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Side dishes sometimes become really important when you are cooking bacon wrapped meatloaf for friends and suddenly someone pipes up "I'm vegan". After the gasps die down and your fellow pitmasters quit muttering "How did he get in here" you can happily trot out this dish to make everyone happy. Butter beans (lima beans) with vaguely Indian spices, smoked and cooked to a tender but meat-like texture. Just spicy enough that with some smoke on there (I used apple) you may not miss the meat and your vegan and vegetarian friends will be happy. 1/2 lb dry Lima Beans soaked overnight 1 onion chopped 1 t chile powder 1/2 t turmeric 1/2 t cumin powder 1/2 t ground coriander 2 crushed garlic cloves 1 t minced ginger 1 t curry powder 2 T veg oil 1 15 oz cans diced tomatoes 1 cup water salt to taste Soak the beans overnight and drain. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to move around and sizzle a bit add the onion and cook to transparent, add the other spices and cook until the the onion starts to brown, add tomatoes and water. Smoke at 300 for 2 hours, taste for tenderness and salt. I did this in a 40 year old, well seasoned, cast iron skillet and, no, the tomato didn't hurt it a bit. You may notice I have a Paul Prudhomme Cajun Meatloaf in a bacon weave smoking with the butter beans, there to ward off vegetarians, kind of like a garlic braid for vampires.
I know ... I know. Sorta. Kinda. Lasagna. Here's the thing. On days that I'm not going to feed H and/or Z, I generally try to make a veggie meal for myself. As I've mentioned before, they get twitchy if there's not meat in a meal. Me? I like veggie now and then. So tonight I had planned to use one of the eggplants from the farmer's market, some of the leftover roasted zucchini, and a few other things and make lasagna. Except halfway through the roasting of the eggplant, I realized I didn't have any ricotta or any milk with which to make ricotta. If I didn't already have veggies on the grill, I'd have run up to the store, but ... too late. Womp womp. So instead I made a sorta lasagna like casserole. Put sliced eggplant and grape tomatoes on the grill to char up some. Then chopped them and mixed them in a bowl with leftover grilled zucchini, some mushrooms, and some onion. Layered in my small CI dish - sauce, noodle, sauce, veggies, cheese ... repeat until I ran out of veggies, and top with cheese and a hefty sprinkle of parm. Into the grill at 450° covered in foil. 45 mins later removed the foil for a last 15 mins of browning. Served! It didn't have quite the structure of a full lasagna that would with cheese and egg, but it was really delicious. I had it with more of the spinach salad and Gorgonzola vinaigrette and a glass of wine! This was exactly what I wanted tonight and I love that I could throw it together with leftover veggies and it worked. And if I were making this with H or Z in mind, I could toss in some Italian sausage and it would be just as good!
Since I have so many images, this is Part 1 of 2: Tonight's cook went MUCH better. Although there is one funny little bit of information that I'm going to wind up posting under another thread. Stay tuned. These are the shells that I was originally going to have with the overcooked sauce from last night. I took what was left of that salvaged sauce, made a fresh batch of my traditional sauce, and added in the leftovers. A whirl with a stick blender and I had a nice chunky mixture for tonight. (And yes I made the fresh batch in the dutch oven which did, indeed come clean!) Mr Grill joined me tonight for prepping the grill. He was excited to see the new grill riser in action for the very first time. He quickly reviewed the outside of the grill and found everything ship shape He took a quick look inside to check out the tomato sauce. I think I got a thumbs up! He stayed out of the way during the assembly process as cheese, sauce, and shells were flying! But he was definitely there to inspect the dish before it went onto the grill. The filling was homemade ricotta, garlic, spinach, a couple of eggs, and some grated parm. Topped with more sauce, some fresh mozzarella, and a little more parm. (No such thing as too much cheese!) Oh, and I used some of the fresh basil from the garden in the filling, too: There is also a peach pie, based loosely on John's Cast Iron Apple Pie recipe and made in the 6" skillet. (Better for my diet to have less pie around!) I'm pretty sure Mr. Grill approved of the pie, too! Both went on the grill at the same time - right around 375°. Mr. Grill helped me reset the vent (he pointed out that it was really hot and he'd rather not stand there much longer!) and we waited for an hour. To be continued ....
I'd thought I'd share some of our adventures with the Kamado. Most recipes will have some Indian, Kiwi or Kenyan influence. They will probably be fairly basic at first (so bear with me) and will add to this post as we get more adventurous with the cooker. Hope this helps some people out there. I'm not real good at taking photos so you may have to use some imagination. All my recipes will be vegetarian but some will be marked (J) as Jain approved. Wikipedia has a good section on Jain Vegetarianism, however in my context it's basically whatever the mother-in-law will eat, so the recipes won't be 'strictly' jain. Pizza This is more about method than anything, we made a 3-5 mm thick base and loaded up on toppings. Base cooked well and toppings too. Didn't take any pics though. We didn't have a 'deflector' as such and just chucked a pizza stone on the standard grill and used a thin metal pizza pan (with holes) on the grill extender. Worked perfectly though. Temp was ~ 250C and took 12-15 min to cook. Results were great, crowd favourite was mushroom, olive, chillis and vege mozzarella (J) Dough recipe was as follows: 2 cups wholemeal self raising flour 2 cups white floor 2 teaspoons yogurt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 tea spoon sugar Water to knead dough Keep covered in the oven for a couple of hours. Sweet Potato (Kenyan [Mombasa] street style) Roast with lid closed at ~200C for 15min then open lid and high heat (i.e. bottom vent fully open) for 2-3 min until outside is charred slightly. Cut in half lengthways (but not all the way through) and put chilli powder and salt and a healthy dose of lemon. Cassava (Mogo) is the traditional potato used, so if you can find it, use it instead Sweet Corn (Kenyan [Mombasa] street style) Roast sweet corn with bottom vent fully open until kernals are slightly black, Coat with chilli powder, salt and lemon.