I've had a craving for some time now to try my hand at making jambalaya. Now, understand that I have never been to New Orleans or ever even had what most people would consider real, authentic jambalaya. The ingredients list alone though has always appealed to me!
As I understand it, there are two main schools of thought on the dish - Creole style and Cajun style. While both look appetizing, Cajun seems to be based in a sausage/chicken mix and does not include tomatoes. Creole has tomatoes and is often seafood-based. Don't get me wrong, I love sausage as an ingredient in almost anything, I love shrimp more. So, I went with Creole for my first attempt. As usual, from Fine Cooking - check out the recipe here!
The results were great... the smell was amazing before I even added the tomato paste and spices. I could have stopped and eaten the shrimp/ham/vegetable mixture all on its own! The only thing I would caution is when you make the broth (so key, and easy)... after you add the shrimp, it may start into a foaming boil, which will overtake your pot and spill all over your stove in a matter of seconds if you're dumb like me.
Also, make sure you have rice in your house before you start making it so you don't have to get in your car, drive to the store, buy rice, come home, and continue cooking.