Multipurpose ingredients are the key to this easy recipe.
Soy chorizo brings the flavors of andouille, while okra adds a touch of the South to this hybrid of risotto and jambalaya.
Rather than use meat substitutes, we turned to pecans to give this gumbo its “meaty” heft and a hit of protein. As they cook, the pecans become tender and chewy while lending the sauce a hint of nutty flavor. Feel free to spice things up with extra Cajun seasoning and hot sauce.
Lots of garlic makes this a deeply-flavored dish.
This delicate sorbet shows off tropical papaya to its full advantage.
You can find a mix of hearty greens in just about any typical African, Caribbean and southern American meal. Being from the South, I became accustomed to seeing the bottle of vinegar with chile peppers settled at the bottom on the table next to the salt and pepper and a condiment called chow chow pickle. These condiments were used to kick up your greens. You will find these add punch.
A spicy dish with great flavor and texture, this greens mixture contains a delicious potlikker, which is the vitamin- and mineral-rich broth that comes from cooking down the greens.
Inspired by Louisana’s popular Cajun dish of “dirty” rice, this variation has all the potency and flavor you could expect but omits the pork and the chicken livers, which traditionally give the dish its characteristic color. Perfect accompaniments are hot cornbread and baked pears. Minted iced tea or lemonade balances flavors.
Gumbo may be made with a number of main ingredients, so why not tofu? Marinated tofu is a modern addition to this old Cajun favorite—along with the distinctive texture of okra. It’s served over a White Corn Grits Soufflé, which is fluffed with eggs and served golden brown and piping hot right out of the oven. Leftover grits may be sliced and fried like polenta for breakfast the next morning or eaten as a snack later in the day.
While candied yams are a typical side dish in soul food cooking, combining them with plantains, a Caribbean and African favorite, and seasonal apples, which are plentiful at this time of year, makes for a delicious side dish or dessert. Black-ripe plantains are very soft and sweet and are generally used in desserts.
“First you make a roux” is how many Cajun recipes start, and this Creole sauce is no exception. It gets its distinctive taste from a brown roux to which the “holy trinity” (equal parts chopped green bell pepper, onion, and celery) is added before the rest of the ingredients. (Be sure to have all the vegetables chopped and ready before you fire up the stove.) Serve over rice.