I like Jambalaya and I will order it whenever I get a chance. Most of the Jambalaya I have tried is ok but often just a bit too spicy. I don’t mean too hot, just way too much going on. Last night I was happily surprised with the offering of Jambalaya from Nervous Nellies just under the foot of the bridge at Fort Myers Beach.

It was ML’s birthday and Karen Mango wanted to take her out for dinner. ML is not a fish eater or fish cooker for that matter. She has some pact that she will not eat a sea creature and that they will not reciprocate, so far so good.

There are lots of variations on Jambalaya but the key ingredients are shrimp, andouille sausage and roasted tomatoes. This particular version did not have vegetables other than tomatoes and was served over rice. Traditional Jambalaya has the rice cooked within and has vegetables as well. Creole Jambalaya has tomatoes and the Cajun version does not.

The vegetables if included are the holy trinity of Cajun cooking or ‘un-yon, celery and green bell pepper. Other items can be added which include chillis and other stuff.

Gumbo uses similar ingredients to Jambalaya but includes filé powder and okra and is served over rice. Étouffée is a stew always containing some kind of shell fish but does not have sausage. It is served over separately prepared rice like Gumbo.

You are all asking “where the hell did this educational blather come from”? I don’t know. I wanted to clarify what little I didn’t know and learn more. I am a firm follower of the Swedish Chef and can make a reasonable ‘meat loafer’ and a passable lobster but I’m too messy to cook too often.

Everyone else at the table enjoyed their food as well. Nervous Nellies has a very expansive menu and lots of options for seating.

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