Wanted to do another round of clearing up the freezer and larder. I found my stash of turkey ham and happily about half a liter of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer, and there was a can of whole peeled tomatoes in the larder. Dug through my fridge and found all the necessary ingredients for this jambalaya recipe by Emeril Lagasse, so this was what we had for lunch today.
I looked at the recipe and felt that the rice to liquids ratio was a bit off for the type of rice I had at home, which was the Jasmine Basmathi King super long-grain rice. So I upped the rice and adjusted the ingredients to minimize wastage.
The texture of the rice turned out just right, fluffy and moist yet not mushy. I really liked the tangy flavor of the tomatoes adding a bit more character and contrast to the dish vs the sweetness of the shrimp and the savory turkey ham. A fuss-free, simple yet tasty dish, for those days when you’re too lazy to spend much time in the kitchen yet still want a decent home-cooked meal.
Shrimp and Turkey Ham Jambalaya
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 250 grams smoked turkey ham OR smoked chicken breast , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 (400-gram) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 kg medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 500 grams of meat)
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain basmathi rice
- Chicken stock cubes, enough to make 2 cups stock OR 2 cups shrimp stock
- 1 stalk green onions (daun bawang), chopped
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook, sitrring, until onions are soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the smoked chicken or turkey ham and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme…
… and the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up tomatoes with your wooden spoon, 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp and bay leaves and cook, until the shrimp are pink and opaque, 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir gently to combine.
Add the stock and stir gently to combine.
Cover tightly and cook undisturbed, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and give the rice a gentle stir. Cover and let stand, 5 minutes.
Stir in the green onions.
Remove the bay leaves.