I'll put it out there. I'm not a ham fan. I have never liked it. My brother doesn't either - but my mother has a block on that fact and still serves it up every single Easter. And then is surprised EVERY SINGLE YEAR when we don't eat it.
So, right off the bat, I decided to substitute something for the ham in this recipe. I saw that someone had used andouille sausage instead - and that sounded SO MUCH BETTER. I picked up some chicken andouille at Trader Joe's. I also added some poblano into the mix to heat things up a bit. I like my jambalaya SPICY! The only other substitution I made is with the shrimp. I thought I had a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer - turns out all I had was a mix of shrimp, calamari, and scallops. They worked beautifully.
Let me tell you, this was delicious! My picky husband ate it (well, he picked out the veggies) and my 17 month old kept on asking for 'bite? bite?'. I was worried it might be too spicy for him, but he loved it, and had a whole bowlful for lunch yesterday.
Did I mention that this is even better the next day?
Below you'll find the recipe with my modifications. The original recipe is here.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 poblano pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste (I used A LOT more)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 ounces diced chicken andouille sausage (this works out to 2 Trader Joe's sausages)
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 pound mixed seafood (calamari, shrimp and scallops)
Hot pepper sauce
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in the next 11 ingredients, salt through the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the shrimp and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more, or until shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with hot pepper sauce.