Category Archives: Creole/Cajun

Hold at Night

Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice

I though fall had arrived – last week the air had that familiar crispness to it and the humidity was starting to drop to a more tolerable level.  However it appears that Mother Nature isn’t quite ready to say good-bye to the warmer temperatures making me glad I was lazy in leaving my tomato plants outside “just in case”.   This resulted in a few more cherry tomatoes, and another jalapeno – all of which joined together to make today’s delicious dinner.   The other ingredients are all pantry staples, which means the dish came together in record time which was another bonus since things were a bit insane towards the end of last week (eek Holiday cleaning!!!!).   I was able to toss everything together and let it cook while I attempted to knock a few more rooms off my seemingly never ending cleaning list.

Hold at Night

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 red onion, diced

1 jalapeno, minced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tsp chili powder

2 cups black beans, presoaked and well rinsed

1 cup brown rice (presoaked and well rinsed if needed)

2 1/4 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely torn

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, then add the spices. Toss well and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the black beans, rice, and vegetable stock - bring to a quick boil then cover and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  3. Stir in the basil leaves along with the tomatoes then season to taste with salt, pepper, or more chili powder!
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/09/hold-at-night.html

Just another meal justifying my love for beans and rice – such basic ingredients that can be tweaked in so many different way to create the perfect meal.  We both topped ours with some “pico de guac”, recipe for which will be up later this week!  Joe also grabbed some chips to go with his while I decided to go with some extra tomatoes, either option being perfectly acceptable!

Down to Earth

Spicy Chili Carrots 

Chili Carrots

Before leaving Virginia, we were able to visit a top restaurant in the Potomac area – and with that enjoy some Korean Cajun fusion.  One of the snack items on the menu were these incredible firecracker carrots, they had just the right amount of sweet and spice with a bit of crunch.  Ever since that meal I’ve been trying to figure out how to recreate it, adding this spice and that in an attempt to find that perfect balance.

Spicy Chili Carrots

Serves 4-6, as a side

Ingredients

2 lb carrots, peeled and cut in to 2 inch pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tbsp siracha

Instructions

  1. Place the cut carrots in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt.
  2. Remove to a large skillet over medium heat, then add the ginger along with the brown sugar. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the siracha, then cover, and turn heat as low as it goes. Cook for 10 minutes, or until carrots are slightly tender. Add more siracha as desired.
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/03/down-to-earth.html

While I’m not 100% confident this is the exact recipe, it’s probably as close as I’m going to get without someone on the kitchen staff giving away secrets.  Regardless, they are deliciously amazing and went perfectly with the Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers I made the other week.

Leaving is worse

Vegetarian Gumbo

Good evening!  It is once again time for another International Incident Party hosted by the lovely jeroxie 😀 I was thrilled when I saw this month’s theme of GUMBO.  I have been trying to be more adventurous in my cooking and cajun/creole dishes most certainly fall in that category.  I have attempted etouffe and jumbalaya in the past, but in both of those cases my dish was more in the spirit of.  This time I set out to do something as traditional as possible, minus the andouille sausage of course.  I was orginally hoping to make my own vegetarian sausage but realized that was way out of my skill level, so had to settle with doing everything else from scratch and using tofurkey sausage.  However I didn’t want to go heavy on the soy based products so I decided to add some beans, figuring they would add the right texture/taste to the dish.  I am rather impressed with what I came up with, even more so in the fact that this dish is also vegan!

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (16oz) black or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasonings (I used Emeril’s Essence)
  • 1 lb tofurkey sausage

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted whisk in the flour, allow to cook until the mixture has turned a very rich brown color, darker than peanut butter for the best results.
  2. Meanwhile in a large saute pan heat up the olive oil.  Add the garlic, onion, celery, and green pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden and the vegetables are tender.
  3. Once the flour mixture has turned brown stir in the water and vegetable stock, then add the tomatoes, beans, and cooked vegetable.  Cover and simmer for 30minutes.  Add the seasonings, recover and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile dry brown the sausage in a small pan.  Cut into bit size pieces and add to the gumbo.  Allow the mixture to simmer for a final 30minutes.  Serve over brown rice!

I think this dish might be one of the few dishes were celery is acceptable, normally I leave that out but since I was resolved to be as traditional as possible I sucked it up and kept it in.  I’m sure most locals would still turn their noses up at my vegan gumbo but it is insanely dishes and really is a rib sticking dish.