Cooking Louisiana - Shrimp Jambalaya - The Old Cajun Way

Shrimp Jambalaya and Oyster Jambalaya are my two favorite Jambalayas. In fact, you could use this recipe for an Oyster Jambalaya too.

IF you'd like to know more about cooking Jambalaya from scratch click here.

1-1/2 to 2 lbs of small shrimp (40-50 count or smaller) peeled & washed (save about a cup of the peelings)

3-4 onions chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
1 bell pepper chopped

In a black iron pot add a little oil and sauté the onions. Kick up the heat a little and get them to brown some. Lower the fire a little and throw in the celery and bell pepper. Continue to cook this down as described in the Trinity Cooked Down article.

While this is cooking boil the shrimp shells in about 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Strain and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.

5 med. Cloves of garlic minced

Once the trinity is almost cooked down add the garlic and stir. Cook until the trinity is cooked down then add the shrimp stock and the following seasonings. Keep in mind the following amounts are rough, and, are only a start.

1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning (for this dish I like Old Bay Seasoning)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce
1 or 2 bay leaves

Stir this in well cook for a minute or so and taste it. Add seasoning as needed. 

Now get a 4 cup measure and add 3 cups of water to it. This is all the water you're going to use for the dish (maybe). I'll explain "maybe" a little later.

Shrimp JambalayaAdd the shrimp and enough water (from the cup) to cover the shrimp.

Bring to a boil (bubble) and cook until the shrimp turn completely red stirring often. Why don't I add the rice now? Because shrimp will give off water as they cook. I don't need any surprises.

Taste it again. You want it a tiny bit salty and a tiny bit more peppered than you would normally like. 

1-1/4 cups rice.

Add the rice and enough water from the cup to cover everything about 1/4". Stir very well, turn the fire up to med-high and get it boiling. Stir the pot using a spatula and be sure to completely scrape the bottom. Lower the fire until you get a decent bubble in the boil, not too hard a boil. Cover the pot. 

Every few minutes stir the pot and scrape the bottom and re-cover.

Keep the water level just barely at the top of the food. Here's the "maybe". If you need to add water (read carefully) microwave it until it is boiling (you can do it in a pot to on the stove too) then add it. DO NOT ADD COLD WATER. 

Shrimp JambalayaKeep up the stir, scrape and cover routine until the rice is done and taste it. Add whatever seasoning you need, stir it one more time, lower the fire to med-low and let it sit uncovered for about 5 minutes. Stir it completely again and check the consistency of the rice. 








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