2011 and I are really getting along.
This New Year's Eve was by far in the upper echelons of all time best New Year's Eves. I wish you were there. Let me just tell you that at one point all 100 of us were swimming in confetti and holding up sparklers and screaming BUON ANNO! and cheek kissing. Here's all I could capture of the fireworks. I was too excited and missed them!
It’s only been three days and I’ve already completed a resolution! 4.Learn how to drive a stick shift. You see, I have never driven here in Barletta because I was afraid of shifting, but yesterday Manu and I took his trusty Opel to an empty parking lot and I didn’t even stall once! We were both amazed, to tell you the truth. Ah, I feel like a teenager again with a fresh license and a full tank of gas!
To celebrate my new skill and freedom, I made jambalaya. I’m not sure if this is an authentic New Orleans recipe, but it’s the one that Kate always uses, and it reminds me of home. It may take awhile to chop everything, but the flavor and leftover capacity of this dish is well worth it.
-Melt 3 tbs butter over medium high heat in large stock pot.
-Add 1 cup smoked ham and 1 1/2 lbs. kielbasa and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring constantly until meat browns, about 3 minutes.
-Add 1 lb. boneless chicken breast and continue to cook 5 minutes until chicken is browned.
-Reduce heat to medium and add spices to the meat - 1/3 tsp. ground bay leaf, 2 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp. sage, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. white and black pepper, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes* (I use less of these because I am a spice wimp)
-Stir in 1 large chopped onion, 2 medium chopped peppers, 2 cloves minced garlic, 4 ribs chopped celery and 6 chopped scallions. Cook 5 minutes or until tender.
-Stir in one 28 oz. can of tomatoes. Blend well.
-Add 3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock and 2 cups rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover and cook until rice is tender. Garnish with parsley.
P.S. Watch a rerun of Columbo dubbed in Italian while you eat. Priceless.