I have been to New Orleans 4 times 2 when I was on tour 1 time on a food expedition for my friend who was opening up a restaurant, and the last time was when I was a animator and demo artist I was asked to speak on a panel about 3D software at Siggraph with some of the top artists of the time.
The 2 things in common with these trips
1st I was on business or on stage on the trips.
2nd I tried every Cajun and Creole dish I could while I was there. I tried everything from alligators to bread pudding and rum sauce.
My last trip was for Intergraph computers they were the fastest PC computers at that time and they started at 10k and up. Siggraph is a convention/conference geared towards graphics for television and movies and print.
I got to meet and demonstrate the latest software to the artists that worked for Lucus arts, Amblin, Star Trek, and got to hang with em after the show. With an average of 17,000 in attendance. Some of the bigger companies threw the biggest and badass party’s from soup to nuts no expense spared
The first party I went to was in this historic pristine mansion like from interviews with a vampire
in fact that was the theme of the party I think.
It was a Victorian vampire party the mansion have sweeping stairs marble checked floors big rooms with plush velvet curtains the ceiling had paintings of angels and clouds, the food displayed was beautiful it was not chips and dip. all the staff were in full costumes not like from the Halloween but more from the set of a big-budget movie with powdered wigs and beautiful gowns.
Now the vampires would blend in and have slight give always like the eye colors we blue than blue greener than green and they would glint in the right light.I know this because of a conversation I was having conversation with this girl who asked me what I was doing in New Orleans?
If you looked close you could see her fangs if they laughed or talked in a way that you could see the canine teeth, not like the plastic vampire teeth you had as a kid.
she was talking to me but her eyes were so green I could not look or answer anything…I could not even look down at her boobs.
So I didn’t want to be rude I excused my self and walked away.
I spotted a few people like this they were more dressed down.. now that I think of it maybe they were not part of the event..it was dark outside and it was New Orleans.. come to think of it the invite said nothing of vampires it just said Victorian party…
Fulham Town Hall
I guess that was the right time to go…which I did.
When people think of New Orleans they think of bourbon st, jazz, food, and mardi gras if you like jerry springer beads.
Now most of you know or heard the word creole or Cajun food but do you know what the difference is?
Cajun is more countryside home cooking… Creole is more city type fancy cooking and uses tomatoes as Cajun does not.
I am not gonna go into the history of La Nouvelle-Orleans when is was founded in 1718 by the French and pirates were abounded and the pirate Jean Lafitte help Andrew Jackson with supplying arms.
Then the Spanish took over after the Paris treaty of 1763. So then you have French and Spanish styles of food merging.
The 3 main ingredients most dishes begin with a medley of vegetables based on the French mirepoix. “The holy trinity of Cajun cuisine” utilizes onion, celery, and bell pepper.
the French mirepoix uses onions celery and carrots.
The Spanish have Sofrito with is onions garlic tomatoes bell peppers and sometimes parsley or cilantro.
Jambalaya was created by the Spanish trying to make e paella in the New World but they did not have saffron which gives the rich that bright color so they used tomatoes as a substitute.
There are 2 kinds of jambalaya most people don’t know this but now you will always know.
The red jambalaya is made with tomatoes and the holy trinity so this is the what? Yes Creole version.
The brown jambalaya contains no tomatoes and gets its color from the meat roasting in the pan and is a little wetter than the red and also uses the holy trinity.
There is one that is pretty rare the white jambalaya the difference is the vegetables and meat are cooked together but the rice is cooked separately in a stock.
One of my favorite and most entertaining Cajun chefs was Justin Wilson he was on the way before the food network and it was real home cooking.
I decided to make creole because I can laissez les bon temps rouler!
I made the simplest quickest version.
I used 1 pack of Andouille slice or smoke sausage like kielbasa.
You can also add chicken meat too even shrimp.
1 cup diced celery
1 cup onion
1 cup bell peppers
1 tablespoon garlic
I tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasons you season how your mama likes more or less
2 cups of rice
Chicken stock 3-4 cups
½ can Of diced or crushed tomatoes
Brown meats in olive oil
Add garlic cook and stir 30 seconds
Add vegetable cook and stir till translucent.
Add seasoning stir add rice and stir for 2 minutes
Add tomatoes cook and stir 2 minutes
Add the stock to cover everything and just a bit more depending on how wet you like your jambalaya.
Lower heat set timer 20 minutes
Stir and check every 4-5 minutes so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
After 20 minutes taste to see how much longer rice need to cook and how wet you want it and season and cayenne pepper to spice it up.
Add another 5 minutes to taste. Keep adding
five till you think it’s done.
Add cilantro or parsley optional.
The taste is Smokey soft almost creamy rice with sweet flavors from onion and freshness from celery the bell peppers and more flavors and the meats add texture.
Depending on how you cook it or like it…
the rice can be firmer or softer…dryer or wetter there is no wrong way.