Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Food review: Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix

Okay, so I'm a junkie for Louisiana food. I found a source of andouille and shrimp so it was clearly time to whip up a batch of jambalaya.

Now, there's two ways to make jambalaya -- the hard way, or the Zatarain's way. Since I'm lazy, I decided to try the Zatarain's way.

Verdict: The dehydrated veggies just don't substitute for the real thing. And it's way too salty. It's edible. That's about all I can say for it. Given that this stuff is actually made in New Orleans (well, *was* made in New Orleans, it's made in Mississippi now), I'd hoped for better.

Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix. Avoid it.

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 9/24/2006 06:30:00 PM  


My New Orleans friends always turned their noses up at Zatarain's and recommended Tony Chachere's for those times when you just couldn't make your own. Happy cooking.
# posted by CmdrSue : 24/9/06 8:44 PM  

Gotta agree with cmdrsue about Tony Chachere's. having lived in NOLA for 2 years while still in the Marines, I gotta say Tony Chachere's was some good stuff. But being as how you can't find it at our local supermarkets here in Milwaukee, Zatarain's will have to do. What I've come to love is Zatarain's Dirty Rice mix as made by my wife with italian sausage instead of ground beef. It's fantastic! You should try it, BadTux.
# posted by Bulldog : 24/9/06 9:45 PM  

I can have my family in Louisiana ship me the Tony's. I use the Tony's seasoning and the roux mix (which also makes a kick-rear brown gravy) all the time.

Zatarain's Dirty Rice mix is my mother's secret recipe for her multi-purpose potluck dish, the dish she takes to all family gatherings where everybody is supposed to bring food. She uses ground beef, but adds a "secret ingredient" that adds an interesting touch to it -- chopped chicken liver. Okay, go ahead and laugh, but it does work, especially when you dash on just a bit of Tabasco.

BTW, my father was the cook of the family. When my mother married him, the only thing she knew how to cook was tuna sandwiches. Well, and boiled eggs :-). He cooked his way across the Pacific as a ships' cook, and they met at a diner where he was the short order cook and she was a waitress. I guess it should not be surprising that, in her old age, the only thing she can cook, *still*, is things that have directions on the back of the box :-). Actually, she did learn many dishes from my father, but has forgotten most of them over the years, or simply refuses to cook them. She *absolutely* refuses to cook okra gumbo, for example -- sez she, "I'm not doing all that stirring", and even if I volunteer to do the stirring, she just won't do it. Cooking just ain't her thang...

-Badtux the Culinary Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 24/9/06 11:14 PM  

add my voice to those recommending tony's although a decent jambalaya isn't all that tough a thing to toss together from scratch. all it takes is a decent spice rack and a little time. if zatarain's is all that's available it manages OK if you add a little fresh trinity and, of course, andouille and shrimp. parsley helps cut the salt.
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 24/9/06 11:16 PM  

i've made the zat's dirty rice with ground elk, yummy
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 24/9/06 11:17 PM  

I like to use the Zatarain's Gumbo Mix - but I use it as a base to start. Then I add andouille, shrimp, chicken and lots of okra, a touch of tabasco, etc. It's like any good stew - just a bit different and wonderful everytime you make it.
Not bad for a cattleman's daughter from Iowa, eh?
# posted by cornfield jane : 25/9/06 12:18 PM  

I figure the instructions on boxes are only a suggestion, and usually just a start.
(BTY as a child, I never colored inside the lines - hell, I drew my own lines!)
# posted by cornfield jane : 25/9/06 12:48 PM  


For a little Nawhlins "food porn" may I suggest
# posted by cookie jill : 26/9/06 8:24 PM  

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