I’ve said it many times on these pages, we are very lucky here in New Jersey to have some world-class restaurants.

One such restaurant is Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport. Chef/Owner Drew Araneo and his partner and wife Tracey have consistently put out outstanding food that has a Cajun flair.

I’ve been going to and talking about this restaurant for years. The many of you who have heeded my advice have not been disappointed. I’ve taken many trips to New Orleans and have experienced the exceptional cuisine that the city has to offer. Drew’s, in my opinion, rivals the finest restaurants there or anywhere.

Chef Drew’s talent has been duly recognized with many awards including being named a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award for Chef of the Year Mid-Atlantic region. Chef Drew also had a throwdown with Chef and TV personality Bobby Flay serving up his signature dish Voo Doo Shrimp and walked away with the win. Chef Drew had some great influence and honed his craft by working with Jersey Shore legendary chef and my good friend the late Joe Romanowski.

I had a craving for a good bowl of Jambalaya the other day. The temperature in the air dropped a little, the fireplace was on, and it was a good time to make the standard Cajun dish. In my opinion, you get what you put into a good bowl of Jambalaya. If you half-heartedly put the effort in and use short-cut ingredients your Jambalaya will taste it.

I am thrilled that Chef Drew is sharing his famous Jambalaya recipe with me and I can share it with you. Drew’s is a great place to go with friends and family; the servers are friendly, and knowledgeable and have longevity with Chef Drew. Bring your favorite wine or beer and bring your appetite, and then you’ll see why Drew’s Bayshore Bistro is on my Top 5 list and soon to be on yours.

Drew’s Bayshore Bistro

Keyport, NJ


Drew’s Bayshore Bistro Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Jambalaya

¼ cup Canola Oil

1lb of Andouille Sausage (sliced)

1 lb of Tasso Ham (sliced)

1 Onion (med diced)

3 Stalks of Celery (diced)

1 Green Pepper (diced)

1 Red Pepper (diced)

¼ cup of Chopped Garlic

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add Andouille Sausage and cook until begins to render.

Add vegetables and garlic and cook until vegetables begin to soften. Then add:

½ cup of Cajun Seasoning (recipe follows)

1 tbsp of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

2 tbsp of Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Stir seasonings into vegetables and let cook for about 2 minutes to “wake up” seasonings. Then add:

2 lbs of Chicken (diced)

2 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce

1 tbsp of Tabasco sauce (or more!)

2 cups of Diced Tomato

4 cups of Chicken Stock

2 ½ cups of Converted Rice

Bring the Jambalaya base to a simmer on lower heat. Let simmer for 12 – 15 minutes and stir in:

2 lbs Shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Cover, return to low heat, 5 minutes, then shut off the heat and let stand until rice is cooked. Garnish with Chopped Parsley and Green Onions

Cajun Seasoning

10 tbsp of Paprika

8 tbsp of Granulated Garlic

4 tbsp of Granulated Onion

4 tbsp of Black Pepper

4 tbsp of Kosher Salt

1 tbsp of Cayenne Pepper (or more!)

1 tbsp of Dry Basil

1 tbsp of Dry Thyme

Combine and store in a covered container

Check out this landmark Jersey shore breakfast and lunch spot

Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy

How to make the best guacamole

Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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