Looking for something spicy, how about
Cajun Chickpea Mash
What is Cajun Chickpea Mash? Well, quite frankly it’s one of those dishes that got created one night because I had leftovers and a hungry family. (A hungry family that, as it just so happens, loves chickpeas.)
To make the cajun mash, I basically started off doing exactly what I would have done if this were a jambalya. That meant starting with a trinity (carrots, onions, celery). However, I didn’t want just another rice dish, so I added potatoes, a few dried peppers , a little tomato sauce, and finally, some chickpeas.
All in all, it turned our pretty darn good.
So I kind of flaked on spice week. I blame the extreme sickness that came and visited me for too long.
Because I only posted three recipes, I wanted to follow up with a fourth post on unique spices. For this post, I shall talk about file powder. Pronounced FEE-lay, it is a term for ground sassafrass leaves and is one of two ingredients that work with roux to thicken gumbo (the other being okra) and is a flavoring spice in other cajun food.
File makes the gumbo broth dark and gives the whole dish an earthy, savory taste that is not present in okra-based gumbo. In addition, file powder seasons the entire broth whereas the only thing that tastes like okra is the okra. As an added benefit, file powder does not get slimy and chewy like okra that has been cooked to long. Which is not to say that I do not like okra gumbo. I make it a lot, I just prefer file-based gumbo.
So here is my challenge to you. In the United States where I am at, the weather is starting to get cold and winter will soon be upon us. Cold weather is the perfect excuse to try out a new soup or stew recipe, so if you have not had a file-based gumbo, give one of these recipes a try!