Gumbo with Wild Rice, Baked BBQ Black Eyed Peas and Jalapeno Onion Cornbread

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Gumbo With Wild Rice

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

* 3 Tb olive oil or vegetable oil

* 3 Tb flour

* 1 small onion, chopped

* 3 Tb chopped green onions

* 1/2 Tb chopped garlic

* 2 to 3 small bay leaves

* 3 quarts vegetable stock

* 1 cup wild rice

* Salt

* Cayenne, to taste

* Pinch ground thyme

* 2 pounds mixed greens (1/2 pound each spinach, collard greens, turnip

greens and cabbage leaves), tough stems removed and coarsely chopped

* Up to 2 Tb all-purpose flour, as a thickening agent, optional

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the flour, stirring until toasted and peanut butter colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the onion, green onion, and garlic, cooking until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, stock, wild rice, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne to taste, and thyme.

3. Bring to a boil, add greens, a handful at a time, stirring until wilted before adding next bunch. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning—greens should be tender and slightly spicy; add enough salt to enhance flavors. Wild rice should be tender and puffed.

4. To thicken, have gumbo bubbling gently and stir in 1 tablespoon flour, that is mixed a little with cold water. Add more flour if a thicker consistency is desired.

Baked BBQ Black Eyed Peas

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

* 1 3-inch piece kombu (dried kelp)

* 3 Tb plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 1/2 cup diced onions

* 1 cup diced red or green bell pepper

* 2 cloves garlic

* 2 Tb red wine vinegar

* 2 Tb lime juice

* 1/4 cup tamari

* 1 cup canned tomato sauce

* 1 chipotle in adobo sauce

* 1/2 cup agave nectar

* 1 Tb ground cumin

* 1 tsp dried thyme

* 1/8 tsp cayenne

Directions

1. Drain the black-eyed peas. Combine beans with kombu and fresh water to cover in a

medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to

maintain a simmer, and cook until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving cooking water. Discard kombu. Or if you're short on time, a 15 ounce can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed will work too. Instead of using the cooking water, plain water can be used.

2. Heat two tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes, until fragrant. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a blender, combine the vinegar, lime juice, tamari, tomato sauce, chipotle, agave nectar, spices, 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking water and the remaining olive oil. Puree until smooth.

3. In a 2-quart baking dish, combine the black-eyed peas, sautéed vegetables, and sauce. Stir well. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread

Makes 8 Big Slices

Ingredients

* 2 cups plain soy milk

* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

* 2 cups cornmeal

* 1 cup corn flour, or masa harina, or all-purpose flour (I've notice that corn flour or masa harina gives the corn bread a stronger corn taste than just adding plain flour)

* 1/4 cup sugar

* 2 tsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 1/3 cup oil

For the Topping

* 1 Tb canola oil

* 1 medium size yellow onion, sliced into 1 x 1/2 inch slices

* 3 jalapenos

* 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and jalapeno in oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add the salt and mix well. Transfer to a bowl. Don't wash the pan; you'll pour the batter right into it in a bit.

3. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle as you prepare everything else.

4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the soy milk mixture and oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix together until just combined; some lumps are okay.

5. Pour the batter into prepared cast-iron skillet. Scatter the topping over the batter in the pan. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool just a bit before serving.