Monday, February 23, 2009

Poor Sap Vermont Vegetarian Travesty Of Jambalaya.

I was talking to Michaela today and we were discussing how nice it would be to go to New Orleans.  She pointed me to the Mardi Gras section of 

First I made myself a Sazerac cocktail because I happened to have a little Sazerac Rye and some Absente hanging around.  Highly recommended.  

I got hungry while I was sipping it and checking out the jambalya recipe.  I decided to make some "Poor Sap Vermont Vegetarian Travesty Of Jambalaya."  I didn't have all the ingredients for Jambalya but what I made turned out to be surprisingly good.  So here's the recipe.  You're going to have to fudge the amounts for yourself depending on what you have on hand and how many people you're feeding:

olive oil (plenty)
vegetarian hot dogs, sliced into rounds
onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
celery, chopped (if you have it - I didn't)
bell pepper, chopped
left-over (cooked) rice
Green Mountain Gringo Salsa (I don't like it as salsa - it's not very Mexican tasting - but it's good for this) or some other wet canned (JJ would vote for jarred) tomato product 
vegetable broth
ground cayenne pepper
ground black pepper
hot sauce like Crystal, Frank's Red Hot or Tabasco
fresh parsley, chopped

Heat up a frying pan and pour in a mess of olive oil.  You're going to need a lot of olive oil to make up for the fact that you're not using nice, fatty sausages.  But keep in mind you can always add more in the end if you need to.

Saute hot dog slices, onions, garlic, celery, and peppers until they are soft and as browned as you like them.  Add rice and enough vegetable broth and wet tomato product (chopped, stewed, salsa, anything but paste) to make the mixture loose but not quite soupy (if it's soupy you just have to cook it longer - but no harm done really)  When in doubt use more broth, less tomato.

Season to taste with the cayenne and black peppers and hot sauce.  I recommend being generous with these, as you like of course.  Spicy heat mitigates the disappointing flavor of the fake hot dogs.  I found I didn't want extra salt but to each her own.  Taste to see if you need to add more olive oil.  Cook until the mixture is heated through and as firm as you like it.

Remove from the heat and stir in chopped parsley.  Serve.  

Obviously it's not authentic New Orleans  food but considering the ingredients it's darned good.

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