Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler: Happy Mardi Gras!!

A day late, hopefully not a dollar short. You may be wondering, what does Fat Tuesday have to do with gardening? It's in the winter, you say, and you live in the North where it's freezing!

Believe it or not, I made a big pot of Emeril Lagasse's Chicken and Sausage Jambalya on Lundi Gras with 5 major ingredients from my garden. Of course, I've veganized his recipe, but it is so good I've made it every year for around 5 years now.

So here are the 5 ingredients I used from my garden:

  1. The baggie of tomatoes I froze as described back in this post

  2. Three fresh bay leaves (plant taken indoors to overwinter, as pictured)

  3. The thyme I dried on Thanksgiving Eve

  4. A bunch of frozen flat-leafed parsley that I grew from seed

  5. Habaneros. OK, only my partner used these, I'm too chicken. They are so hot! But more details on these frozen habaneros will follow in another post soon.

Here is the result, and recipe. BAM! It was delicious!
I used Emeril's Kicked-Up Jambalaya recipe this time. I actually had a different one that I saw Emeril make on his show all those years ago, but lost it at some point over the last year so I had to recreate this one from what I could find online now. So I used this one even though it was shrimp and Andouille sausage with seitan and tofurkey italian sausage. It would have been better if I made Julie Hasson's seitan sausage with Andouille spices of course, but, I had no time for that. I think the Tofurkey sausages work pretty well in a pinch, because they have a nice spicy bite but aren't too Italian-y. Then I added a bit of liquid smoke and smoked paprika to make up for the difference in sausage spice.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 package White Wave prepared seitan, sliced into thin bite-sized chunks
Creole seasoning, recipe follows

1 package Tofurkey Italian sausage, cut into 1/3-inch rounds

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped bell pepper ( I like a mix of red, yellow and orange, but green works ok)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 fresh bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves

1 cup chopped tomatoes

12 ounces dark beer (I use Negra Modelo)

36 ounces water

2 cups white rice

Salt and pepper

1 cup chopped green onions (I used the greens of onions and garlic since apparently my green thumb means I can’t keep onions in the house a week without them sprouting)

1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium high heat. Season seitan well with Creole seasoning (Bam!) and saute on medium-high until it is nicely brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove seitan and set aside until later. Add remaining olive oil to pot and when hot, add sausage pieces and saute until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

(NOTE: I grilled my sausage on a George Foreman grill first until they were nice and crispy, then just rolled them around in the pot for a minute or two to get the flavor in there. You want to make sure the seitan and sausage get very crispy, since they will soften a bit when you add them into the rice and veggie mixture at the end. I also deglazed the pan with 2-3 tbsp of cooking sherry, since the spiced seitan left lots of nice brown bits at the bottom and I didn’t want it all to stick.)

Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, cayenne, more Emeril’s Essence Creole seasoning (BAM! BAM!), liquid smoke, paprika and thyme and cook until vegetables are wilted, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, beer and water, season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add rice to pot, stir well and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook for 15 minutes, or more until rice is just shy of tender. Add seitan, sausage, green onions and parsley to pot, mixing carefully, and continue to cook, covered, for another 5 minutes.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup


Christiane said...

My mouth is watering!

Aubade said...

I wish you were here to eat it with us!

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