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Kala's Stuffed Dirty Rice Peppers, right before mozzarella is sprinkled on top
Kala’s Stuffed Dirty Rice Peppers, right before mozzarella is sprinkled on top

I’ve always enjoyed decorating and entertaining, especially during the holidays.  One of my favorite traditions is to incorporate various aspects of my family’s customs into the celebrations.  Like many Americans, my lineage is a mix of cultures. In my case, it’s French, German, Scottish and Irish, though you probably guessed that already from my peaches and cream complexion and lively red hair. 😛

I grew up in Louisiana, where food is considered to be a proverbial art form and cultural expression. As the years passed by, I’ve lived and traveled through many parts of the U.S. and have been exposed to a variety of cultures and tastes, all of which have been fascinating to experience. But, the recipes from home, well, they just stick with you, deep inside with an emotional connection that says, home.

During the holidays especially, certain recipes remind me of my grandmother and the dishes she made lovingly for us each year.  One of my favorite foods growing up in Louisiana is dirty rice. While not the most appetizing of names, the dish itself is delicious!  Dirty rice is a combination of rice, chicken stock, garlic, onion, ground beef, bell pepper and a variety of other ingredients that vary by the chef, including using sausage in some recipes. I love to make this dish and then add my own twist to the recipe by stuffing the rice into green bell peppers, sprinkling mozzarella cheese at the bottom of the pepper and over the top and then baking the rice in the peppers until the cheese melts.

Kala's grandparents at their home in Louisiana
Kala’s savoir-faire grandparents at their home in Louisiana

The green bell peppers are so festive for St. Patrick’s Day (don’t they look like shamrocks) as well as during Easter and Christmas.  What I love most, is that this dish instantly takes my heart back home and I’m there with my grandmother watching her make all of her wonderful creations in the kitchen.  The funny thing is, I don’t remember her ever making dirty rice herself, my grandfather and my father both took turns picking it up Guillot’s, along with some BBQ and po-boy sandwiches for Saturday night dinners.  Whenever we had this meal, it was a night off for my grandmother in the kitchen, who by the way, made the best gumbo I’ve ever tasted. 

That’s the thing about memories, even though this was a dish she never cooked herself, it reminds me of her and my childhood in Louisiana, maybe even more so because on dirty rice nights, she was able to relax and just be with the family instead of working so hard in the kitchen.

I’ve put my own spin on an old family favorite by adding mozzarella into the stuffed peppers, updating it a bit with my own touch.

How about you, what favorite family recipes do you make and how do you make them your own?

About the Author

Kala Ambrose is "Your Travel Guide to the Other Side". As an award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, Kala Ambrose's teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations. A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala teaches and writes about ancient wisdom teachings and how their techniques can be used in modern day living. Her books, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled both cover these topics. In addition, Kala shares her love of history, travel and the spirit world in her books Spirits of New Orleans and Ghosthunting North Carolina. Her books are designed to explore the history of cities in an entertaining manner while sharing haunted stories and offering travel tips on how to best see the cities to shop, dine, stay, and visit the haunted sites. Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Entrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce's ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, Daily Om and her school, the Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences.

2 responses to “Kala’s Taste of Louisiana – Stuffed Dirty Rice Peppers

  1. Awesome for sharing your family tree to us and this wonderful culinary treat , as a young bride I did not know how to cook too many dishes ,only some family recipes , then I remember what my Dad told me as a child ,he told me and showed me a cook book my then late Mom used for her wonderful cooking ,I did appreciated it and cherished this moment for our love one no longer was with us , so capturing in this memory ,I also got me a book ,just like hers ,it was not longer a hardcopy,and had no fancy photographs ,but neverdeles awesome ,.Thanks Kala . Jenn10

    1. love that you are doing this Jenn10 and what a treat it will be for the generations to come, to have you pass down these memories and recipes to them 🙂

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