Shrimp & Ham Jambalaya (red)

5/18/2018 – The dish turned out great with many comments by Kelley and Mary that it was really good. It was inspired by the recipe on page 44 of our copy of Kit Whol’a book New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes. Kip credits Poppy Tucker for the recipe. [Piper and Olivia still only wanted their mini-pizzas.]

To watch Poppy cook it go to She says: “Ham, be it regular or tasso (see #6 ), always appears in jambalaya.” Note that Poppy used 2 lbs. of heads-on shrimp. Mine could have used that 1/3 lb. more.

My tweaked version they liked so much is below. Note though the quantities Kit said are to serve 6-8 but since Mary, Kelley and I had at least two servings each there was only one serving left for another day. We also had nothing to go with it like a green salad.


1 lb. headless shrimp, peeled and the shells used to make seafood stock
4-1/2 cups of seafood stock

4 Tbs butter
3 stalks of celery
1 med yellow onion
1 average Green Bell pepper
1/4 pound of diced ham
3 Tbs tomato paste

1 bay leaf
1/4 heaping tsp dried thyme
1/4 heaping tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
almost 1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 of 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1.5 tsp kosher salt
Kip’s Creole Seasoning added with the rice and to the raw shrimp

2 Cups of Jasmine Long Grain Rice

Chopped green onions and sweet paprika to work in with a fork in before resting 10 minutes. See note below about stirring causing mushiness. Also note that I did not add the onion or paprika for the first try of this dish as I did not read carefully enough. Should have also used our tasso rather than the ham.


  1. Shell the shrimp and bring the shells in the water to a boil for maybe a couple of minutes then turn down to simmer until needed.
  2. Melt 4T butter in the large blue porcelain lined cast iron soup pot.
  3. Add to the butter and saute:
    1. 1 med onion chopped fine
    2. 1 green bell pepper chopped into an average 1/2″ squares
    3. 4 stalks of celery about 10″ long chopped into small pieces
  4. When the edges of the pieces begin to soften add the diced ham and stir together.
  5. Add 5-6 shakes of Kit’s Creole Seasoning to have a visible dusting over the whole pot. Stir it in and heat for maybe 5 minutes.
  6. Add the rice in small batched and stir in well between each addition. Let the pot reheat and the rice begin to absorb the flavors.
  7. Strain the shrimp shells from the seafood broth and add the strained broth to the pot stirring well. [That is the last thorough stirring to avoid mushiness like we had. See notes below.]
  8. Cook with the lid on for 15 minutes or so until the rice is almost done.
  9. Add the raw shrimp and stir into the hot mixture with the fire still on low to reheat the pot and lightly cook the shrimp.
  10. After about 10 minutes serve.

Thoughts – Per Poppy’s tips on page 44 the dish should be turned only lightly and “only two or three times during cooking”. That avoids mushiness like we had. I had turned it and not stirred but did turn it at least 4 times to keep it from sticking on the bottom. Should have had the fire much lower if not off.

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