While “there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks”, one of my favorite preparations includes freshly-shucked gulf oysters and hand-made andouille sausage from LaPlace, Louisiana along with the usual suspects of chocolate-brown roux cooked down with onions, garlic, green pepper and celery. There’s some fresh okra and tomato in there, with plenty of cayenne, fresh thyme and oregano as well.
I like to use sprouted brown rice instead of the traditional white rice, adding in the salty-sea liquor from the oysters in place of some of the water..
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Chocolate-colored roux, the Cajun/Creole “holy trinity” of red bell pepper, celery and roux, homemade shrimp stock, pecan wood-smoked Andouille, fresh crab and oysters..
1/2 cup organic, all-purpose flour
4 ounces pastured butter
1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 cups homemade shrimp stock (substitute chicken stock)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 pound fresh okra, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
2 dozen shucked oysters and their liquor
3 tablespoons organic Worcestershire sauce
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons filé powder (divided)
3 large celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
sea salt and black pepper
parsley, chopped for garnish
green onions, sliced for garnish
In a large pot, stir the flour and butter until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, stirring every 45 seconds, until the roux turns a rich brown color, about 20 minutes.
Add the Andouille, celery, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, okra, thyme, bay leaf and half of the filé powder and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, clam juice, Worcestershire and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining filé powder and add the crab, oysters and their liquor. Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 1 minute to just cook the oysters. Serve the gumbo with rice or bread.
Not the same recipe, but who doesn’t miss Justin Wilson?
Homemade pizza, that is. Roasted fresh red peppers, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and heirloom garlic, thinly-sliced Soppressata di Puglia, fresh mozzarella and Texas-grown Albahaca basil, all on a thin, crisp cornmeal crust. Sea salt and cracked black pepper..
Classic comfort food on cold and rainy day.
Organic macaroni, extra sharp Vermont white cheddar, extra sharp Wisconsin yellow cheddar, caramelized onions, heirloom garlic, smoked ham, roasted poblano peppers and local, pastured half & half. Seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and Piment d’Espelette, topped with fresh breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown and bubbly..
Split green and yellow peas simmered in vegetable stock with smoked pork neck bones, garden carrots, onions, celery and green beans, fresh bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and black pepper. Served with homemade croûtons and a dollop of crème fraîche..
For the Crème Fraîche
6 oz fresh heavy cream
2 oz cultured buttermilk
Gently heat heavy cream to 105 degrees (use a thermometer), then remove from heat and stir in buttermilk. Transfer to a glass jar, cover with a napkin and allow to stand at room temperature until thick, about 24-36 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator and age for 24 hours. Use within 7-10 days.
For the Vegetable Stock (recipe adapted from Gourmet magazine)
1/2 lb portabella mushrooms, caps and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shallots, left unpeeled, quartered
1 lb carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (including stems)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves (not California)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 qt water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss together mushrooms, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, parsley and thyme sprigs, garlic, and oil in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast in middle of oven, turning occasionally, until vegetables are golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer vegetables with slotted spoon to a tall narrow 6-quart stockpot. Set roasting pan across 2 burners, then add wine and deglaze pan by boiling over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Transfer to stockpot and add bay leaves, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Pour through a large fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on and discarding solids, then season with salt and pepper. Skim off fat. Use within 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
For the Soup
1 cup split green peas
1 cup split yellow peas
2 quarts homemade vegetable stock
1/2 pound smoked pork neck bones, meat attached
1-1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
1-1/2 cups celery with leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh green beans, coarsely chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pastured butter
3 fresh bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Bring vegetable stock to a boil, add pork neck bones and bay, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, skimming occasionally. Remove pork bones and allow to cool enough to handle. Add peas and thyme to the stock and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pull the meat from the pork bones, dice and add to the pot.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan set over medium heat. Add carrots and cook until almost soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery, onions, green beans and garlic, stir and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add to the pot, partially cover and simmer until the peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir lemon juice into soup to brighten, then season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Discard bay leaves. Serve soup piping hot with croûtons and crème fraîche.