I’ve been fortunate that my career (or various careers) have taken me all over the world. I’m a pretty adventurous eater and try to bring a lot of those flavors home to my (equally well-traveled) wife, and the kid. All that being said, the various cuisines of the United States don’t appear too often on our table. I tend not to deep fry things, hotdish is disgusting, and I haven’t found a lot of variety in Creole cooking, where I often find the dominant flavor to be Tabasco (not that there’s anything wrong with Tabasco).
The one exception to the above: Jambalaya. I love the stuff. Its a great meal on a hot muggy day, and in the grand scheme of things, pretty quick and easy to make. I’m Italian though, so I can’t just wake up one morning and decide to decide to make Jambalaya — I needed a starting point; enter Emeril Lagasse, This recipe marks a good starting point, although I change it up quite a bit.
- I brown the Andouille sausage. It gives the meat a nice caramelization and gives the veggies something tastier to sautee in rather than just plain oil
- I way up the peppers in this recipe to add both color and flavor, so I add any color variety of bell pepper I can find, as well as poblano, jalapeno
- I drop the chicken. I know this is sacrilege to some, but honestly, its too easy to dry out in this dish
- Instead of chicken stock, I’ll make a shrimp stock from the shells and a few other veggies which really brings out the flavor of the shrimp in the dish.