Poor Man's Jambalaya

Source: Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen

4 small whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon gumbo file (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
6 ounces tasso or other smoked ham,
    diced (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
6 ounces andouille or other smoked pork
    sausage, diced (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups beef, pork or chicken stock

Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) melt the butter over high heat. Add meat; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add onions, celery and bell pepper, seasoning mix and garlic. Stir well and continue cooking until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom well.

Stir in the rice, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, but still crunchy, about 20 minutes.

To serve as a main course, spoon 2 cups jambalaya on a plate; for an appetizer, serve 1 cup.

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