I ate a lot of good things this week. Some were from my hands. Some were from my wife's hands and plenty were from the hands of others. It is not often, though, that I make a dish of a quantity sufficient to feed 60 or more people. That it actually turned out to be pretty damn tasty makes it all the more remarkable and therefore, worthy of my "taste of the week." I used a recipe taken from the May/June 2002 issue of Cook's Illustrated that was designed to feed 4-6 people. My wife and I then multiplied the recipe by 10. That doesn't sound like such a big deal until one considers the sheer volume of food and the equipment necessary to handle it. We have a pretty nice home kitchen, but it is still not equipped for catering or large scale production. The tricky part of making this dish was doing several steps in batches and over time, something that somehow actually came together without ruining everything. Aside from a good recipe and a little luck, there were at least a couple of other factors instrumental in this jambalaya turning out as well as it did: 1. was using some really good ingredients , most notably the andouille and tasso from John Boy's Mountain View Farm Berkshire pigs. That stuff was seriously good. I could hardly refrain from eating too much of it, when it was browning in the pan or draining on paper towels awaiting the next step and 2. the last minute advice and assistance of Chef Dan Spitz, who helped me navigate through some thick weeds.
The jambalaya was great last Sunday when it was made, but we also had plenty left-over and ate it throughout the week. It was particularly great to bring to work for lunch. The leftover jambalaya was enhanced with the meat from leftover ribs, harking back to a traditional "kitchen-sink" approach towards making the dish.