Just in case you were concerned by the exclusion of meat from the recipes so far, Nic Romano offers a taste of the southern cuisine he picked up in the Navy years ago:
“While my last contribution was vegan friendly, and I don’t want anyone to get the false impression that I endorse that kind of self-imposed culinary lunacy,” said Nic. “You don’t get to be ‘Fat Nic’ by eating exclusively off the produce aisle. Without further Adieu, here is my personal variation of Jambalaya!
“Don’t worry, I may be a fat white dude from Maryland, but I learned how to make this by watching New Orleans native Eldridge ‘Treetop’ Coleman do magic. He never would reveal his secrets. I may never come close to matching his Jambalaya skills, but he would eat my Jambalaya — which is more than I can say for the other white dudes who worked in the bowels of that ship so long ago.”
(tends to be spicy)
1/2 lb Andouille sausage. Can’t get andouille? Then get some smoked Polish sausage. It’s not the same, but it will work. Just slice it.
1/2 lb chicken meat, diced. I like to use boneless thigh meat, as it’s cheap.
Shrimp, Crab Meat (if you want to)
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 medium bell pepper, also diced
1-2 hot peppers (cayenne if you can find them, but jalapenos work too. Treetop would probably hit me for that)
2 bay leaves
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
Ground Red Pepper
Old Bay (but since you live in Pittsburgh you will have to settle for whatever passes for “cajun seasoning” at Giant Eagle)
12oz Bottle of IPA (any beer would work, but I find that the hoppy ones tend to work well with the spicy food)
In a heavy pot, brown the sausage. Add the chicken, and cook all the way. Add the onion, garlic, celery, & diced peppers. Cook with the meat (you may need to add a little olive oil to help things along). When the veggies have browned, add the thyme, rosemary, and a sprinkling of old bay. Stir around a bit to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. When that is mixed around a bit, open the IPA, and take a good long sip. Deglaze the pan with the rest. Bring to a simmer, and add the tomatoes. Bring that to a simmer, and add the chicken stock. Bring this to a simmer, and continue to season. When you got it where you like it, drop in the bay leaves and let simmer uncovered for about 30-40 minutes, stirring to keep from burning. If you desire, and at the last possible moment add the seafood, and cook through.
In a separate pot, cook about 2 cups of rice. When the rice is finished, add to the other ingredients. Season to taste. It’s good now, and will be better in the morning.