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Like the soups and stews that see you through the winter, jambalaya is a flexible dish, ready to accommodate the ingredients you have on hand (even if those include alligator fillets). But it's got more fiery freshness than most cold-weather staples, and this version is quicker to make. With a handful of shrimp, tangy kielbasa, rice, and a can of tomatoes, you'll have dinner done in less time than it takes to dig out your Wynton Marsalis CDs.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 16-ounce package kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 8-ounce box jambalaya, Spanish, or fiesta-flavored rice mix
1 1-pound package peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)