Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merry Christmas! Here is a special recipe direct from the French Quarter with guest chef Steve van Noppen!

Jambalaya- Made the French Quarter Way

Well, what can I say, Christmas came early for me this year by way of my new friend and master chef Steve van Noppen. The gift was home made Jambalaya made authentic from someone who not only has been the chef at Broussards in the French Quarter, but a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America, and degreed in Hospitability Management at Florida International University. Steve currently is the executive chef at the Shreveport Convention Center in Louisiana.

Now, you may be wondering how I hooked up with such a word class chef. I mean this guy’s classmates included Anthony Bourdain and he hung out and worked with Emerald Lagasse. Obviously, this is the guy to get a Jambalaya recipe from if I could!

I met Steve van Noppen through my good friend Chris Jacobson who along with his wife Karen own Victorian Station where Jim’s Bar B Q is located. Chris calls me and says,

“Hey Jim! Guess what! My close friend who I was in scouts with in Germany as a youngster and is also a master chef from New Orleans is coming in for a visit. Dying for you to meet him!”

Now I was really excited. I figured someone who has been so successful in the restaurant world for so long, certainly could lend a few simple tips to a budding BBQ Baldie. And he did.

Steve stayed for about two weeks and hung out here at the BBQ and really enjoyed himself. He tried all our smoked dishes and simply said, it is fine, don’t change a thing. If anything, he commented that the ribs could be more spicy, but we are in the mid Atlantic, not the French Quarter. Different palate here. I already will get folks saying my BBQ ribs are too spicy, and I don’t even have ANY heat ingredients on them. Funny but true. Steve was kind enough to give me a bunch of great tips including his home made slaw recipe which I do make from now on. Much better than mine.

Steve and I bellied up to the bar enough nights at Jim’s Bar B Q for me to finally get up the nerve to ask,

“Steve. Hey man, since you are this great chef and all, and since you are leaving town on Monday, why don’t you show this old Virginia boy your take on authentic French Quarter Jambalaya. In other words, would be so kind as to come over to my condo and cook us dinner, and buy the groceries on your way???”

Steve was glad to do it, and came over with all the fixens for a delicious Jambalaya. A couple things you should know about Jambalaya, these things I learned from watching chef Steve.

*Anyone can make Jambalaya, it is not really a hard dish to make
*Jambalaya is not a super hot dish at all
*Ingredients can be found at most any grocery store
*Jambalaya is a “Ricey” dish
*Jambalaya can contain many different ingredients, mix it up the way you like it.

Here is the breakdown of what you will need.

Seafood Stock
Andouille Sasuage
Cajun Seasoning
Can of crushed tomatoes
One jalapeño
Green pepper
Spring onions
White wine
Olive oil
Filed peas with snaps \ use as extender

Ok, now this may not be exactly like chef Steve’s, but very close. The good chef worked fast in the kitchen I was playing catch up most of the time, and I was drinking rum and playing with the red head, so, yes, I got distracted. BUT!! This recipe is really about there. You will notice that it is not loaded with cayenne pepper, the dish is very flavorful, but is not burning hot at all.

Jambalaya recipe’s are a matter of preference like most things. My take on this recipe is to keep it the same, except use less than half the rice and a second can of tomato sauce. My taste is more of the Creole style, less pasta and more sauce. Use this basic recipe, and vary it how you like it. Of course you can also use chicken, other seafood’s, various fish and even alligator. Use what you like and is fresh and native to your regional area.

Here we go.
First chop up everything, onion, garlic, celery, peppers, parsley, peel the shrimp etc.

In a LARGE sauté pan melt butter in white wine or beer and cook spring onions, garlic and sausage. Then add your veggies.

Next you will add equal parts of rice and seafood stock. One or two cups depending on how much rice you like. Stir, then add the can of tomatoes and filed peas. Sauté.

Next, add your seafood, shrimp and scallops and Cajun seasoning to taste.
Lastly add the finely chopped Jalapeño and parsley. Simmer for around 10 minutes, and you are done!

This is a great Jambalaya that is great as a main dish or goes awesome with a side to just about anything.

Try it during the Christmas Holidays, have your friends and family over for a zesty taste of the French Quarter. You will be glad you did!

Thanks again to Steve van Noppen for cooking us such an awesome dinner and sharing it with our fans, friends, and family.

Jim Baugh
Author of “HOOKED”

“COOKED” paperback release date spring 2010

Jim Baugh Outdoors Central Web Site
Jim's Bar B Q Restaurant