Monday, October 17, 2011

Okra and red bean gumbo

You may notice I haven't been posting much in the way of full balanced meal type recipes lately. That's largely because TAing takes a lot of evening time away from cooking dinner, but it's also because I was getting bored of taking badly-lit photos of mushy-looking piles of veggies. But that's silly: the main point of this endeavor is for me (and maybe you) to remember what went into those ugly but delicious piles of veggies, and making them look nice for you (and maybe me) is just a bonus.

For instance, I made the Persian eggplant from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest on Saturday night. It was really really good, exactly as written (although with a bit more mushrooms and a bit less eggplant), and I would definitely make it again. But no photo, so no post. Boo.

Thus, some gumbo! With beans cooked from "scratch," which is something I want to try more of this winter. And with file powder, which somehow I didn't realize was vegetarian but it totally is, and without roux.

1 c dry kidney beans
lots of water

Soak the beans overnight in more than enough water to cover. Drain and rinse. Put in a large pot with lots of water (about 3:1 water:beans) and simmer until fully cooked (45 min-1 hr for me). Drain, reserving the liquid.

3 T butter
1 large onion, minced
3 fresh bay leaves
2 t thyme
1 t paprika
6 ribs celery, minced
5 shishitos and 2 poblanos, minced (or some other combination of sweet flavorful peppers)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
6 c chopped okra
4 medium momotaro tomatoes, diced (1.5 c)
2 T file powder
2 t salt
ground pepper
4 c cooking water from beans
2 c cooked kidney beans
2 T chopped parsley (several sprigs)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and spices, and saute for a few minutes. Add the celery, peppers, garlic, and carrot, and saute until softening. Add the okra and cook for several minutes, then add the tomato and cook for a bit more. Stir in the file powder, salt, and pepper, then pour in the bean broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and let cook covered for 20 minutes. Add the beans and parsley, adjust the seasonings, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cornbread.

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