Saturday, January 07, 2006

Jambalaya Recipes - A Reply to Randall

The following is a comment posted by my friend Randall from Boise who came down with some teams to help out after the hurricane:

Randall: "Speaking of recipes, we tried to get one for the jambalaya and gumbo the ladies fixed for us and they said "mmmhmm" and never gave one to us even when we gave them one for some killer enchiladas. We were thinking it must be some sort of southern secret!"

Well Randall I still have not attempted making anything but boxed Jambalaya in the 12+ years I've lived in Louisiana. I am a big fan of the stuff though. In fact we udes to have a friend named Jimmy Jam Bordelon who would travel around with my band Mary's Den cooking Jambalaya. In fact I wrote a song about the stuff called Funky Jambalaya which can be downloaded free from my website. Shameless plugs aside there can be several reasons for not getting the recipe from the women. Here are a few possible reasons.
1. Jambalaya is more caught then taugt. It's not so much a science as an art. The best Jambalaya requires an informal aprenticeship with a jambalaya master. Jimmy Jam has been one such mentor to me but I am still not ready. I have not been able to snatch the red bean from his hand.
2. A magician never reveals his tricks and many cooks are the same way. A good jambalaya is magical stuff. The truth is you may not want to know what goes into some jambalaya and gumbo. Just enjoy!
3. It's a regional thing. Many of the best ingredients may be hard to come by in Idaho.
4. Or they may have just forgot and in that case I will remind them and get the recipe to you.

One thing I know is the very best jambalaya and gumbo is done in a huge cast iron kettle.
One suggestion for Idaho folk. You have pleanty of potatoes so by you some crab boil and try boiling your potatoes in that stuff. We had some mashed potatoes in crab boil with one of the Idaho groups, i'm not sure if it was yours but they were quite tastey. I'm not sure if you can get crab boil up there though.

I'll check on the Jambalaya and get back with you.

1 comment:

randall said...

Well now I am truly honored to have warranted and entire post from my question/comment! ;)
We had suspected and discussed these reasons at the time, that it was either a secret or just a case of they had made them so long there was no need for a recipe. It's just "a little of this, a dash of that and a pinch of something else!" In any case, I will hold the fine Louisiana cuisine as one of my fondest memories, right next to the hospitality that you all are so legendary for!