Friday, October 26, 2012

Southern Comfort Food

(Guest post from Kristy)

I know that Danna's a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse stories, so maybe this southern treat will hit the spot, and fortify her for a long night of novel-reading.

(Not) Fried Green Tomatoes and Black Eyed Peas

First, get the black eyed peas started by rinsing them. Then bring a pot of water with the beans to a rolling boil, and lower to a simmer. On to the tomatoes.

I followed the general principles for Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes (a non-vegan recipe) over at the "Baked-In" website.  The site might be worth a second visit one day when I've been a very good girl, for the Baked Avocado Fries (what?! yes).

Anyway, the OFG tomatoes were easily veganized.

This is an assembly line process (once the tomatoes are sliced), usually consisting of a dip in flour, then a dip in a scrambled egg, then a dredge through some seasoned breadcrumbs or panko.  Simply replace the egg bath with a quick dunk in water (I added a tablespoon of maple syrup to the water, for an extra flavor dimension), and poof: it's vegan.

With the breadcrumbs I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, a little cayenne, and mexican oregano.

Baked at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.

Returning to the beans, you can add or subtract water, as needed, to make sure nothing burns or goes soupy. I added a teaspoon of ancho powder here.

Pull out a 1/4 c. of beans and puree with a few chipotles en adobo and a splash of water.  Return the spicy mush to the beans and stir well.

Throw in the greens of your choice (try mustard or collard), and some sliced jalapeno or serrano. I used a few jalapeno peppers that had over-ripened on the counter and turned red.  Leave the beans on low heat, or covered to let the flavors meld and to soften the greens. 


And finally - here is where it all came together.

And now, the lesson: I thought the pickled jalapenos looked cute on the side, but next time --or if I were actually serving this to anyone-- I'd skip them. Their flavor is so sharp and bright, they belong with pizza or something. They really don't "make sense" with this warm and soft, and gently tangy/spicy meal.  But they are still kinda cute, right?