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I love jambalaya, although some purists would snub their noses at my version, it is just that my version. I sometimes add chorizo, chicken, crab, lobster or anything I have on hand...or all of it at once, but I don't add rice when I plan on putting it into a pie like this. The secret to a really good jambalaya is the roux. This is a step you cannot skip or cut corners with. It needs to be as dark, if not darker than peanut butter and about the same consistency. This will take about 15 minutes or so...take the time to do it, so worth it!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 pounds raw shrimp (shell on)
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped jalapenos (add more or less as you like)
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • 3 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg (beaten with a 1 tsp milk)
  • 1 package (320g) puff pastry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. peel shrimp and toss shells into a pot with chicken stock, white wine, half of the whole head of garlic, skins and all

  2. simmer for 20 minutes

  3. throw the whole mixture into a blender and puree

  4. put it all back into the pot and simmer another 10 minutes then strain and set aside

  5. in another pot, sautee finely chopped onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, garlic, celery and carrots until all are cooked

  6. remove vegetables from the pot and set aside

  7. now, toss in the flour and butter

  8. this is the roux and the most important part, so keep stirring over a medium heat until dark brown

  9. add the vegetables back in with the shrimp liquid and Old Bay seasoning and simmer for 1 hour

  10. at this point, you can puree it or leave it's really up to you


  12. add shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes

  13. rub the outside of the rim of an oven proof bowl with butter and ladle in some stew

  14. roll out and cut puff pastry big enough to just cover the top of the sish and make a small slit on the top

  15. brush the pastry with egg (and milk) and bake in a 350° oven for 10 ~ 12 minutes until puffy and golden brown

  16. allow it to cool a few minutes so folks don't burn themselves...and warn them that the dish will be hot!

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