Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Makin Gumbo With The Boys

Few things are more Cajun than Gumbo. No trip down to New Orleans would be complete without a bowl of the hearty stew. There are probably more variations on how to make it than alligators in the swamps. We chose a seafood and sausage version.
Ok well snow crab legs probably isn't the norm but all is fair game. Too bad we didn't have some gator or some frog legs.

Let me introduce you to my cohorts in the evening's fun. We met over at Jon Littman's house. Quite a guy, took one for the team in Nam and got a purple heart. He keeps the scar covered with his pants. I'm certain it was a pain in the butt at the time. In his early days he rode a killer whale in a water park, now he rides a Harley.
The other guest celebrity chef for The Pilot's Palate is John Oliver. Jon is a horticultural degree packing all around great guy. Works for the cities water works. After all nothing will grow in Denton Texas unless you dump alot of water on it. So this really is his "field." in all seriousness he has a couple of great gardens. He is also my chief consultant for my vineyard...
Although not a requirement technically speaking to make a good authentic gumbo you have to at least keep a glass of wine half full!

You can substitute beer at this point too!
Oops, I need a top off!

Anyway we gathered at Jon's kitchen about 6pm. We glanced at a recipe and he showed the ingredients. Then it was time to get chopping and peeling.
First off we de-capitated and peeled the shrimp. You save the heads and peelings. We did the same thing to the body part of the crab.
We gathered up all the heads and stuff and put it in a pot to boil. Taking the good stuff to the refrigerator for temporary storage to be added at the end of the cooking.

We then hit the sausages. We used 3 different kinds slicing them into bite size circles. Get creative with the sausages looking for some Cajun kind.
We then browned them in a skillet.
While they browned we cut up okra. We used a pint container but I think proportionately we could have doubled it.
After taking the browned sausages out we browned the okra.
Next the onions celery, and garlic were sauted. Mean while we took a jar of prepared rue and meltd some down thinning it with our stock. It was a rue pre maid rue specifically made for gumbo. It had a beautiful dark brown color and full flavor of the slow scorched flour.
The shells were taken out of the stock and the marriage was about to occur. The union of this glorious food.
Several fresh bay leaves were put into the gumbo and then we let it simmer for an hour. Mean while we kicked back building a ferocious appetite while telling stories of our golden youth. Well at least tin can youth!

At last it was time to add the craw dads, shrimp, and crab! After another 10 or 15 minutes. It was at last ready to be put over a bed of rice.
Keep the pot stirred until the chickens come home to roost!

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