Coast Cooking

Perlou is another version of jambalaya.

I am crazy about the PBS series, “Mind of a Chef,” and recently watched chef Sean Brock make perlou, a Low Country favorite.

Just a few minutes in I realized that he was making another version of jambalaya.

I am fascinated how food traditions are related, how we all hold hands, in one fashion or another. 

I have often heard it said that jambalaya was first made by a hungry Spaniard trying to recreate the paella of his native country, just using the ingredients he could find here in the South.

I guess that Spaniard spent some time in the Carolinas before he came to the Gulf Coast.  This is a very good recipe, but if you can score some Carolina red rice, it will be even better, as Carolina Red Rice is my favorite.


1 cup sliced smoked sausage

1 cup chopped red and green bell peppers

1 cup large dice tomato

1 cup rice

2-3 cups chicken stock

1 -2 cups large shrimp

red pepper flakes

Optional: fresh oysters

Make this recipe in a cast iron pot. Sauté the sausage in a little oil until well browned. Add the bell pepper and season well. Cook 5 minutes and add the tomato, taste and season again if necessary. Add the rice and 2 cups stock, cover and cook until the rice is almost done. Add the shrimp to the top of the perlou, do not stir. If the rice is too dry and not done add a little more stock. Cover and steam until the shrimp are done and the stock has evaporated. If you have done it right there should be a delicious layer of crispy rice on the bottom.