Friday, April 23, 2010

Gumbo is On! It's Time For Jazz Fest

It's that time. New Orleans Jazz Fest. Damn I miss Louisiana.

In honor of my dear friends who are getting ready to make their way down to the Fairgrounds, I give you my one and only gumbo recipe.... which I promise will rival and/or defeat any bowl you'll have in the Big Easy! You can hang in your own, air conditioned home and enjoy the tastes of jazz fest.

Grab your ingredients, turn up your jazz and get to cooking.

Andre's Gumbo Like I Like It

4-5 Quarts Chicken Stock
4 pounds frozen okra (you can use fresh, but you'll never know the difference)
1 lrg can of diced tomatoes (drain off some of the juice)
1 regular can of diced tomatoes
2 large white onions, diced fine (yellow are OK, too)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped garlic, fine
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
3⁄4 cup all purpose flour
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoon of lea and perrin’s
2 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
1 1⁄2 tablespoons of creole seasoning (Emerils or Tony’s)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
2-3 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley, fine
4 pounds peeled medium shrimp
Chopped green onions

In a separate pot, heat 3 tbl vegetable oil, and sauté white onions. Add garlic, frozen okra and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, stir well, and cook over medium low heat until tender (at least an hour, if not longer). Okra should be very tender and want to break up. In a large stockpot, heat oil (¾ cup) and add flour to make roux. Stir constantly over medium heat, making sure not to burn. Bring to desired color… peanut butter color is recommended for best flavor. Once desired color is reached, whisk in chicken stock, 4 qts first and save the rest if needed (chicken base dissolved in water can also be used , but NOT bullion). Add seasonings (wet and dry) and kitchen bouquet for desired color. Add okra mixture and bring to boil. Reduce to low simmer, and cook for 1 1⁄2 hours. Last half hour, add shrimp and parsley and simmer and very low temp, not to overcook shrimp. Serve in bowls, topped with a scoop of cooked long grain rice and top with sprinkle of green onion.
Gumbo is best if cooked day before. Make sure to cool completely before storing in fridge.

Andre’s Lagnaippe: Keep in mind, each and every pot of gumbo is different... but one thing will never change. It will taste better tomorrow.