Yesterday, when we examined the perfection that is Rice and Peas, there was something else delicious on the plate....
Veggies and gravy!
I love sauce. All the sauce, all the time.
This island-version is tangy with so many complex flavors from the seasoning blend.
There are no measurements here, unless you want there to be. I just cut up lots of veggies and add the sauce ingredients and a Jamaican seasoning blend. You can use any seasoning blend that you like, and any stock you like, and any citrus you like....it's totally forgiving based on what you have at home on the night you want to try this.
That night should be....tonight.
Here's what you need!
- 2-4 cups veggies, cut into chunks (onions, peppers, broccoli, zucchini....you name it!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-2 tablespoons jerk seasoning blend (something that says island on it...or make your own!)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- juice of one lime or lemon
- 2 cups stock (chicken, veggie, seafood...whatever!)
- grilled chicken, fish, or other meat, for serving (optional)
I can't stress enough that you can't mess up with this!
If I'm grilling meat to go under the veggies, I like to grill it in a pan FIRST, then keep it warm on a broiler pan at 250F while I make the sauce. That way I only use one pan, and the gravy ends up tasting like the protein you're serving, which is a VERY good thing. 🙂
If you aren't serving this with a protein (the beans and rice has plenty), just cut your veggies into large chunks and heat a pan to medium-high heat for the gravy.
When the veggies are ready and the pan is hot, throw all the veggies into the pan with one tablespoon of butter - they should sizzle a lot. We're aiming to make them brown on the outside but not mushy all the way through.
Stir the veggies together for just a minute or two, then sprinkle the whole pan with your seasoning blend, and add the other tablespoon of butter.
This is the seasoning that I use!
Stir the veggies until the butter has melted and the seasoning has combined, then add the flour.
I find that the best way to really "measure" is to sprinkle flour over the top of all the veggies you are cooking. That way, you'll always have the right proportion of flour to veggies.
That's just me, though! 2 tablespoons of fat, 1 tablespoon of flour, and 1 1/2 - 2 cups of stock is a nice ratio as well.
Stir the flour into the veggies for one full minute to let the flour combine with the butter. It will be a bit pasty, but if the mixture seems very dry add another tablespoon of butter.
When the flour is totally combined, stir in the stock and citrus juice. If you're not a huge citrus fan only use half the juice, then add more later if you'd like!
The mixture should bubble pretty quickly. Stir to be sure that all the stock combines with all the flour, then turn the heat down to medium so not too much of the liquid evaporates.
Taste this deliciousness! Add more lemon juice or seasoning if you'd like, or some crushed red pepper for heat!
That's it! Serve this with rice and peas, or just over plain rice with a grilled protein that you've been keeping warm in the oven.
Also pictured: fried okra cakes that Jay's mom made. They were super duper delicious and you should make Southern-style okra cakes too sometime and send me one.
That is all.