Emboldened by my success with the crab cakes, Mr. Rose immodestly requested "Jambalaya!" for dinner tonight. Well, there's not a thing in the world I wouldn't cook for this man, including soup from a powder when he's sick, ass-kicking Thai curry when stomach isn't up to the heat, and "anything but Ecuadorian" when all I want is arroz con menestra y carne asada. So I accommodate with gusto when he suggests something that will delight both of our palates at once (and doesn't involve me opening a package and adding boiling water). Plus, I've never made a jambalaya before... For that matter, I wasn't sure I'd ever eaten a good, authentic jambalaya before.
So I inquired to a fellow MasterChef finalist, Max Almerico, from New Orleans. That's him on the right. (Oh, and the gal up front intently tugging on a bunch of greens is Azmina, my doppelganger.)
Once again, Google did not disappoint. I very quickly stumbled upon Emeril Lagasse's recipe for jambalaya. And lucky me -- I had approximately triple the amount of shrimp, chicken, and andouille that the recipe called for. I broke out my gigantic Mario Batali dutch oven (suck it Bastianich! my money went straight to your partner Batali!) and went to town.
this time, because I thought the Caribbean flair would compliment this Creole dish. But it just lacked pizzazz. So I went to an old standby, Sriracha sauce, or the sauce that we affectionately call "Rat Sauce" around here. It has an impossibly simple list of ingredients considering how delicious and versatile it is.
"BAM!" as Emeril would say, "That kicked it up a notch!" When I'm done with this blog post, I'm going to write to Mr. Lagasse and suggest that he specify Rat Sauce, at least a teaspoon full, in his jambalaya recipe.
I don't know if what I made is what jambalaya is supposed to be, but I made a huge pot of it and sooner or later, someone in the know would taste it and tell me what's what.
Twenty minutes later, Mr. Rose finally got home from work. He sat down to a pile of jambalaya.
Barrington Hall (the now-condemned student co-op building were he spent his freshman year) 'cause, ya know, it's a good casserole-type thing to serve to a bunch of hungry, skinny, college kids." Hmm. Guess he's not going to be a good judge of jambalaya.
He scarfed it down without much commentary, probably just like he did in college, and washed it down with a can of PBR, probably just like he did in college.
And that is probably why I will cook absolutely anything for the man. He occasionally challenges me to cook something different, which he then eats without judgment. He sometimes gives me feedback, hardly ever complains, but never passes judgment. He leaves the judging to the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich.
NITA), to tie it all together for you.