Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals: Special Edition Mardi Gras!

I wasn’t always a vegetarian.  I don’t miss meat, or other animals, but sometimes it’s hard to match the seasoning.  Today is Mardi gras.  I hosted a dessert exchange over the weekend and since Fat Tuesday was staring me in the face of course I had to make something appropriate and animal-free.

I poured over recipes in hopes that I could put my finger on that certain unctuous smoky richness that I had always associated with certain smoked animals; it could even be turkey, not necessarily pork.  And then it happened.

Red Beans & Rice (Look Ma’ I’m vegan)

Red Beans

1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme
1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
6 cups Water
3 cups Vegetable Broth
3 medium Minced Garlic Cloves
1 pound Small Red Beans
1 Onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk Celery, chopped fine
14 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Dried Whole Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 tablespoon Hickory Smoke Seasoning

Rinse and pick through beans. Add 3 tablespoons of salt to 1 gallon of water. Add beans and let soak overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot, I used my Le Creuset Dutch Oven.  Let the oil start to glisten in the pot and then add celery, bell pepper, and onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Next add garlic, bay leaves, cayenne, and paprika to the pot.

Add beans, vegetable broth, and water to the pot. Bring pot to a vigorous boil. Reduce to medium high, so that the pot is bubbling. Stir from time-to-time until beans are tender, about 90 minutes.

You don’t really need me to tell you how to make rice do you?  If so, let me know and I’ll do it another time.

Laissez les Bon Temp Roulez! 

Ms. Ingie's King Cake from LTH Forum's Dessert Exchange

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