SPARKLING SAZERAC

Serves 1.

Note: You can find simple syrup in the mixer aisle of most liquor stores, or make your own by boiling equal parts sugar and water until dissolved. Cool and refrigerate; will last for months.

1 tsp. simple syrup (or light agave syrup)

• 1/4 tsp. Peychaud's bitters

1/4 tsp. ouzo, Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur

• 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey

• 1 to 2 oz. chilled club soda

• Lemon rind twist

Directions

Put syrup, bitters, liqueur and whiskey into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, 30 seconds. Strain into small, chilled coupe glasses. Top off with club soda. Add lemon twist and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 114 Carbohydrates 3 g Protein 0 g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 7 mg

Calcium 2 mg

Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: None.

CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

Serves 8.

Note: For converted rice, look for Uncle Ben's Original or Riceland Gold parboiled rice.

1/2 c. chopped smoky bacon, about 6 slices (6 oz. total)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. pieces

• 1 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil

• 2 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium-large onion, chopped (about 6 oz.)

1/2 each, seeded, chopped: red bell pepper, green bell pepper

• 4 garlic, finely chopped

• 1 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1 tsp. dried thyme

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. black pepper

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 5 c. chicken broth

1 (14.5 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained

• 1/4 c. tomato paste

• 12 oz. diced smoky ham

12 oz. cooked chicken andouille sausage, thinly sliced

• 3 c. converted rice (see Note)

• Chopped fresh parsley

• Louisiana-style hot sauce

Directions

Cook bacon in a large (7-quart) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it starts to render its fat, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken starts to brown, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon and chicken to a plate. (Refrigerate covered up to 3 days.)

Add oil to pan. Add celery, onion and bell peppers. Cook and stir until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika, thyme, salt and peppers; cook 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. (Base can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated covered up to 3 days.)

Reheat base, if necessary, to a simmer. Stir in chicken mixture, ham and sausage. Heat to a simmer. Stir in rice and return to a simmer. Cover pan tightly and cook over low heat until rice is tender, 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes.

To serve, fluff with a fork. Spoon into wide bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Pass hot sauce.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 745 Carbohydrates 67 g Protein 39 g Fat 34 g Saturated fat 12 g Cholesterol 122 mg Sodium 2,295 mg

Calcium 103 mg

Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 4 bread/starch, 4 medium-fat meat, 3 fat.

RED BEANS AND RICE 2016

Serves 8.

Note: Trader Joe's fully cooked pork carnitas tastes great here instead of roast pork or ham. For the beans, you may sub cranberry beans or red beans.

• 1 lb. heirloom Christmas lima beans (see Note)

10 c. unsalted vegetable or chicken broth (or water), divided

• 3 ribs celery, chopped

• 2 medium onions, chopped

• 2 carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

• 1 small jalapeño or serrano pepper

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 small fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/4 tsp. dried)

• 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt, divided

• 2 c. long-grain brown jasmine rice

12 oz. (3 to 4 c.) shredded cooked roast pork or ham (see Note)

• 1/4 to 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro

• Red hot sauce

Directions

Put beans into a large (4 or 5-quart) saucepan. Add cold water to cover. Heat to a full boil. Turn off heat and let stand 1 or 2 hours. Drain well.

Return soaked beans to pan. Add 8 cups of the broth and the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, jalapeño, bay leaves and thyme. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and partly cover the pan. Cook, stirring often and adding remaining 2 cups broth as needed, until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer's directions. (To cook rice on the stovetop, bring the rice, salt and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.)

Ladle 2 cups of the beans and their cooking liquid into a blender; purée smooth. Drain off the liquid from remaining beans; return beans to pot. Stir in puréed beans and pork. Heat through on low heat. Taste and adjust salt. Serve bean mixture over a scoop of rice in warm bowls. Sprinkle generously with cilantro. Pass hot sauce.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 460 Fat 7 g Sodium 1,400 mg

Carbohydrates 75 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 61 mg

Protein 26 g Cholesterol 34 mg Dietary fiber 12 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2½ bread/starch, 2½ other carb, 2½ lean meat.