Recipe of the Week
1 seasoned 5-qt. Dutch oven with lid
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
3 oz. smoked sausage, chopped medium (Andouille, Kielbasa or other smoked sausage)
6 oz. smoked country ham, chopped medium
12 oz. boneless pork, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium green pepper, seeded, deveined and diced medium
2 medium onions, diced
4 ribs celery, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 tsp. dried cilantro (1 Tbsp. of fresh cilantro if you can find it at a decent price)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
4 cloves fresh garlic, diced fine
1 28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes (drained and chopped)
3/4 cup juice from the tomatoes
2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 cups fresh chicken stock (or 1 cup canned chicken stock and 1 cup of water)
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
8 oz. bay scallops (optional)
Special Note: Do all of your measuring and dicing before you start cooking. You will then be able to devote all your attention to the progress of this delicate dish.
Heat peanut oil over medium heat, add sausage and ham, and cook until well-browned. You will notice considerable shrinkage, but don’t be alarmed. This is meant to add flavor and color to the stew, not bulk.
Raise heat and add pork and sauté until pork loses its pink color and starts to brown.
With heat still raised, add green pepper, onions, and celery and sauté until onions become translucent. Stir frequently with a good wooden spoon, scraping bottom to prevent anything that sticks from burning.
Reduce heat to medium and add herbs, spices, salt, and garlic. Continue cooking mixture for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until pork is cooked through and tender. This should not exceed 10 minutes because pork, by its nature, is not a tough meat.
Add tomato juice, rice, chicken stock, and scallions and allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat to bring mixture to a slow simmer. Put lid on Dutch oven and allow rice to cook for exactly 10 minutes. Remove lid from Dutch oven and place scallops on top of mixture; replace lid and continue to cook stew for exactly 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Allow pot to sit covered for 15 minutes before serving, then remove lid and gently fold scallops into stew.