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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, calling all you ****-a** cooks! I'm about to cook up a batch of chicken and sausage jambalaya. Whenever you see supposedly "cajun" cooking, the recipes always seem to call for hot sauce, and cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's. When I look on the interwebs, though, and find Youtube videos, the ones with "real" cajun cooks don't seem to use much, if any, of that stuff at all. The jambalaya recipes I find that seem to be made by real people have smoked sausage, chicken, the trinity (celery, onions and bell pepper), garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, good Lousiana long grain rice, and maybe even some chicken stock. Some folks use tomatoes in it, while others do not (that seems kind of like a cajun vs. creole thing, but not necessarily even an etched-in-stone rule).

So... what do you think? Do I need to use the Tony's and Louisiana Sauce, or should I just rely on good cooking techniques to build a lot of flavor into my meal?
 

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What time's dinner?:eating::beerglass:
 

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The way I was raised, you only add the Hot stuff if you Screw up the Jambalaya... or don't know how to cook it right in the first place.

all kidding aside, make it the way you like it, but leave out the hot stuff, let all the other flavors work their magic!
 

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I dont know anything about Cajun cooking, but I do know about hot peppers and pepper sauces. Generally, peppers go in when you cook, sauce goes on the table. I grow an absurd number of hot peppers each year in a dozen or more varieties. Doesn't answer your question, but I love peppers as much as marlins....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The way I was raised, you only add the Hot stuff if you Screw up the Jambalaya... or don't know how to cook it right in the first place.

all kidding aside, make it the way you like it, but leave out the hot stuff, let all the other flavors work their magic!
I'm thinking you're right. I do make an excellent crawfish etouffee, and, although I usually do put a little heat into it at the end, I have found that there is no substitute for building flavor into the dish right from jump street. If I take my time, and make a good seafood stock first, rather than just relying on chicken broth, it makes an incredible difference in the end result.
 

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Hot sauce is pretty much never added into recipes during cooking. You add it when you serve if you want. You can also substitute salt and pepper in recipes with Tony's. That's what I do at least.

If you want spicy jambalaya though, some cayanne pepper is the way to go.

I'm used to using chicken stock in Jambalaya and tomatoes is a preference thing, but isn't normally included and I prefer it without. Although, I actually found this Mexican powdered chicken/tomato bouillon stuff that is pretty awesome in jambalaya when I was in Chicago but don't remember what it was called.
 

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I dont know anything about Cajun cooking, but I do know about hot peppers and pepper sauces. Generally, peppers go in when you cook, sauce goes on the table. I grow an absurd number of hot peppers each year in a dozen or more varieties. Doesn't answer your question, but I love peppers as much as marlins....
Man, I'm jealous. I need to get some land so I can start a garden.
 

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My father-in-law's family were from Louisiana. My sister-in-law married into a cajun family. When they make most any cajun/creole dish it has very little spice in it, just a bit to zest it up. The hit in cajun food comes after it is cooked when one douses it with whatever the particular person's palate prefers. That's my practical experience. I don't cook cajun or creole myself. Just enjoy it at family gatherings.
 

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I have a friend that is a true cajun, deep in the bayou, basic electricity, wood stove cooking and outhouse user and I ask him the same question and this is what he told me, "that store bought hot sauce and Cajun seasoning was made by a lazy yankee. And he would whoop out a pot of true jambalaya like the recipes you found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I miss old Justin Wilson. I think those videos were first shown on PBS back in the 70's or so. He told some jokes that were really thigh thumpers. Good cook, too.
 

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Just me .... but..... you build the flavor throughout the dish...... including the heat!!

Some hot sauce goes in during the cooking..... also and almost always some amount of another trinity.....

BLACK..... WHITE.....and Cayenne Pepper :biggrin:

Whoever wants Tony's or additional sauce can add it at the table..... but, don't leave it our during the cooking process
 

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Here's another "Cajun vs Creole" article.
About Cajun Cooking | Cajun Injector
Think of Creole as Urban cooking and Cajun as rural. Cajun draws more from local resources (to the Bayou) while Creole cooks had access to a wider variety of ingredients.
While I live a few hundred miles north of the Bayou, I know a couple guys who made a career of opening and selling Cajun/Creole restaurants or serving as head chef, writing their menu and recipes, and several of his assistants.
These guys peridically went to Louisiana for fresh ingredients before they became available locally, and hung out with local chefs to learn their methods. One trick I learned, instead of a flour roux, you can make a roux of onions browned in oil. Brown them until they are a rich brown and sweet, and use that for a base. This is in addition to the onions in your trinity (peppers, celery, onion).
I like a seafood based gumbo with catfish, clams, shrimp, crawfish, with some chicken and andouille added for good measure. Hotter peppers like jalapeno, serrano or fresno are added to taste, but I keep the heat to a medium. With that medley of flavors there is no need to numb your senses. I serve it over rice with a wedge of lime to be squeezed over it as it is eaten.
He made a corn bread muffin that was sweetened a little with orange juice and chunk of Jalapeno pepper in the middle. He made it with a little more egg and oil than you would use in plain cornbread, so it is almost like a dessert muffin to finish off your bowl of gumbo.
 

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Hot sauce is pretty much never added into recipes during cooking. You add it when you serve if you want. You can also substitute salt and pepper in recipes with Tony's. That's what I do at least.

If you want spicy jambalaya though, some cayanne pepper is the way to go.

I'm used to using chicken stock in Jambalaya and tomatoes is a preference thing, but isn't normally included and I prefer it without. Although, I actually found this Mexican powdered chicken/tomato bouillon stuff that is pretty awesome in jambalaya when I was in Chicago but don't remember what it was called.
Knorr's Caldo de Tomato Con Sabor de Pollo
 
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