Jambalaya for 120
When Carla first wrote to us asking how in the world she could cook jambalaya for 120 guests,
our first reaction was "WOW! You have quite a job on your hands!". But we helped her pull it off
without a hitch; here's how!
MawMaw...HELP !!!!!!I have to cook jambalaya for 120 this weekend and I
have no idea about amounts of rice or anything else for cooking for such a
large crowd...Can you help?? You have my undying gratitude and my promise
that everyone will know about this website...
Thank you so much...
Transplanted Cajun living in Chicago
Once Maw-Maw read the email, she accepted the challenge but I wanted to speak with Carla first
by phone. After speaking to one another, Maw-Maw felt that Carla's biggest
concern was how to properly cook the rice. Email correspondence follows...|
It seems from your conversation your biggest concern is the water for the rice.
I will give you a pretty good approximate. Generally you cook
1/3 to 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person. If you use long grain rice, figure that
3 cups serves 8 people. Use 1 quart of water or beef broth seasoned water for every 3 cups.
I converted one of our recipes to your request for 120 servings and get the following.
4 oz meat serving each 30 pounds
6 oz meat serving each 45 pounds
30 medium onions
5 garlic cloves
7 cups of onion and parsley chopped fine Lea and Perrin sauce to taste 1/2 bottle
4 cups of oil for sautéing (Microwave would cut work here. Less oil, Less work)
4 gallons of water or beef broth flavored water
4 tbsp kitchen bouquet for color
5 large bell peppers
30 stalks celery
45 cups rice onion powder to taste garlic powder to taste salt and black and red pepper to taste
What I find is easier to do is to season my pork meat with garlic and onion powder, black and red pepper,
and your Tony's individually as you would if you were making a small batch. You are more likely to hit
the seasonings more closely.
Add your onion tops (green onions) and parsley in the final 30 minutes of cooking.
I made contact this afternoon with one of my "hometown Cajuns" friends who gave me a name that I will
call in the next couple of days. He is a member of the volunteer fire department and they cook jambalaya
as a fund raiser every year. I will get his formula also and will let you know. Talk to you soon
|While she waited for the Fireman's secret formula, Maw-Maw received a follow-up from Carla.
Thank you so much for your assistance in this matter. I was reluctant when initially approached,
but I have the spirit of my Cajun ancestors, as well as assistance from Cajun gastronome gurus such as
yourself to guide me...I was concerned with my ratios, simply because I've had dry jambalaya and it
wasn't a happy experience...again, I now know what to look for and am quite sure it will be a success.
I'll let you know how it turns out...happy and safe traveling to you, MawMaw...
|By the time Maw-Maw heard back from the fireman, she didn't have a computer
handy so she called her grand-daughter and asked her to email Carla back. The email is as follows.|
Mawmaw is on the road and asks me to write.
She spoke with a fireman who cooks Jambalaya often and here's what he had to say:
He is skeptical about cooking it in a crawfish pot and actually suggests that you use a #20 black pot.
As for the ingredients.. the fireman uses a 50lb Boston butt pork meat. He allocates 1/2lb per
person. He uses 18 to 20lbs of rice and prefers extra long Mahatma because it makes the jambalaya fluffier.
If you cannot find extra long rice, use at least long rice.
Here's a quick way to measure the rice and water: Pour the rice into a 5gallon bucket. DO NOT pack it
but do level it with your hand.
Mark the bucket and remove the rice. Now you will need 2 (water) to 1 (rice) so double the water to that mark.
Now on to the actual cooking.
First, season your meat with Konriko seasoning and garlic powder.
Fry the meat in about 1 gallon of peanut oil first about 30lbs to the batch.
Take the meat out and put it on paper towels to absorb the grease.
After you fry the meat, take out all the grease and leave just enough to sauté the following:
11 to 12 large onions
3 bell peppers
1 bundle of celery
One jar of minced garlic. Get the next to smallest size jar of garlic.
sauté the above.
3rd step, add ONLY water (NOT the rice). Bring to a boil.
Add meat and boil for 12 to 15 minutes.
At the same time you add the meat, add your seasonings and the color. Seasonings are as follows:
2 big cooking spoons of red pepper
2 big spoons of garlic powder
2 big spoons of Konriko seasonings
To find out how much salt you must put, do the following: Open the box of salt. You will notice that it
isnt filled to the top. notice its only 3/4 filled. Put one half of the box in the jambalaya at this time.
Next, add 2 to 3 big cooking spoons of caramel color. if you dont have that, you can use kitchen bouquet.
Stir or your meat will stick! stir all that time.
Now dump the dry rice and the parsley (1 cup) into the batch. stir well.
Stir so that the bottom does not stick until most of the water is out and the top looks like a
thick gravy, turn your heat to low low low.
And add your cup of onion tops. Stir. Now cover.
Be aware that the secret to the jambalaya is the way the heat is applied.. almost more
important than anything else. The time you will heat your jambalya on this low low low heat will
depend on your fire. you must cook it slow. after you see the rice being cooked turn the heat off.
Wait 1 1/2 hour before serving and stir a few times after you take it off the fire.
FYI, it takes 3 gallons of black eyes if you want to serve 100 people.
Maw maw is on the road so if you have any questions, email me and I'll get in touch with her.
Carla followed the directions and was delighted
with the results! Her final email is as follows.|
MawMaw, it was a smashing success! Although i trashed my buddy's kitchen cooking up a storm,
it was well-appreciated and loved by all...we cooked a pork-rib and sausage jambalaya for
about 125 folks...i cooked everything on the stove, including the rice, in large pots...
once we cgot the hang of cooking that much rice on the stove, it was all smooth-sailing...
many thanks to you for your recipes and your concerns...i have sent the link to your website
to all my online friends, suggesting to them that if they ever need great Cajun recipes or
have questions about those recipes to contact MawMaw--she's in the know.
|Maw-Maw had a great time helping out Carla. She can do the same for you! Just contact her on
her webpage and ask away!