Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My favorite gumbo recipe

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  Monday was an important day for my home state of Louisiana - it marked the 200th anniversary of its statehood.  In honor of that auspicious occasion, I thought I’d post one of my favorite regional recipes - gumbo.  Every cook in Louisiana has her own version of this versatile dish.  This is mine - a recipe I’ve adapted over the years through tweaking one passed down from my grandmother.    

Ingredients: 
  • 1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 tblsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lb sliced okra (sautéed with ½ teaspoon vinegar until ‘slime’ is gone)
  • 4 lbs meat - any one type or a combination of your favorites.  Meats that work well in a gumbo are sausage (cut into ½ inch slices), deboned chicken or other fowl, pork, shrimp, crawfish, crab or game meats
  • Tabasco sauce or liquid crab boil to taste (optional)

Directions:
  • Use flour and oil or butter to make a roux.
    Do this by combining ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cooking over a low heat,  stirring constantly until the mixtures is a medium brown color (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add garlic, onions, green onions, celery and bell peppers.  Cook until tender
  • Add remaining ingredients except okra (and shellfish if applicable) and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, adding additional water if needed
  • Add okra (and shellfish if applicable).  Return to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaves, skim excess oil, and serve over rice.
This makes a very large batch.  Leftovers can be frozen for later consumption.

So, do you have any favorite recipes that reflect your home region?  Care to share?

7 comments:

  1. what exactly is orka. Whats it like (spoken by a vegetable hater)

    Here I am not sure we really have specialties of regions but I know Roast Lamb is almost a national dish.

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  2. Mmm, loooove roast lamb and mint jelly :)

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  3. Hi Winnie good to see ya here, my mother in law(deceased now) always cooked like this , she was old southern cook and a good one, I learned many dishes from her.
    I never have like Okra, too slimy but I had to cook it when I married a southern guy.
    She put okra and tomatoes together with seasonings and bacon too.
    Paula O

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  4. AusJenny, okra is a vegetable we use here in Louisiana quite a bit. You can learn a little something about it at this link http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/okra.html

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  5. I've never had roast lamb and mint jelly - in fact I've never had lamb in any form. But you two make it sound yummy - I may have to give it a try

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  6. POL - lots of folks around here eat okra and tomatos but I'm not very fond of it personally. Outside of a gumbo, the other way I like it cooked is fried with a bit of cornmeal

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  7. Sandra and Winnie, I dont have the mint jelly on it. Most will have a gravy on it (I prefer it without.)
    I think its cooked the same as roast beef.
    We roast the leg. Aussies probably eat more lamb than beef. I just love the taste of it and we roast the potatoes also with it.

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