It took me a couple of extra days to get this recipe written down due to some car trouble and a long lunch with friends. But here it is!
And it is really, really delicious.
The quantity serves six regular or four very hungry people.
Ham and Shrimp Creole Jambalaya
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 fragrant bay leaves
1 pound boiled ham, cut into small cubes, about 1/2 inch in size
1 can (14 oz.) whole tomatoes
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped green/spring onion
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and green pepper and sauté until soft and starting to brown a bit. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and cook about 2 minutes, stirring, until the shrimp turn pink. Add the ham and sauté another 2 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with their juice and add them to the pot with the garlic, salt, thyme, cayenne and black pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains. Cover, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Take the pot off the heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes then stir in the green onions and remove the bay leaves and serve.
I always have some Crystal hot sauce available, just in case it needs a bit more kick.