I’m not claiming authenticity here. I mean, this has the elements of a classic gumbo, but then I took a bit of a turn with adding bloody mary mix. I like the ease of it, and it tastes good.
There is a short window of time here on the Central Coast where hot stew-like foods coexist with the harvest of okra. That window is now. While our days are still warm, our mornings and overnights are cool enough to crave the warm embrace of this spicy gumbo. And this is spicy. If you find it a bit overwhelming for you, dial back the additional cayenne, and add a dash or two of vinegar in place of the tabasco. You can also dilute a bit more with the chicken stock. If it really, really is too much, add a bit of yogurt or sour cream to your individual bowl to draw the spice back a bit; authentic, no, but we’ve already established that.
My gumbo spice mix is Emeril’s spice mix from his New Orleans’s Cooking book, with just an addition or two on my part. It’s a nice spice to keep around to add a bit of oomph to soups or even baked chicken.
2 TBS Chili Spice & Paprika
1 TBS Ground Coriander, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, & Black Pepper
Mix and keep in an airtight container
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1 1/2 LBS Boneless/Skinless Chicken cut into cubes (I use a mixture of thigh and breast)
2 CUPS Chicken Stock
2 TBS Gumbo Spice
4 Andouille Sausage links–cut crosswise into pieces
1/4 cup flour
2 CUPS sliced okra (fresh or frozen)
1 Medium Onion–chopped
3 Stalks Celery–chopped
1 Green Pepper–chopped
3 Cloves Garlic–chopped
14 oz can Diced Tomatoes–undrained (or the equivalent of diced in-season tomatoes)
1 cup Mr & Mrs T’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup Scallions–sliced
2 tsp (or more) Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
2-4 Dashes Tabasco
Cooked Steamed Rice to Serve
Brown the sausage in a little bit of olive oil. Keeping the heat on medium, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and add the chicken pieces. Cook until browned on all sides, then sprinkle with the Gumbo Spice. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and add to the sausage. Add more oil to the fat in the pan resulting in about 1/4 cup in total. Staying on medium-high heat, add the flour and stir until the mixture reaches a medium-brown hue. When it is brown turn off the heat and quickly add okra, onions, garlic, celery, and green pepper. Allow the sizzling to stop, then add chicken stock, stir while scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add Mr & Mrs T’s, tomatoes, green onions, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add back the chicken and sausage and let simmer for at least an hour. The longer it simmers the better. Taste for salt and spice level; adjust as necessary
Serve with or without rice, and add Tabasco as desired.
Every year we grow pumpkins and squash in our gardens. It is always a bit of a
This past year we had good success with the Boston Marrow Squash. It is big and orange like a pumpkin, but it is not round and begging to be carved for
The Boston Marrow was once a very popular variety which was sold commercially. Its flesh is a bit dry and sweet. I believe it is in the
Our root cellar is not quite finished, so we have been storing our squash and pumpkins on the back porch. I do not recommend this. It is actually a horrible idea. My hope is that I will get through them all before the hand of time takes them away from me (or even worse, those dreaded squirrels).
I wish I had an actual recipe for you…but I never measure and I use what I have on hand. Hopefully, you will feel inspired to do the same.
Here is how it went:
Peel and cut about your squash (or pumpkin) into 1/2″ size cubes–about 3 cups…but as many cups as you would like. I like to match the number of cups of squash to cups of stock (or water). For every 3 cups of squash, finely dice 1/4 of an onion and 1 garlic clove.
In a stockpot, put enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Toss in the onion and garlic and slowly cook until they are soft. If you see them starting to brown, add a bit of stock or water (an ounce or two) to stop the cooking. Stir in 2-3 Tbs curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin & 1/2 tsp paprika. Let the paste get a bit cooked. Add to this the squash and give it a nice stir. Add your stock/broth/water to cover the squash. Grate 1/4 of an apple into the mixture (more if you’d like a bit more sweetness). Cook until everything is soft.
Remove from heat and run the mixture through a blender or use an emersion stick to fully puree the mixture. At this
Rinse your stockpot and then put it back on the stove and pour your puree back in. Turn the heat on low. This is where you start futzing. Add a tsp or so of Braggs, a little black pepper, additional curry powder if you think it needs it. Salt if it needs it. If it is too thick, add more stock/water…if it is too runny, let it cook a bit to reduce.
To Top: put some olive oil in a small saucepan…maybe 1/4 cup. Toss in a tsp of curry powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes a handful of dried onions, or fresh onions, or onion powder and a handful of pignoli nuts. Cook until hot and the flavors are melded.
To serve: Put the soup in a bowl and top with your delicious curry pignoli oil. Ta Da!