Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recipe: Vegetarian Gumbo

This is a fantastic and incredibly easy gumbo. It's a nice dish to serve if you're trying to please a group that's a mixed bag of vegans, vegetarians, seafood-lovers and meat-eaters. You can make the vegetarian gumbo as a base and then have everyone top it as they please at the table: with soy cheese, shredded Monterey jack, grilled shrimp, sausage, you name it. No matter what you have on top, make sure to serve with plenty of your favorite hot sauce to taste. Mine is Trappey's Louisiana Bull. Yum.


2 Tbsp Olive or other oil
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
One onion, chopped
Two cloves garlic, minced
Two carrots, chopped
Two stalks celery, chopped
One pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper
1 bag (about 1lb) frozen sliced okra (or fresh, if you prefer)
1 bag (about 1lb) frozen corn kernels (or fresh, if you prefer)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Dash red wine vinegar
Hot sauce to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. (If you're using a pressure cooker, you'll want to use that).

2. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour is nice and brown, the color of an old copper penny.

3. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for about 2-3 minutes. If the mixture starts to look dry or sticks to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon or so of water.

4. Add the spices and black-eyed peas. A moment later, add water to cover (about 4 cups).

5. If you're using a pressure cooker, bring to full pressure and cook until beans are done, about 20-40 minutes, depending on your cooker. If you're using a normal pot, bring to a boil and then simmer slowly until done, adding more water if a lot of the water is absorbed by the beans

6. When the beans are done, add the okra, corn, tomatoes, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

7. So simple, so easy... You won't believe how good this is. Serve over rice and with freshly made cornbread. Pass the hot-sauce. Enjoy!


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