Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spicy Jambalaya

With the pot pie and this jambalaya, I am back on the wagon with the PPK cookbook challenge #2. I know I'm way behind, but the recruiting weekends and my trip to Louisiana interrupted my cooking rhythm. Figured I could finish what I started - one recipe per book per week. I mixed up the weeks for American Vegan Kitchen and 500 Vegan Recipes, but at least I'm on track again. :)

This red jambalaya is from 500 Vegan Recipes. When I was looking over the recipe, I saw that it serves 8 and required 2 cups of rice. Last time I made a jambalaya (from Veganomicon, reviewed here), it also used 2 cups of rice and it made a casserole dish of food! I don't want to eat any dish more than 3 days in a row, so I decided to reduce this recipe. Instead of cutting everything in half, I made the rice in a separate pot from everything else. I followed the recipe for everything else, including using 2 tsp of cayenne, which makes the non-rice component of the dish very spicy! I think it would have been mellowed out by cooking the rice in the jambalaya, but oh well. I made the rice with Kitchen Basics vegetable stock (no added salt! - thanks, Jess, for the recommendation). Since the recipe did not include a protein source and I was making this for dinner, I added a box of cubed tofu and a can of red beans (drained and rinsed, of course).

What's interesting is that there is okra in the dish. Last time I cooked with okra (as shown here), I did not give the dish a very good review because the fresh okra was slimy, which really bothered me. This recipe called for frozen okra. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I liked the okra in the dish. I would incorporate okra into more dishes as long as it's frozen, so maybe that gumbo could get a second chance to impress me one day. I've read that you can wipe your knife after every cut when working with okra to reduce the slime, but that seems like a lot of work when frozen okra is already slime-free.


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