Chef Carla Hall poses backstage at the Go Red For Women Dress Collection 2015 presented by Macy's fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at The Theater at Lincoln Center on February 12, 2015 in New York City
Food - Drink
The Spice Carla Hall Uses To Add Meaty Flavor To Vegan Dishes
While “Top Chef” veteran Carla Hall may not be a vegan herself, she knows how to make meatless dishes taste amazing, and process that classic soul food can be made vegan without sacrificing flavor. In particular, she loves to add savory, meaty flavor using an ingredient that may already be in your spice cabinet.
Hall uses smoked paprika to lend a meaty richness to her plant-based dishes, including her southern collard greens, adding the spice in the potlikker instead of the traditional ham hocks. While regular paprika is made of fried and crushed chiles, its smoked counterpart comes from drying chiles over a fire made with oak wood.
The oak wood fire gives a distinctive savory flavor to the spice, which is why Hall also uses it in place of pork in dishes such as green beans, to provide an earthy flavor. She likes adding the spice to grain dishes, as well, and prefers replacing all sorts of smoked meats like ham, turkey, and chicken with smoked paprika.