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Jambalaya: The Novel (very long)

ombaomba Posts: 241
edited 8:57AM in EggHead Forum
Hi again, fellow eggers!
Well you know me. It’s story time!

INTRODUCTION:
The small egg is ordered and arrives at the Ocala gathering.
I’ve already gathered lots o’ goodies … grate mates, pizza stone, a thingie or two.
One small problem … I’ve never cooked on a small egg.
It has taken me two years to almost figure out my large.
That’s not really the problem; that’s just a minor difference, I hope.

The real problem is my ego. That’s right. My ego is a menace.
In my world I am known as a very good cook.
I’ve been running around the kitchen since my father taught me to wash dishes.
In out Mediterranean family, the women sustain life and the men make it tasty.
I know that sounds sexist, but that’s the way it is.
Anyway …
This will only be my second Eggfest; it’s my FIRST as a cook!
I feel like it has to be good/different/fun/tasty for my Egg Brethren.

My original plan was to make pizzas on a large.
I’ve recently messed up too many of those to be comfortable: burnt bottoms, weak dough, whatever.
The sauce and toppings are great. But the dough …
And besides, I have never even tried on the small!
And remember that kitchen ego of mine!

So …
I read over what folks were making, but that got me nowhere.
I decided to play it “safe” and come up with a Dutch oven dish.
So I started with the Jambalaya.
I’ve made great Jambalaya for years in the kitchen
I figured this would easily transfer to the Egg, no matter what size.
I’ve learned a lesson tonight …

PRELUDE:
No fish in my Jambalaya. Allergies at home, so it needs to be avoided. That being said …

I decided to take some chicken thigh pieces and Jamaican Firewalk them. If I had any Swamp Venom I would have used that, but I’m out.

1_start.jpg

About one tablespoon of oil in the oven. Did this indirect (mistake?) at 350 dome

2_chicken.jpg

It took 10 minutes for the chicken to LIGHLY sear, and then added about 1 tbs margarine, some fake andouille, and some cubed ham

3_meat.jpg

That sizzled arouinf the egg for about 15 minutes before adding the chopped onions and celery

4_veggie1.jpg

After 5 minutes ... time for the super-not-so-secret seasoning mix

5_season.jpg

Added the red and green peppers along with some garlic

6_veggie2.jpg

About 45 minutes total into the dish, it was time for the rice

7_rice.jpg

And the broth about 5 minutes later

8_broth.jpg

After about 45 minutes at 350 indirect the Jambalaya was done.

CRITIQUE:
The rice was way too mushy.
I did notice that this took about twice as long to reproduce on the egg.
The taste was superb, a little hotter than I usually like it, but well-rounded.

FINALE:
I don't think indirect was the way to go. Anyone else know? I never got the "sizzle" right. I'll bet The Wolf knows. :) Maybe the temp needed to be higher. Maybe it needed to be closer to the coals. I don't know, but any advice is appreciated.

EPILOGUE:
I am going to make this again next week. I need a dish for the Eggfest, and I need to impress Sundown, don't I?

Thanks for listening,
Peter

Comments

  • DrZaiusDrZaius Posts: 1,481
    There are more experienced people on here than I but because of the dutch oven direct should have been used. Still the pictures look great.
    This is the greatest signature EVAR!
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    No advice...don't know enough to give advice, but know some good lookin' food when I see it!

    You should know since you were the inspiration. My weed burner came today. My niece just called to tell me she brought it in off the porch.
  • GunnarGunnar Posts: 2,305
    Be on guard, rumor has it Sundown may snatch your watch teaching you the non-existent secret handshake. I haven't tried jambalaya on the BGE, but yes, about everything I do outside seems to take a little longer than inside.
    LBGE      Katy (Houston) TX
  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    I can bet that Frank in Houma could help you. He does gumbos on his egg and I'm sure he makes Jambalaya too. I'm hoping he gives a class at one of the eggfests. I think yours looks pretty good though.
  • ombaomba Posts: 241
    You're going to love it!

    BTW ... there was a piezo (?) electronic igniter on mine that I torched on my first burn! Since then I must light manually. No big deal, but I was bummed about frying my piezo.

    In fact ...
    I was even thinking about getting a second one!
    Thought it would be cool to have one in each hand.

    twin1.jpg

    Who knows?
    I might even need you to be a sidekick somday!

    twin2.jpg

    We could be a team!
    But the boss here thought I needed to chill on this a while.

