San Pedro Style Fish-less Market Tray
It's Alex. I grew up in Southern California and my grandparents live in the South Bay area. As a kid, we would visit the San Pedro Fisherman's Wharf to eat tons of seafood and to watch the scary-huge cruise ships lumber by as often as we could. The fish market sells all kinds of seafoods by the pound, but the thing everyone really comes for - and a favorite of ours - was the Famous San Pedro Shrimp Tray. The meal is served on a big plastic tray (like from a food court), covered in newspaper, and topped with an overflowing mixture of shrimp, potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and corn smothered in a spicy, delicious tomato-based sauce that you could sop up with the crusty toasted bread served on the side. The veggies and sauce make the whole thing, and we thought it would be super easy to sub out those little crustaceans with some healthy plant foods. We were right! We replaced the shrimp with seasoned hearts of palm and mushrooms, which both taste similar to and have a texture similar to the original- but you know, vegan. This hearty meals serves 4 or leaves you with leftovers, but you won't mind. We recommend serving it alongside a crusty baguette and with a squeeze of lemon. Let's eat!
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black truffle sea salt (regular sea salt works here, too)
1 - 14.5 oz can hearts of palm, drained
1 1/2 cups mushrooms (we used shiitake, but oyster or lobster mushrooms would be great, too!)
2 - 6 oz. cans tomato paste
6 oz. soyrizo (soy chorizo), optional - but worth it
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cube vegetable boullion
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black truffle sea salt (or regular sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 large bell peppers, seeds removed + roughly chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
2 cobs of corn, halved
1 tomato, roughly chopped
cilantro, for garnish (optional)
To make marinade, combine white cooking wine with lemon juice, Old Bay and salt. Drain hearts of palm and slice into 1/2 inch circles. Roughly chop mushrooms and places 'shrooms and hearts of palm slices into the marinade. Let marinate at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
While marinade comes together, make the sauce by whisking together tomato paste, soyrizo, mixed garlic, vegetable boullion cube, spices and water in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Cut bell peppers, onions, red potatoes, corn, and tomatoes.
Place corn and potatoes into a medium pot and boil until fork tender. Add bell peppers, and onions to pan with heated oil and cook until they begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the cooked corn coblets, potatoes, and tomatoes and cook all together, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Add sauce mixture to the pan and stir tom combine. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While veggie + sauce mixture simmers, pour the hearts of palm and mushroom marinating mixture into a medium sized pan and cook over medium heat until leftover marinating liquid reduces and thickens. Remove from heat, add to sauce + veggie mixture and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two, until mixture is a bit soupy and everything is well combined. Serve with crusty bread and a squeeze of lemon. Leftovers last in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, but may need a little water added when reheating because the sauce will thicken as it cools. Serves 4-6.