Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Kentucky Fried Blog Entry

Actually, more like Southern baked or sauteed, but that doesn't have nearly the flair, does it?

Tonight for dinner I made red beans and rice, cornbread, rutabega fries, and collard greens with sausage. It was good. Sweetie said it was "divine."

The cornbread, though I would love to take credit for it, was a mix from Trader Joe's. I replaced the egg it called for with egg beaters, the milk it called for with soy milk, and the oil with oil replacer stuff (mostly prune puree). Normally I would probably just make cornbread from scratch, since it only involves like one more step than the mix (adding baking soda), but I was under time constraints today. And it was darn good.

Collard greens: I broke up some "Gimme Lean" sausage* into a medium pan and browned it over medium high heat. I cleaned the greens by cutting out the tough rib in the middle of each and rinsing and draining them. Then I threw them in the pan and sauteed them with the sausage until they were quite wilted. I served them with a splash of Tabasco.

Rutabega fries: I made them just like the other night, but I cut the pieces much thicker and kept a better eye on them. It was a big improvement.

Red beans and rice: You know, I haven't had these since I was really young (to give you a clue, it was when Sacramento had a Po' Folks restaurant), and I couldn't even exactly remember what they were like. I went through all my recipe books looking for a recipe**, and it was in the very last one, Jack Bishop's "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen," that I finally found one. And even better, I had most of the ingredients.

His recipe is as follows:

2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Sticky White Rice

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and Tabasco sauce and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2 Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened but still somewhat brothy, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and Tabasco sauce to taste. Serve over the hot rice or refrigerate in an airtight container for several days and reheat.

Here's what I did differently -- I didn't have any celery, so I just left it out. I didn't have fresh oregano, so I substituted 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. I didn't have a can of diced tomatoes, so I used a can of tomato sauce. This made the mixture a little soupy, so I kept it simmering a little longer than suggested to thicken it up better. Finally, I didn't feel like making a new batch of rice, since I had a bunch of leftover rice that I made yesterday, so I used leftover rice instead of "Sticky White Rice." Oh, and you can nearly always assume I used cooking spray instead of oil to sautee stuff.

Anyway, this was one of the best thrown-together dinners in a long time. And I'm looking forward to leftovers.

*Fat free fake sausage. Pretty good.

** My large collection of vegetarian, vegan, and ethnic cokbooks can hook you up with Persian Chilau, Haitian Hot Pot, various kidney bean and coconut milk concoctions, probably three or four recipes that call for galanga root, but red beans and rice? Plain old red beans and rice, not crazy souped-up Thai version? Just one cookbook had a recipe. Funny, huh? I had my Betty Crocker and Better Homes nearby just in case, but I didn't actually crack them. Frankly, I consider them to be mostly for show.


Blogger piggs said...

Yes, it was excellent! I jangorded mine. Like I said lasts night, you could almost forget the rice and serve it over the cornbread and it'd be great!

February 24, 2005 at 6:02:00 AM PST  
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October 11, 2005 at 5:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger lindaweaverfamily said...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).

November 8, 2005 at 8:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger research guy said...

Hi there Count Mockula, I had been out looking for some new information on skin boil when I found your site and Kentucky Fried Blog Entry. Though not just what I was searching for, it drew my attention. An interesting post and I thank you for it.

November 25, 2005 at 8:39:00 PM PST  
Blogger research guy said...

Hi Count Mockula, Out surfing for information on carbuncle & happened upon your site. While Kentucky Fried Blog Entry wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

December 2, 2005 at 2:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger research guy said...

Hello Count Mockula, been looking for the latest info on carbuncle and found Kentucky Fried Blog Entry. Though not exactly what I was searching for, it did get my attention. Interesting post, thanks for a great read.

December 2, 2005 at 3:39:00 AM PST  

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