Now you’ll see a lot of ingredients in this recipe but it is not hard to make. Most of them go in all at one time so don’t get daunted by the number of ingredients. This dish is so quick to prepare, you can probably finish it before you can finish singing the Jambalaya song.
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 1 large onion
- 1 green pepper
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 1/2 cups rice
- 1 package (12 oz) beef kielbasa
- 1 tin (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 tin (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock (from bouillon is okay)
- 1/4 cup jalapeño slices (pickled, not fresh and as spicy as you like)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (as spicy as you like)
- Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
- Course chop the onion, green pepper, and celery either by hand or in a food processor. Chop the kielbasa into bite size chunks.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the chopped vegetables and kielbasa into the pot and cook until onion is translucent.
- Add the rice and spices into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Use a scissors or knife to cut the whole tomatoes into 2 or 3 pieces.
- Heat on high until boiling then cover and reduce heat to lowest setting.
- Cook for 20 minutes then check rice for doneness. Be sure to check rice at the bottom of the pot and not just look at the rice at the top. When rice is done, jambalaya is done!
Jambalaya can be served with a green salad or just have a big bowl of it by itself. And you can double the stock for a mean gumbo!