Look at that big tray of leftover jambalaya treats I’m holding. So many dishes made with just a little leftover jambalaya. I am definitely not a morning person at all, but my mornings on the show motivate me to get moving. It’s always fun to showcase leftovers on the BIG XTRA HOUR MORNING SHOW.
It is football time and football time in Louisiana means jambalaya. The big black smoldering cauldrons of jambalaya seen on game day Saturdays usually mean leftovers for Saints Sundays. Sure there is nothing wrong with leftover jambalaya, but leftover jambalaya can be even better when transformed into hand-held football snacks or hearty halftime meals. The good news is all of these recipes can be made with any kind of jambalaya from chicken and sausage to seafood to vegetable. Use jambalaya as you would in your favorite rice dishes, too. Here’s some of my old favorite leftover jambalaya recipes and some new ones.
Here’s how to start the game day morning:
Use leftover jambalaya to make breakfast. Add it to your waffle or pancake batter. Use it in omelettes and frittatas. I like to make mini omelettes with peppers and cheese.
Here’s a look at kick-off snacks:
Jambalaya Pepper Jack Balls: If you like boudin balls you’re in for a real treat. These are officially my all time new favorite! Put leftover jambalaya into a food processor. Mince. Using moistened hands, form mixture into balls. Press in cube of pepper jack cheese. Set up a breading station with flour seasoned with Cajun spices, egg wash with hot sauce, and breadcrumbs. Dip balls into flour, then egg letting excess drip off, then into crumbs. Set on parchment or wax pepper and put into refrigerator. Let sit at least 1 hour or over night. Fry in hot oil until brown. I love to serve these with Remoulade sauce, but Ranch dressing is good, too.
Jambalaya Meat Pies: Mince cold leftover jambalaya in food processor. Add desired seasonings and cheese. Use roll-out pie dough. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Add 1 TBSP of mixture to each round, fold over dough. Use a fork to crimp edges. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Spray pies with buttered spray or brush with egg wash. Bake 450* for 8-10 minutes.
Jambalaya Muffins: Mini muffins made from scratch. Can make them sweet or savory or both. I like my jambalaya muffins with a sweet-n-spicy dipping sauce. Get the full recipe HERE. Want to take a shortcut? Just add jambalaya to cornbread mix.
For the Halftime Show:
Crunchy Jambalaya Salad: If you like curried chicken salad, you’ll enjoy this crunchy sandwich full of almonds, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, celery, green onions, and olives in a curried mayonnaise. Get the full recipe HERE.
Jambalaya Soup: A hearty pot of soup using only 1 cup of leftover jambalaya, vegetables, stock, and tomatoes. Get the full recipe HERE.
Jambalaya Taco Filling: A perfect filling for tacos or for a taco salad. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute diced onions and peppers in olive oil. Add chili powder, leftover jambalaya (any large pieces, diced), some tomato paste and water. Turn heat to low. Simmer until thickened. If desired, brown ground beef first then proceed. Works as a sloppy joe filling, too.
Jambalaya Sauce: In a saucepan over medium low heat, add 1/2 cup cold jambalaya, (chop any large pieces of chicken, seafood, or sausage) 1/4 cup diced tomatoes or peppers. Heat until warm. Stir in 1/3 cup whipping cream, heavy cream, or half and half. Stir until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Will thicken more upon standing. Tasty over fried catfish (my favorite), blackened fish or chicken, baked or fried chicken, omelettes, or even biscuits!
Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap On: See how versatile leftover jambalaya can be? Don’t forget about what a great stuffing jambalaya makes, too. Stuff it into pork chops, chicken breasts, or vegetables like squash and green peppers. If you put jambalaya into a food processor to mince it, it is also self binding so no need to add breadcrumbs or egg. Using it that way as a stuffing, makes stuffing shrimp a breeze. What rice dishes can you think to substitute jambalaya into? I can’t wait to try it in a breakfast tostada.
FOOD FUN: This is an excerpt from a 2005 poem by William Robinson. I think it fits the tone for leftover jambalaya Sundays: “Eatin’ jambalaya and gumbo stew: Gourmand, Sunday dinner, on the old bayou.”