Truth be told, I’ve only ever had jambalaya once before.
My friend used to claim that jambalaya was her signature dish. So, when she invited me over for dinner and told me she was making the famed jambalaya, I was very excited.
When I walked in the house, I remember the smoky, spicy smell of paprika and slow cooked onions. My mouth was watering.
And then the doorbell rang.
What she hadn’t told me was that this was actually an internet date. She felt weird being there alone with him and so I got the lucky invite.
So there were the three of us, sitting awkwardly.
The two of them making small talk, me staring down at my plate.
Needless to say, the date was a disaster, but at least I got my first taste of delicious jambalaya and I’ve been meaning to re-create it ever since.
So the challenge is set.
- Loaded with vegetables
- Spicy and meaty component
- Smoky, deep flavour
I started by making my own seitan Andouille sausages (recipe coming soon!) and used cubes of extra firm smoked tofu for the other meaty texture. The dish came together surprisingly easy and was incredibly delicious. It was hearty, full of flavour and exactly what I wanted in a jambalaya. The only thing I would change is that I cooked the sausage with the jambalaya and, in characteristic seitan way, the sausage swelled up and lost some of its charm. So, next time I would add the seitan just at the end to warm it through, or pan fry it and layer it on top of the jambalaya.
- 3 large vegan sausages (chorizo or andouille style), cut in to chunks (or omit if gluten free)
- 1 pack of extra firm smoked tofu, cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 4 celery sticks, cut into chunks
- 2 small bell peppers (I used red and yellow), deseeded and cut into chunks
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 200g long-grain white rice
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
- 6 spring onions, sliced
- ﬂaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a pan over medium heat, add oil. Stir in the onion, celery and green peppers and cook for 8–10 minutes until well softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano and bay leaves into the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring well.
- Turn the heat to medium high and add the chopped tomatoes.
- Cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly. Mixture should be quite fragrant at this point.
- Add the tofu and the rice and cook for about a minute, stirring.
- Pour over the stock, season with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed by the rice, stirring occasionally. The rice should still be pretty saucy at this point, so if your rice takes longer to cook, you may need to add a little more stock.
- Stir in the vegan sausage and spring onions, allowing a few more minutes to cook.
Just had it cold for lunch, and is possibly even better! Great smoky paprika taste.