Step One! Prepare a roux...
The first step in making this dish is preparing a roux. All a roux is, is a flavor base that helps thicken sauces and stews. To make a roux, you cook equal parts oil and flour.
For this dish, I like to use a cast iron dutch oven, but you can use a heavy skillet for the roux and a stock pot for the actual jambalaya.
I start by heating between a quarter to a third cup oil, usually canola, to the point of just starting to smoke. After lowering the heat, I add an equal amount of flour and begin to stir constantly. The key is to take your time, and make sure that you do not burn the mixture. After a minute or so, you will notice a change in color and smell. I continue cooking until I reach a brick red color, and a nutty smell. However, if you start seeing black specks, you have to start over again.
If this seems like too much work, you don't have to make a roux. You can just heat some oil, and start cooking the veggies. This works well, but you lose some depth of flavor.
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Last edited by nmayeux; 03-02-2008 at 04:11 PM..