Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Luck Brekkie

Remember how I said, long ago, that brunch was my favorite meal of the day?

It still kinda is, but we've been trying to eat fewer eggs lately. I dunno why. Just have been.

And with this meal, eggs are optional. Not needed, but one crispy-fried on top of the bean pile makes for a lovely little detail. Since the rest of the meal is vegan, this is an easy one to convert - so please do.

This began as a meal for a client and turned into dinner for us as well - the next night. Brekkie for dinnie is a big deal around here, but with a crunchy piece of chicken-fried tofu on top, this little ditty will transition seamlessly to nighttime. It's even awesome by its lonesome, as the leftovers I ate for lunch can attest to.

There's a little foraging-magic in my batch, thanks to a favorite springtime heralder - Onion Grass.

Very closely related to Chives, I use this stuff all the time. Our lawn's never been treated with any chemical, so I don't stress. Not quite as aromatic as chives and a little tougher, I tend to use this grass in stews, instead of raw. In the summer, once the lawn is cut, you can smell onion for hours. Hilarious.

Hoppin' John, as ya'll know, is an inexpensive dish - black eyed or crowder peas, a ham hock, an herb or two, spoon over white rice, finito. I fancied this up a bit since I can't help myself. If you're looking for a more basic version, the Tubes have many, many recipes for you to peruse.

Good Luck Brekkie (aka - Veggie Hoppin' John over Soysage Fried Rice with a Fried Egg on Top)

makes 2-3 servings

For the beans:

12 ozs fresh or frozen black eyed peas - look in your store's frozen veggie section
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful mushrooms, chopped
1 medium white onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
Chives or onion grass, handful, chopped
Thyme, dried, 1/2 tablespoon
Ton of black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock or water (if using water - add salt to taste)
Smoked salt, 1 tsp
Dash sesame oil
Pinch cayenne

Heat your oil in a medium soup pot. Add carrot, onion, pepper, and celery. Saute until onion starts to turn translucent - about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, herbs fresh and dried. Saute another 3 minutes. Pour in your stock or water, and add remaining ingredients, including beans.

Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low - simmer, stirring frequently, for an hour, until beans have softened and some have broken down, making a killer potlicker.

Meanwhile, the rice:

2 cups day-old rice, brown or white, cooked, chilled (the key to fluffy fried rice - chilling it!)
3 soy sausage patties or a 1/2 fist sized chunk of seitan, diced small
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoons sesame oil + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup mushroom or faux-chicken broth, warmed

Heat your oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add sausage - cook until browned on a side or two, about 6-7 minutes. Add scallions, rice, and toss, mixing well. Add stock and quickly stir rice continually, until all stock has been absorbed. Cover and set aside.

If you're preparing another protein to accompany your John, go right ahead. If not, serve your stew atop a spoonful of fried rice. Garnish with parsley and if you're super-hungry, eat with boiled cabbage and sliced tomatoes.

Your gramma'd be so proud!


  1. I love brunch - definitely one of my faves, too.

    This looks really good. I'm not veg but I've been playing around with different soy products. Some I've liked and some I haven't. Which soy sausage patty do you recommend?

  2. Hi Fresh!

    Dunno if you have a TJ's in your area, but theirs are pretty decent and brown up well. Morningstar farms' patties are kinda meh, but'll do in a pinch. OR you can get brave and make a batch of seitan from scratch following the recipe on this site! Just do a search, you'll find it.

  3. I lived in the South and always wanted to know if I could eat the wild/weed onion. When I asked the Southerners if I could chop them into my miso soup, they thought I was the crazy Asian who didn't belong there. No one said I could eat it. I missed my opportunity to eat the onion. Too late, I am in Seattle now.

  4. @latte - those nerds didn't know what they were talking about. Seriously, I pick it ALL and throw it in the blender with some pecans and corn oil for a 50 mile pesto. Nom.

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