Inspired by Louisana’s popular Cajun dish of “dirty” rice, this variation has all the potency and flavor you could expect but omits the pork and the chicken livers, which traditionally give the dish its characteristic color. Perfect accompaniments are hot cornbread and baked pears. Minted iced tea or lemonade balances flavors.
- Place stock in large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add rice, reduce heat to low and cook according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, and sauté onion, peppers and celery for 7 to 10 minutes, or until wilted, fragrant and slightly golden. Remove from skillet, and set aside. With oil remaining in skillet, cook bacon and meatballs, adding more oil as needed. Sauté 5 or 6 minutes, and remove from heat.
- When rice is cooked and all liquid absorbed, add vegetables, bacon, meatballs, Cajun seasoning, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to rice, stirring until well combined. Continue to cook 5 minutes more, and serve.
When looking for a wine to pair with this dish, think about why iced tea and lemonade go well. Their sweetness and absence of alcohol help tame the heat; meanwhile the tannic acid in the tea and the citric acid in the lemonade accent the nonspicy flavors. Your wine choice should do the same.