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Melange Cafe's Louisiana Dirty Rice

1 1/2 C. long-grain white rice
3 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. diced green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced onion
1 C. sliced andouille sausage
1 T. chopped garlic
3 T. Cajun seasoning
1/2 C. chicken livers, cut into small pieces
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
2 C. chicken stock

Cook rice according to package directions; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the green pepper and onion, and saute until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and Cajun seasoning; saute until the sausage begins to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken livers. Saute until the spices are well-browned and start to stick to the bottom of the pan, and the chicken livers are browned and cooked through, about 2 to 3 more minutes.

Add the clams, cooked rice and chicken stock. Shake the pan to combine the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams have opened and all the moisture has been absorbed.

Spoon the dirty rice into large, shallow bowls (preferably heated) with the clams arranged on top of the rice. Serve immediately.

Chef's tip: Place the chicken livers in a small bowl, and use a clean pair of scissors to cut them into bits. It's easier and cleaner than chopping them on a cutting board and then having to scrub the board.

Makes 6 appetizer or 4 main-course servings.

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