Plant It Forward

Green Gumbo

Green Gumbo

Might we suggest adding Egyptian spinach, roselle greens, water spinach, and sweet potato greens to that long list of greens!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut oil, lard or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (see below)
  • 1 ham hock (optional)
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 pounds assorted greens (i.e. kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, chard, parsley, dandelion greens, beet greens), chopped (about 14 cups)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound smoked andouille sausage (optional)
  • File powder to taste (optional)
  • Cajun Spice Blend
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika

Instructions

  1. Make the roux: Start the gumbo by making a roux, which will add a lot of flavor and thicken the gumbo. Heat the cup of peanut oil or lard (both are traditional roux ingredients) over medium heat for a minute or two and then stir in the flour. Mix so there are no lumps.
  2. Cook the roux over medium-low heat until it is the color of chocolate. It is your choice how dark you let your roux go. The darker it is, the better, but once the roux gets dark it can burn easily, so you must stir constantly and keep and eye on it.
  3. Heat water to a simmer: While the roux is cooking, bring the 10 cups of water to a simmer.
  4. Add onions, celery, green pepper, then garlic to roux: When the roux is dark enough, mix in the chopped onions, celery and green pepper and turn the heat to medium. Let this cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add bay leaves, spice, hot water: Add the bay leaves, the Cajun spice and slowly stir in the hot water. The roux will seize up at first, but keep stirring and it will all come together in a silky broth.
  6. Add ham hock, greens, cover and simmer: Add the ham hock and all the greens. Taste for salt, but remember the ham hock will be salty, so let the broth be a little under-salted for now. If you want to add more Cajun spice, do so now. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Remove meat from ham hock bones, chop and return to pot: Check the ham hock. If the meat is falling off the bone, remove it, discard the bones, chop the meat and return it to the pot. If the hock is not ready, keep simmering the gumbo; ham hocks don't always cook at the same rate.
  8. Add andouille sausage: Once the hock is ready, add the andouille sausage and cook for another 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with file powder at the table.

Notes

http://plant-it-forward.org/green-gumbo/

Stir Fried-Water Spinach with Garlic

Stir Fried-Water Spinach with Garlic

From Mai Pham via Houston Press: http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/recipe-stir-fried-water-spinach-with-garlic-6435344

Ingredients

  • 1/2 or 1 bundle water spinach, or Ong Choy
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce (use sparingly)
  • 2-3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut water spinach into 3-4-inch segments, discarding at least 2 inches of the lower end of the stalk. Wash water spinach thoroughly, rinsing at least twice to remove any remnants of dirt or sediment. Drain and set aside. 2. In a wok or large pan, heat oil and add minced garlic, stir-frying over medium-high heat to release the aromatics. Cook until golden brown. Remove half of the garlic and set aside, leaving some garlic in the pan. 3. In the same pan, add the water spinach, turning over to wilt the leaves. Sprinkle some salt to help release water, reduce heat and cover for 1-2 minutes, until water spinach is reduced. Add salted 1-2 tbsp fish sauce (optional) and/or salt and pepper according to taste. Mix until done. The stalks should still have a slight crisp when you bite into them, but should not be overly fibrous. 4. Plate, then garnish with fried garlic that was previously set aside.
http://plant-it-forward.org/stir-fried-water-spinach-with-garlic/