Monday, January 8, 2018

Okra, Corn, and Tofu Gumbo

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay)

1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (or brown rice)
Pinch plus 3/4 tsp. salt.
1 lb. fresh okra
2 cans (4oz. each) whole green chiles (or use several (5-6) small fresh chiles)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 lb. firm tofu, diced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. filé powder (I omitted this)
2 medium fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Place the flour in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and brown for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  You must keep the flour moving to prevent it from burning.  If the flour begins to blacken (not brown), turn down the heat a little and begin again with fresh flour.  When the flour is uniformly dark tan in color, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Cook the rice according to the package directions

Meanwhile, trim off the stem ends of the okra and slice the pods crosswise into 1-inch pieces.  Set aside in a bowl.  Remove the stems and seeds of the chiles and slice them into long, thin strips.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a stockpot.  Saute the onions, carrots, bell pepper, and celery for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown.

Add the tofu, corn kernels, okra, green chiles, chili powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and cayenne to the browned vegetable mixture.  Lower the heat to medium.  Stir and saute for 10 minutes, then distribute the browned flour evenly over the vegetables and tofu and stir it in.  Add 3 1/2 cups of hot water, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, the filé powder, and the tomatoes.  Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve hot over hot rice.

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