Several years ago I dined at a great restaurant in downtown Detroit known as Fishbone (look here and here). There I had my first dish of jambalaya ever. For years Fishbone was the only restaurant I found this amazing dish at. Then one day I was in San Diego and visited a restaurant that had a great jambalaya too. So now anytime I visit I make sure to eat there. (If only I could remember the name of the place.)

Well this year we had a wonderful baby girl and one day last summer I had a craving for some good jambalaya. I knew it would be some time before we'd be back at Fishbone so I decided I'd take a crack at making my own. Bear in mind I'm rarely cook and when I do it's nothing special.

I began by ordering a book of Louisiana recipes. When it arrived I looked up the jambalaya recipes it contained. I tried to imagine what it would be like compared to the other two I had had. Unfortunately none of them seemed right. I didn't bother to cook them up: their ingredients just didn't remind me of what I'd eaten.

So the next step, and in the future will be my first step, was to scour the Internet looking for recipes. It was incredible. I easily found more recipes than I could read. Ultimately I settled on several that looked promising and finally chose one. That recipe is shown below.

The Recipe I Use


Just in case The Wisdom Dude ever takes the recipe down, I've duplicated it here.

When I've made this I didn't use the pork, the saffron or the MSG. I also couldn't find the Andouille sausage so I improvised with a packaged Italian sausage. I also found that I needed a lot of V8 juice or the mixture would easily burn in the pot that I have (which isn't exactly a Dutch oven). In any case I still thoroughly enjoyed this recipe as did others I served it to.

The Wisdom Dude's
Amazingly Delicious Jambalaya

(c) The Wisdom Dude

This is a personal recipe, gleaned from several people's kitchens. It owes nothing to recipe books, nor to commercial establishments. It is basically Creole (NOT Cajun), with a heavy Tampa accent. Some things are best not trifled with; it's no secret that the use of black, white, and red (Cayenne) pepper gives it that distinctive deep, smoky "N'Awlins" taste. For some reason, folks where the snow flies almost invariably skip the three peppers, or make substitutions Ñ and then complain mightily that the dish just doesn't taste right!


Raw Meats:

Cured Meats:


Herbs and Spices:

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot. Cast-iron is best, but aluminum will work. (A New Orleans jambalaya pot and a Tampa paella pot are the same critter Ñ heavy cast-iron and as roomy as a Dutch oven. If you're buying a pot, prefer one that's U.S.-made Ñ they're heavier.)

  2. Stir in the peppers, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook on high until everything is translucent.

  3. Add the raw meats. Keep stirring on high until the chicken and pork have turned white.

  4. Add the cured meats. Stir for 2 or 3 minutes.

  5. Add the tomatoes, and stir for 5 to 6 minutes.

  6. Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the stock and all the seasonings. Cook for about 20 minutes, until everything is well melded.

  7. Add the rice, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

  8. Add the shrimp, and the extra liquid if you need to (if the rice is dry or not all the way cooked), and stir it thoroughly. Cook 5 to 10 more minutes.

  9. Prepare for your guests to swoon in ecstasy.