Despite drinking my fair share on New Year’s Eve, I woke up surprisingly early. The extra hours late in the morning/early in the afternoon afforded me the chance to finally try out a recipe from the Isa Chandra Moskowitz/ Terry Hope Romero vegan-bible Veganomicon.
My partner’s mother makes the very best baked corn casserole in the entire world. This is the kind of dish that rarely sees the light of a new day. When he goes home to visit his parents, he has one and only one responsibility: he must bring back some creamed corn casserole for me. And to his credit, without fail, he comes back with a little Tupperware container of the stuff.
Anyway, the dish is so good that I am wary of trying it myself, for fear of failing to capture its strange alchemy. But when I came across the recipe for “Southwestern Corn Pudding” in Veganomicon, I thought maybe this was a variation I could attempt. So, with a few alterations due to both taste and supplies limitations, I tried it out.
Then I threw together the world’s easiest tofu scramble to go along with the casserole. I’ve included the recipe – if you can call it a recipe – below the casserole recipe.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cups corn (recipe says to use fresh, I used frozen with seemingly little difference)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup jarred jalapeno, chopped finely
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Xanathan gum
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 cup green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- I also added about 1/2 tsp of Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming spice blend, but this is strictly optional.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 casserole dish.
- If corn is frozen, thaw and drain. Saute along with the bell pepper and jalapenos, until the corn is lightly browned.
- Mix together the Xanathan Gum and the coconut milk until the Xanathan Gum disappears.
- In a food processor, combine 2 cups of the corn-pepper mixture with the coconut milk-Xanathan Gum. Pulse until pureed, but not completely smooth.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pureed mixture with the remaining corn, cornmeal, maple syrup, green onions, salt, cayenne, and any other spices you want to use.
- Spread the batter into the casserole dish and bake for about 40 minutes.
World’s Easiest Tofu Scramble
- 1lb extra firm tofu, drained and squeezed
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes (Seriously, a word on canned fire-roasted tomatoes: Is there anything handier to have in your kitchen cupboard? These things make an instant meal. They come all packed up in their own flavor, but it’s malleable enough to work with various other flavors, so they can be incorporated into any number of cuisines.)
- Vegetable oil
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt (to taste)
- In a mid-sized pot, heat vegetable oil. Crumble in the tofu, then add liquid smoke and turmeric. Cook at medium heat, tossing to get the tofu nice and yellow, then add beans, tomatoes, and the rest of the spices.
- Cover and continue to cook on low heat. (This recipe is especially good the day after, when the flavors have had a good chance to really sink into the tofu.)