Cold early July winter nights in Australia - time for a Cajun Gumbo perhaps ? And hey - today is July 4 - American Independence Day isn't it ?
In Australia many of us with family from the UK tend to think mostly of our Anglo Saxon heritage - overlooking the mix - other Europeans eg the Basque - the Hugenot - plus the Asian - the African- the Middle Eastern - and also the Americas.
Both my husband and I have American heritage in our family trees - in my case - the details are very very hazy and uncertain - whereas my husband's is more certain - California - from Sierra Nevada via South Africa. So sometimes as a reminder I do like to do some American themed cooking.
Recently I was inspired by Bill Ives as he shared his mother's Cajun Gumbo with Paula Thornton (aka Rotkapchen ) in a post #e2conf Boston Conference convo. I was delighted when he responded to his request for a genuine Southern Gumbo recipe : sharing his 2004 blog post : First Make a Roux - please read it : it is such great knowledge sharing.
I had done Gumbo's with a Roux once or twice - although more frequently "cheated" without a Roux via a slow cooker approach. If you find risotto's take time - be warned - Gumbo's take much much longer.
Tonight I used Bill's Roux as the base, with a modification of my own Chicken, Andouille & Vegie Gumbo (see below).
I hadn't intentionally done it as a July 4 theme - somehow it just worked out that way after coming across Bill's Gumbo convo's.
Then I did a Twitter search this morning and discovered lots of folks salivating about their Gumbo's. There seemed to be so many Gumbo themed tweets this weekend - then it dawned ... of course July 4 - I was just so busy and nearly hadn't realised the date. And. in Australia we don't necessarily appreciate that Gumbo is July 4 theme fare in the south around New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA)
I'd googled Gumbo's a few times in the past .. and it's now been 3 years since I visited Gumbo Town and downloaded its Gumbo pages - but it remained my favourite inspiration ( until I read Bill Ives' post). Here's some Gumbo links to Gumbo Town ....
- Seafood Gumbo
- Chicken & Andouille Gumbo
- not to mention "Making the Roux" : "More than anything else, it's the roux that gives gumbo its particular character. ... A Cajun roux is just flour cooked in fat until it acquires a dark color and a deep, complex, somewhat smoky flavor with nut-like overtones." - I love the advice given by Gumbo Town - great knowledge sharing
For the last few years I used the above Gumbo Town pages as inspiration for my own KerrieAnne's Chicken, Andouille & Vegie Gumbo :
1/4 cup Canola oil 500gm ( 1 lb) chicken breast chopped small pieces
1/2 cup all purpose aka plain flour 500gm ( 1 lb) Andouille sausage - sliced
2 cups chicken stock 1 capsicum (bell pepper) chopped finely
2 cans tomatoes (400g size) 2 tbpsns parsley chopped
2 tbspns Worcestershire Sauce 2 slices spinach chopped
2 onions finely chopped optional Tabasco sauce
2 carrots finely chopped optional Jalapeno peppers
1 medium potato diced 1 cup Okra chopped
2 sticks celery finely chopped 1/2 tspn cajun spice
2 zucchini's finely chopped 1 bay leaf
20 ml crushed (minced) garlic 1 tspn lemon juice
shake each of thyme black pepper cayenne pepper ground cumin
- Make a roux like in Gumbo Town's pages
- Add stock - slowly - a little in time - stir in each lot
- Add all other ingredients except spinach and zucchini
- Simmer gently until vegetables are tender but not mushy
- Add zucchini & spinach and simmer another 5 minutes
- Serve over steamed rice
- not to mention American Government Health Page Chicken Gumbo & About.com's Gumbo pages : for the time challenged there are slow cooker Gumbo's : eg Chicken & Sausage at About.com or the Epicurious slow cooker version.
A few more ideas that I discovered during my Twitter search on July 4 2010 ....
- Seafood Craving's Scallop Gumbo
- Healthy Home Recipe's Chicken Okra Gumbo with Sausage
- Karol's Kitchen Seafood Gumbo
- Mahalia Jackson Okra Gumbo
- Myriam's Seafood Gumbo
- Two Silly Yak's Gumbo - suitable for Coeliac's ?
- Fishing News Daily : Creole Shrimp Gumbo with Duck