Jeff Holmes' Jambalaya Sandwich

I love coming up with new and exciting recipes, or at least new ideas on dishes I can serve to others. After I got the idea from another chef, I was intrigued by the concept and decided to add my spin on this to see what I could do. I was surprised at the flavors this dish had and I even impressed myself.

1/4 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
1 pound pork loin cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 pound of andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I recommend a lamb andouille)
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup of julienned red bell peppers
1 pound of boneless chicken, cut into 1/2 cubes
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
1 cup of green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons of Serrano chili powder
2 tablespoons of butter
cajun seasoning
salt and pepper
1 cup of water
soft ciabatta roll or sourdough bread
cheese of your choice (I used a Wensleydale with berries. I loved the sweet taste the cheese gave as it offset the gravy.)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees in a large skillet or a heavy-bottomed braising pan over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel and save some of the grease in a bowl for later. Set aside the bacon and grease.

Now add pork to the pan with the bacon fat and cook on medium to high heat until pork is browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausages, onion and bell pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.

Next add the chicken, celery, garlic, parsley and 3/4 cup of the green onions. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 7 more minutes. Add the chili powder and the cajun seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste.

In a skillet, take the 3 tablespoons of flour and the saved grease and brown flour in the pan with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the mixture has browned, pour it into the the pot with the meat and add the cup of water. Bring the pot to a boil for 5 minutes and then cover the pot and let sit for an hour on medium-low heat. I like a thick gravy, so you may or may not want to add more flour to get the desired consistency.

Once the jambalaya has cooked, take a spoonful and add it to your bun and place the cheese on top.