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Cajun Up Your Kitchen

October 17, 2011

Well first of all, hello everyone. Some of you may have noticed a lack of posting the last couple of weeks – this month the MHK owner’s day job is quite hectic, hence the lack of posts. But we’re still at work here as well, and we are happy to share today’s recipe with you. We have made mention a few times of the lack of spicy food in this area, but this recipe, a nice surprise from the Hannaford Supermarket magazine, packs a marvelous wallop – and we didn’t even have to enhance it ourselves! This is a pretty classic Cajun recipe, from the “holy trinity” – onions, peppers and celery, the base of many Cajun dishes – to the Cajun seasoning, but the addition of the chipotles is a nice twist. If you don’t have pre-made Cajun seasoning, you can make it yourself – here’s a general recipe: ¾ cup salt, ¼ cup ground cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons ground white pepper, 2 tablespoons ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon thyme. You can add chili powder or oregano too. We removed the whole chipotles from the soup before serving, but you could chop them up instead of leaving them whole for even more spiciness. The beer adds some nice depth to the dish, and the rice makes it a hearty meal. Plus it’s vegan and it will fill you up – healthy and hearty, can’t beat that. This recipe will serve 8, but we cut it in half. Enjoy!

Fiery Vegetarian Gumbo

(serves 8 )

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 bell peppers (any color), diced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

¼ cup all-purpose flour

12 oz. bottle dark lager beer

4 cups low- sodium vegetable broth

14.5 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 cups rice, cooked

5 oz. spinach leaves

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, peppers, and celery. Sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning and flour and stir to combine. Add beer and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Add vegetable broth and stir to combine. Add diced tomatoes and chipotle peppers, with sauce. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low to maintain a low simmer. Add spinach and simmer for 10 more minutes. Divide rice evenly into soup bowls. Ladle gumbo into bowls and serve immediately. Eat!

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