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California Cole Slaw
Shepherd's Pie
Chicken/Bean/Barley Stew
Chili Mac
Sopa Seca
California Chili
Spaghetti Meatballs
Aunt Annie's PepperRelish
Letona's Chess Pie
Kentucky Bourbon Cake


(Serves 8)

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water

  • 6 TBS butter (unsalted)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 lb cooked Creole sausage or hot links, sliced into ½-inch segments
  • 1½ cups chicken broth (low-salt)
  • 2 tsp Creole seasoning (e.g., Zatarain's), or 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 TBS dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 6 shots Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cans cut-up stewed tomatoes (low-salt)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 oz frozen sliced okra

  • ½ to 1 lb peeled uncooked shrimp (medium to large size)
  • ½ to 1 lb cooked chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

  1. Add rice to 2 cups boiling water; simmer for 15 minutes. Hold.
  2. In 4-quart (or larger) stockpot, melt butter. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, celery. Cook until onion is soft, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the sliced sausages, chicken broth, Creole seasoning, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, cloves, Tabasco sauce, tomatoes (with juice), pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and okra. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp, chicken, and cooked rice. Stir thoroughly, then simmer for another 10 minutes.

"Gumbolaya" is a word I made up to describe a combination of gumbo and jambalaya. (Several years later, I came upon a restaurant in New Orleans with the same name -- a case of simultaneous invention rather than outright theft, I generously assume.) Jambalaya and gumbo are similar but not identical dishes; I've put together what I liked best from both of them. I often cook gumbolaya for holiday dinners with my daughters. Laurel is a vegetarian who will eat shrimp; I hold the chicken and sausage when I dish out her portion. Some vegetarians are fussier than that, so you'd better check with them in advance to make sure they're not bothered by the chicken broth and sausage juices.

Alan Elms

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