Thursday, June 07, 2012

Smoky Red Peppers 'n' Beans Gumbo

I have been wanting to make this but could not freaking find liquid smoke anywhere. Then, magically, I found it! I had a feeling this wouldn't taste right without it, and I was correct. The liquid smoke adds a wonderful flavor. What an exciting new ingredient. I want to use this SO MUCH in EVERYTHING this summer. So hickory-flavored. Yum.

So the gumbo itself was pretty good. I love okra, but if you don't then this is probably not the meal for you. I used real butter, nt vegan margarine, and I used Weyerbacher Merry Monks ale for the beer. It should also be noted that this reheated really well and was still delicious. I probably wouldn't make it again, but who knows? I might.


Smoky Red Peppers 'n' Beans Gumbo
Veganomicon, page 149

Thick but not too thick, a stick-to-your-ribs veggie gumbo has a hint of smokiness from juicy, roasted red peppers. And a little help from the magic of liquid smoke (and it's vegan, like a dream come true, so relax!). Traditionally, gumbos are served with a scoop of white rice in the middle, but this also pairs nicely with crusty French bread and a crisp green salad.

1/3 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium-sized onions, cut into small dice
2 green bell peppers, cut into small dice
1 stalk celery, sliced very thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 10 ounce package frozen okra, slightly thawed and sliced thinly
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice, preferably fire-roasted tomatoes
3 roasted red peppers, jarred or homemade, chopped into fine dice
1 16 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup ale-style beer
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves
4-5 sprigs of thyme
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Place the margarine in the pot and stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to dissolve it. Cook the flour mixture, stirring frequently, until it is a rich caramel color and smells toasty, anywhere from 10 to 14 minutes.

2. Add the chopped onions and peppers to the roux, stirring to coat completely .Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are very soft, at least 12 minutes.

3. Add the celery, garlic, and okra, and cook for another 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, kidney beans, and vegetable broth. Whisk together the beer and tomato paste and add that to the mixture, stirring to incorporate completely. Stir in the allspice, liquid smoke, and grated nutmeg, and lastly tuck in the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

4. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a gently boil, then lower the heat back to medium and partially cover. Allow the mixture to simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the okra is very tender. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving, then season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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