Crispy Cajun Jambalaya

By: The Local Palate

Dominick Lee is breaking with tradition in his new New York City restaurant and this Crispy Cajun Jambalaya is just one of the many dishes he is most proud of.

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Makes 4 servings

    Make the seasoning mix:
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1¼ teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Make the jambalaya:
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 5 ounces tasso ham or Benton’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon, finely diced
  • 5 ounces andouille sausage, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely diced onion
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced bell pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1½ roma tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and deseeded
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups uncooked Marsh Hen Mill Carolina Gold rice middlins
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 10 (U13-15) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Chives for garnish

Make the seasoning mix:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.

Make the jambalaya:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 4-quart saucepan, melt lard over medium heat.
  2. Add tasso ham and andouille sausage and sauté until brown and slightly crispy, about 4 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in onion, celery, and bell pepper and sauté until tender but still al dente, about 4 minutes. Make sure to scrape the bottom while cooking to ensure nothing sticks.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of seasoning mix in a small bowl and add remainder to pan along with garlic; cook for about 2 minutes, stirring to make sure garlic doesn’t stick. Add tomato sauce and tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in stock and green onions and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in rice middlins and remove from heat. Transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and place in fridge to cool.
  6. Once baking dish is completely chilled, preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a cold 5-to-6-inch nonstick skillet, add olive oil. Press 1 to 1½ cups jambalaya into skillet, turn on heat, and begin to cook until edges bubble. Transfer to oven and cook for 6 minutes, then flip inside pan and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer by sliding jambalaya to a plate and repeat process with remaining jambalaya.
  7. Preheat grill to medium. Season shrimp with leftover seasoning mix and grill, turning, until bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. To serve, top each jambalaya cake with shrimp and garnish with chives.
  • Recipe By
    Dominick Lee from Alligator Pear, New York

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