Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cajun Cookin'

Though much of my cooking is influenced by the down-home Dirty South dishes (like beans 'n' cornbread, biscuits, casseroles, and the like) my mama and granny made when I was growin' up, there's no denying the importance of the Cajun cuisine of New Orleans. My cookbook will be a mix of dishes from various areas of the South, including my beloved NOLA.

Though I've never lived in New Orleans, the Crescent City has been a favorite vacation destination for years. One of my all-time favorite dishes from the deep, deep South is red beans and rice. But I wanted to mix things up a bit, so I made Cajun Red Beans 'n' Quinoa instead:

That's topped with extra hot sauce and some Slap Yo Mama Cajun seasoning (picked up on my last excursion there in the fall).

I served this hearty main with one of my all-time favorite sides — Fried Green Tomatoes (another cookbook recipe):

It may sound weird, but I've been enjoying these locally-grown fried green 'maters with a side of homemade strawberry jam. The savory cornmeal crust pairs perfectly with the sweet and fruity strawberry spread. Try topping your fried tomatoes with a teaspoon or so of jam next time you make 'em.

18 comments:

Vegyogini said...

I've never had fried green tomatoes! I find them intriguing, but I would rather have baked ones. :)

Red beans and quinoa sounds awesome!

T said...

I absolutely love fried green tomatoes but I get to have them so rarely. They were served at a wedding recently and I was in heaven!

And those red beans and quinoa look equally fabulous!

Rick said...

i am so all about your cookbook, excited for it. your take on vegan dishes is refreshing and unique! woot!

Lauren said...

My entire family is obsessed with Slap Yo Mama. It's so good.

Eric said...

Hah slap yo mama :)

Hmm Ive never had a green tomato... is this a bad thing?!

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

Those tomatoes look amazing :)
Love the quinoa/bean combination; that's what I've been doing lately so I'm not eating too much rice and wheat.

Keri - I Eat Trees said...

I've never had fried green tomatoes, but I've always wanted to make them! The red beans and quinoa sounds great also!

Jenna said...

Slap Yo Mama is the bomb! I'm going to New Orleans for the first time this fall for work- but there will be plenty of play time too- so excited!

Helen said...

I was just thinking of making something from NOLA tonight... gumbo,creole... beans and rice is a good idea! And the FGT with jam makes sense. It's like a southern spin on tempura with plum/duck/orange sauce!

miss v said...

jam and fgt? kinda like something i think a pregnant person would crave! sounds totally weird together. :)

oh, and by the way - my csa is really cool and they send me an email on wednesday or thursday so i know what i'm picking up on saturday. that way i can totally plan my meals ahead too (i'm the same way)!

Michelle said...

I love fried green tomatoes! Good idea on the red beans and quinoa!

jessy said...

my-oh-my, Bianca - your red beans & quinoa looks damn delicious! hooray for extra hot sauce, too! i have yet to make fried green maters this season, but now i'm gonna have to. strawberry jam on 'em, eh?! you bet i'll be trying that as well! sounds kinda crazy, but i love grape jelly on my tempeh sausages with a little tiny bit of yellow mustard on there, too. i know, it's nuts, but oh-so yum!

Jessica said...

You're right, the strawberry jam with the fried green tomatoes does sound weird. I might try it, just to see though.

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

I can understand the Strawberry Jam thing. I'm all for eating Jam straight up out of the jar just like Joey Tribbianni.

The Rockin' Vegan said...

Wow, like pretty much everyone else here - never had fried green 'maters. The way you prepare 'em, looks like something I'd definitely be into! I've had some of my fave culinary experiences in 'nawlins no doubt - red beans and quinoa sounds like a nice take on the classic...

Jenn said...

Wow, those look just like the fried green tomatoes from the whistle stop cafe! Yum!

Agent M. said...

Love this (and the blog in general)! And I adore Slap Yo Mama (my fiance brings it back every time he travels to New Orleans). I never thought to put it in quinoa though! What else do you use it in? I'm always looking for new ideas. :)

Kristina Smith said...

I love fried green tomatoes! And I will have to try some jam on 'em next time.

On a side note, strawberry jam (especially homemade strawberry jam) is really really good on on grilled 'cheese' sandwiches.