There are plenty of standalone dishes that you can make, and Jambalaya is one of them. It has a delicious flavor which you will undoubtedly relish. If you compare it with a dish like gumbo, it is considered dry. You can ideally serve it alone, but it would also be awesome with a side dish. Even though its all-inclusive nature may make it difficult for you to find a perfect pair, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible.
There are still sides that go well with it.
What is jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a cuisine whose origin is believed to be Louisiana, but it also has some French and Spanish influence. It is made from rice, meat, and vegetables. You can also include a variety of seasonings. It is not rare to find the dish being served at parties, music festivals, and holiday feasts.
There are different types of jambalayas depending on the people making it, and where they live. For instance, the red jambalaya is famous among those who live in New Orleans. The brown Jambalaya, on the other hand, is mostly prepared in the rural regions of south Louisiana. Residents of other parts of the world also make both variations to have for lunch, dinner, at parties, and other occasions.
Making jambalaya is straightforward. You may get any variety of rice as long as you use the right amount of water and set the ideal cooking time. Start by browning your meat and then sautéing your vegetables. From there, add the rice, liquid and allow it to boil. Proceed to stir the mixture, cover it, and reduce the heat so that it can simmer for about 20-25 minutes. The entire process should take you an hour or even less.
If you don’t want to serve your jambalaya alone, look for food pairing that goes well with it.
What you can serve with jambalaya
Do not limit yourself to one side when looking for something to serve with jambalaya. There are many options that you can explore. I love going for dishes that are nutritious and sweet. I also try to match the flavors of my main dish with those of my side dish. Here are some sides that I can recommend:
A slice of savory crepes goes well with jambalaya. When making this dish, be patient; because it can take up to two hours. On the upside, its ingredients are pretty easy to find. Whenever you need all-purpose flour, melted butter, garlic, garlic, thyme, garlic cream cheese, and parsley, just head to the store nearest to you. To make the crepes more delicious and appealing, sprinkle some chocolate along their centers and top with some strawberries. The chocolate and strawberry filling is optional though.
This easy-to-make American dish is sweeter when paired with jambalaya. Whenever I’m looking for a quick recipe, I go for it because I’ll be done within 30-35 minutes. You can use white, yellow, or blue cornmeal; whichever you love the most. The color of your bread will change depending on the cornmeal you chose. You should also know that ground cornmeal is sold in different grinds. A fine grind will give you cake-like cornbread while courser grinds will produce more textured bread. Remember to follow the exact recipe to make the bread so that yours is as tasty as you hope it will be.
Okra is a nutritious vegetable that you should try to serve with jambalaya. There are different ways to prepare it. You can fry it. Even though it might take some of your time, it is incredibly delicious once it is ready. Alternatively, chop and sauté it in a thin bacon grease layer. Depending on the blend of flavors that you want to achieve, add tomatoes, onions, and pepper.
Corn Maque Choux
If you want a vegetable-themed dish to have with jambalaya, you should make this Louisiana dish. The steps are easy to master. Take your pan and sauté creole vegetables. Then, add corn, seasonings of your choice, and broth. Let it simmer until it is tender. Make sure you drain any extra liquid so that you can serve your corn maque choux as a salad.
Salad enthusiasts can also consider making this salad because it is a great companion for jambalaya. It is economical since most of the ingredients are inexpensive and locally available. It is also refreshing, especially if you have yours during the summer. On top of that, it is delicious and therefore, worth your time. There are many versions that you can make. I love mine with a blend of tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell pepper, onions, olives, and feta cheese.
There are many zucchini cooking ideas that you can employ when making a side dish for jambalaya. You can sauté or fry them. Using your vegetable peeler to turn them into ‘ribbons’ before cooking them is also an excellent idea. The summer squash is healthy and easy to make. I prefer fresh zucchini when making this recipe because it brings out the best flavors. If you have ever purged an eggplant before, do the same for your zucchini to remove all its moisture before frying it.
Adding more greens to your menu is a great way to have your jambalaya. This chard recipe is one of the simplest you can ever make. Cook them in some olive oil, crushed red pepper, and sliced garlic. Since the stems can be a little tough, you may include them in the dish or remove them. To make them tastier, you can add some onions and a little vinegar. You might also like this side because it has a lot of nutritional benefits. Besides, it is ideal if you are looking for a collard greens alternative.
Even if you can have jambalaya alone, getting a side dish would make it more enjoyable. Of course, it can be difficult, especially if you are serving a group of people whose preferences you don’t know. But you can get it right. You can start by trying some of the sides that we have provided in this piece.