Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creole Jambalaya with Tempeh

There are no written in stone guidelines when it comes to making jambalaya. Every household has their own method with their own spices. The only seemingly important rule is the difference between Cajun and Creole jambalaya. Creole is made with tomatoes, fresh or canned and usually paste. I find this way to be more desirable as it adds a rich, stew-like flavor.
Red and green bell peppers, onion, celery, summer squash, garlic, tempeh and tomatoes slow simmered in a spiced tomato broth with brown rice, scallions and parsley.

Creole Jambalaya
5 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
10 oz tempeh, medium dice
1 tbl garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp dried thyme, divided
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, medium dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
1 yellow summer squash, medium dice
1-15oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbl tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
3 tbl chopped, fresh parsley
2 scallions, minced
hot sauce, to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 3 tbl of oil and add the tempeh. While the tempeh browns, season with garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Once the tempeh has browned, Add 2 tbl of oil and the onions and celery. Cook for 5 minutes then add the red and green bell peppers. Saute 5 minutes then add the garlic and jalapeno. Cook an additional 5 minutes then add the summer squash, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and remaining 1 tsp of thyme. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add the broth, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, add the rice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Make sure to check on the pot to ensure there is enough liquid. If the mixture has become too dry, add some additional water to finish cooking the rice.
Stir in half of the parsley and scallions.
Garnish each bowl with the remaining parsley, scallions and hot sauce.

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