Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The "I beat Rachel Ray Jambalaya".

I feel like a dead beat dad. Every time I come visit this blog to write, Blogger (and I actually just had to check and see if that is, in fact, the right name) has changed completely. It's like I haven't seen my baby since he was a, well, baby, and now I've come back to spend some time with the little chap and he's 12 years old and spitting on the sidewalk, and I'm standing here all awkward holding a GI Joe doll. Well let's move on from my guilt and talk about food. That's pretty much the only thing I know anything about anyway. I was debating whether I should write about T.L.C.s (Tempeh Bacon& Tomato, Lettuce, Cheez Sammies) or Jambalaya today, and decided on jambalaya since I veganized a rachel ray recipe and made it (little) better. And who doesn't like one-upping Rachel ray? even if its only by a 1/2 point. So here we go, "Not Rachel's Jambalaya."
You will need: to have done several things before hand 1. make mock chicken stock powder (link below for powder mix recipe) 2. have sausages on hand, either freshly made or thawed.  See end of post.

2 cups rice, any kind.
1 TBL olive oil (Rachel calls for EVOO because I think she just likes to type that... but everyone knows you don't use EVOO over high heats...)
1 TBL vegan butter
3-4 andouille or chorizo style vegan sausages, diced. oh man, I don't know if I ever wrote about them...stay tuned.
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, or red, or some of each as I prefer, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried.
Several drops hot sauce or a pinch or two cayenne pepper (optional, unless your kids have been really
        naughty that day, then totally surprise them with a 5 alarm dinner)
3 TBL all purpose flour
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, fire roasted are good
14 oz mock chicken stock (click)
1 to 1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 to 2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp crushed dried thyme
A pinch each of oregano, basil, garlic powder
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper for serving
Sliced scallions as garnish

Extra veggies for the side- optional, but who doesn't need more veggies?
Crusty bread- totally mandatory. absolutely forbidden. Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming 'the man' saying
things like "Optional." I have enough faith in anyone who might stumble across this or any of the recipes I post to know that cayenne pepper is optional. DUH. But you never know I guess, some people really don't know.

Here's how you make it:

1. get the rice going

2. in a large, deep skillet, heat up the olive oil and butter over medium to medium high heat. Add the diced sausages and let them brown a bit for a few minutes, stirring here and there.

3. Add to the sausage your onion, celery, bell peppers, bay leaf, and hot sauce or cayenne.

4. cook veggies for about 5 minutes til softening, then sprinkle the flour over and stir. cook one more minute. Add tomatoes, chicken mock stock, all your spices and herbs, and worcestershire sauce. bring everything to a simmer and let thicken for 5 min or so. If it doesn't thicken enough for your liking, dissolve about a TBL cornstarch into 1-2 TBL cold water and then stir into jambalaya. problem solved.

5. At some point I grilled the zucchini and squash in the picture, I don't know when. And I also made garlic toast at some point.

6. Scoop rice, top with Jambalaya, scallions, then you know, eat. I like to add chipotle hot sauce into it, since I rarely put in any cayenne anymore during cooking. Sofie's been pretty good lately. Have some vegan Sour Cream on hand if you did add spicy stuff. It's only funny for the first bite, then you can seriously create some long term distrust of dinner foods.

Don't have any sausages to use?? sucks. Here's the basics for Andouille (my favorite):

1/2 cup cooked white beans (great northern or navy), rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon mace 
1/4 teaspoon allspice 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sage 
1 tsp liquid smoke

Mash the beans with a potato masher or fork. Add in all the other ingredients and mix it up. I add the Wheat Gluten last. Knead the 'dough' a few times to ensure even mixing. Divide into four pieces. Roll each piece in tin foil (you need four pieces of foil about 5-6 inches long and however wide the roll already is.,  into a tootsie roll basically.  roll it up, twist the ends tight. Steam your four sausages, or 8 if you're a genius like me, for 40 minutes. use however you want. 4 is plenty for this recipe. 3 is usually all I use for jambalaya.

See these links for more:  (click for different flavor sausage recipes)  The first 6 ingredients above are the basis for every vegan sausage, just change the spice/herb/etc ingredients and you have an entirely, I mean ENTIRELY different sausage.

(click for "simple italian sausage" recipe)

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