3 - links hot Italian sausage (casing removed), break into small pieces
3 - big links Andouille (Cajon sausage, pronounced an-do-ee), cut lengthwise and slice into ½ pieces.
½ - cup Tasso (Cajun spiced and smoked ham), dice into 3/8 inch pieces
2 - cups smoked ham cut into ½ inch pieces
2 - cups diced onions
2 - bell peppers, diced
4 - stalks celery, diced
1 - heaping tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 - small bunch green onions (about 5), cut small
¼ - cup fresh parsley, diced or finely chopped
5 - bay leaves
1 - tsp. Thyme
1 - 16 oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped, with all liquid
2 - cups chicken stock (if not homemade, Swanson’s Natural Goodness will work)
2 - cups Uncle Ben’s converted rice
1 or 2 tbsp. olive oil
In a 6 qt. heavy pot, heat oil on med. to high, add Italian sausage and Tasso. When sausage is about done, and bottom of pot is getting a nice dark brown sticky stuff on it (this is called MO-FLAVOR in Cajun), add onions, stir and cook until onions are translucent. Add bell pepper, celery, celery and garlic, cook until tender. Add bay leaves and Thyme, let this mixture stick just a little bit, but DO NOT BURN.
Add rice and stir until coasted well in oil. Add chicken stock and tomatoes with liquid and scrape bottom of pot so that all the flavor is incorporated. Add Andouille sausage and smoked ham. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a nice simmer, cover for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until rice is done.
Once all liquid has been absorbed, add parsley and green onions. Remove from heat and let set for 5-10 minutes. Serve with French bread and a nice green salad. Tobasco on the side or Parmesan cheese is also good.
NOTE: Andouille sausage and Tasso ham can be purchased at most Italian Deli’s. YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUE THESE ITEMS, IT WON’T WORK. If you can’t get smoked ham, ham steak rubbed with 2 tsp. of liquid smoke will work, but let it stand overnight in refrigerator.