    Later,
    Peter
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742
    omba,

    I'm a dumb Canuck but I am a fan of all things Louisiana. I make a great jambalaya on the egg. Fry your chicken, add the sausage and brown. Remove the meat. Cook the "trinity" until it is almost black. Stir in tomato paste and cook it through. Return the meat and add diced tomatoes. Cook it out and add enough water to cover. Boil and add the rice. Add some fresh thyme and file powder and simmer til rice is done. Frank in Houma may jump in here

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    You don't add any other spices like cayenne, to it. Just the thyme and file powder?? I with you on the anything cajun. Just had gumbo tonite.....again.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742
    Anne,

    Oh yeah, garlic cayenne peppers and cayenne. I was really talking about the method.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Peter,
    You are just to hard on yourself, in my honest opinion (KayNOcook no longer believes me that I can't spell because I got opinion correct on my own) an Egg fest is more about sharing good times with friends that we don't always get to spend time with in person. It is not a contest to see who can cook the best food. We all cook some great food and have some awesome recipes to share. I have never made Jambalaya and your worst is far better than what I have never done. I look forward to tasting yours and learning how to make Jambalaya.
    Are you going to have the Weedburner outfit in Ocala?
    JJ
  • I heard form Sundown t :P hat handshake is almost in the bag! :P
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,595
    Could I be worthy? :blush:
    JJ

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • Uh Oh. I haven't done jambalaya on the Egg yet. For the Eggfest I would do something you are good at and not try anything new - remember, it's not a contest and you want to do something that you can allow folks to take a taste. I've only been to one Eggfest and I blackened filets from 24 redfish. Nuther recommendation - don't do like I did. I cooked the whole day and didn't leave time to visit and "graze" among the other Eggers. In fact I continued at the after party. Was cookin ten steps away from Little Steven at the after party and didn't realize who he was until someone posted photos a few days later.

    Back to the jambalaya. When I put the rice in, the pot is covered and the no look rule is important. If you look and stir, the rice will become mushy. I recall a Bobby Flay throwdown in New Orleans - Bobby's rice came out real mushy because he kept lookin and stirring whereas the guy in New Orleans lowered the heat and covered for about 30 minutes. He even told Bobby that he was making a big mistake.

    Regardless of what you decide to do, you will have a blast at the Eggfest. Why? Because "Q folks" are good folks. Good luck with it.

    BTW I started a new job in south Texas yesterday and I'm a 10 hour drive from my Eggs. Posting with my Crackberry. Feel blessed that I could retire for 5 years and then get a real nice job under the current job conditions. Also blessed because of all the new friends I have made here. I'll be lurkin' lads and lasses.
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,595
    Frank,
    Well said and I agree, and that is why I will cook less this year, need to enjoy the other food and friends.
    Congrats on the new job.
    JJ

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Hey Peter - Great pics, thanks! Looks like a great cook to me!! When it comes to a DO on the egg, we definately consider Grandpas Grub very knowledgable! He uses his DO often.
    We used our spider, legs up, and placed the DO inside it. I was able to get excellent sears. We left our DO in the spider for the cook, but it was a soup, so scorced bottom was not an issue for us.
    Perhaps the DO direct on the coals for your sears, then placed on your grate (still direct) for the final cook with the rice? Or with the spider, legs up for the sears, then legs down for the cook with the rice? Just my thoughts.
    Here are the pics from our cook....you can see the spider set up, legs up so DO was closer to coals.
    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=601108&catid=1
    Happy cookin! See you in Ocala??
    Michelle
    Hollywood, FL
  • ombaomba Posts: 241
    Folks,

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement.
    I can see that my "go direct" conclusion was right.
    I especially liked the use of the spider.
    It now dawns on me how creative all you folks are.

    As for the Eggfest...
    Yes, I will be there.
    No, I don't see it as a contest at all.
    I just want to make folks happy.
    You have no idea how much I love this stuff!
    Maybe I shoud bring the weedburner and do fire tricks? :)

    And as for fun ...
    I package it regularly.
    Always fresh. Never frozen.

    Thanks again,
    Peter
  • El JefeEl Jefe Posts: 96
    use parboiled rice.
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,964
    Socially Unacceptable is less than smart. I have a lot of trouble with him and his remarks. I may have to have him killed one of these days.

    You might be worthy how long have you been cooking on an Egg? ;)
  • pplkookpplkook Posts: 54
    Howdy

    I know this was unwanted/asked advice...so grain of salt, etc. I read half the posts, so I don't know if this was covered, but Cooks Illustrated had a good recipe for Jambalaya, and one of the tricks was

    1. Keep the chicken thighs whole, and brown in the DO
    1a. Pull chicken and set aside
    2. Once all thighs are browned, remove 1/2 or more of the chicken grease, but don't scrape all the brown bits (fond)
    3. Then add your onions and saute
    4. Do the rest of the deal, then place the chicken thighs on top of the ingredients and cover
    5. Just before serving, pull chicken and shred like pulled pork.

    Anyway, I am sure someone brought this up.

    Good looking stuff

    -Jack
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,595
    March of 2009 Florida Eggfest will be 3 years B)

    JJ

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • mkcmkc Posts: 540
    I am absolutely no authority on jambalaya (originally from the northeast), but the recipes I have used called for caramelizing the onion/pepper/celery until quite chocolate brown before browning the meats. Rice was stirred in to completely coat with the fat, liquid added and brought to a boil then lowered and covered with no peeking.

    Yours looks fantastic and inspired me to take some leftover out of the freezer. We had it for dinner with lots of Cajun Chef hot sauce and some tasty Buoncristiani OPC (love the bros!)

    The recipe I used for these leftovers is called "Gonzal's Jambalaya" and is from Emeril on the Food Network website. No seafood, just chicken and andouille.
    Egging in Denton, Texas
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