Jul 4, 2010

July 4 - An Australian Family Celebrating Our American Heritage - inspired by Bill Ives Gumbo family

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


  1. Make a roux like in Gumbo Town's pages
  2. Add stock - slowly - a little in time - stir in each lot
  3. Add all other ingredients except spinach and zucchini
  4. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender but not mushy
  5. Add zucchini & spinach and simmer another 5 minutes
  6. Serve over steamed rice


Then there's Gumbo Pages : " dedicated to the preservation of New Orleans culture."- I really liked Mark Savoy's Gumbo & the Simple Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

 - 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  ....






Posted via email from KerrieAnne's Kitchen

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