Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya

This version of jambalaya contains ham and seafood, but we often cut back on the ham and add some andouille sausage, too. This recipe contains tomato, and we usually double the amount listed in the recipe from Emeril Lagasse’s Louisiana Real & Rustic, page 222.

This recipe has the Cajun version of mirepoix, the classic French foundation for dishes. For Cajun cooking, this is onion, celery and bell pepper (instead of carrot).

We have discovered that waiting to add the shrimp until a few minutes before the recipe is finished will keep the shrimp from getting overcooked.

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1½ cups chopped onions

½ cup chopped bell peppers

½ cup chopped celery

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 bay leaves

1 lb. boiled ham, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp dried thyme

1 cup long-grain white rice

¼ cup chopped green onions

1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and soft. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and saute until the shrimp turns pink, about 2 minutes. Add the ham and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and stir to mix. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

3. Stir in the green onions and serve.

Serves 6.

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