Makes 4 main course or 8 appetizer or side dish portions.
4 small whole bayleaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (perferably cayenne)
1 teaspoon gumbo file (file powder) - optional
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
4 tablespoons margarine
6 ounces tasso (preferred) or other smoked ham, diced, about 1-1/2 cups
(smoked pork chops are a great substitute)
6 ounces andouilee smoked sausage (preferred) or any other good, pure smoked pork sausage
such as Polish sausage (keilbasa) diced, about 1 heaping cup
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups uncooked rice (preferably converted)
4 cups basic beef, pork, or chicken stock
In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) melt the margarine over high heat. Add the tasso and andouille; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, seasoning mix and garlic. Stir well and continue cooking until browned, about 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom well. Stir in the rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom occasionally. Add the stock, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender but still a bit crunchy, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally toward the end of cooking time. Meanwhile, heat the serving plates in a 250 degree oven. Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.
To serve as a main course, spoon 2 cups; for appetizer or side dish serve 1 cup.