The Science of Jambalaya
I have noted that Jambalaya is always a laborious project. This is mainly because of the separate preparation of the main ingredients before final incorporation. In other words, Jambalaya is not a stew , whereas the many concoctions of chili can be qualified as stews.
A CrockPot concoction stews everything together and while it is absolutely heavenly in its own right, it gains on a harmony of flavors rather than a melody. Let me explain.
A good chili, soup or dinner stew recipe derives its benefit from a long, slow simmer, melding together all the flavors. They gain their fantastic flavors by melding rich ingredients together and you would be hard pressed to name the items in them while blindfolded as they do not assert individuality after a long slow cook. If you wanted to achieve a particular accent, you would add the ingredient near the end of the cooking process (*see: Science of Stews).
Jambalayas are quite another style of rendering a potpourri of ingredients. It shoots for melody rather than harmony. Much as one would crack fresh pepper over their soup...for accent!
Stews are no less laborious than jambalayas at the outset. The preparation of the many ingredients are much the same. In the stew format however, you just pop them all in the pot at once and simmer them for several hours. With jambalayas, each main flavor is cooked separately, incorporated in a timely fashion and merely heated through to maintain the individual "pops" of each ingredient. Liberally speaking, one could stew the main base sauce, but the individual preparation of the meats and rice should require full attention, taking care to accent each in another manner of seasoning or cooking method.
The success of jambalaya science is in regard to the timely incorporation of the distinct flavors. You can take my recipe ingredients and CrockPot [stew] them for 12 hours or prepare them in the exacting time discretions. The difference would amaze you! Same ingredients, different protocol.
My entire style of cooking has changed since noting this science. While it has always been obvious and taught as a fact...the discipline of Jambalaya cooking has ventured it further - into an exacting ultimatum.
There are no real rules to make or break, only boundaries to explore. I am confident of my research to provide you with a solidly authentic Jambalaya recipe from which you can try and work off of...and send me the results of your delightfully re-worked aberrations.
Enjoy The Artof Jambalaya Science!
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