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Good 'ol Gumbo

Posted Aug 11 2008 9:04pm
"In the dead-of-night hours, the French Quarter in New Orleans... Tourists who walked near Jackson Park in the late hours walked quickly... it was that very closeness to the unknown, wrapped in the history of the old town, that brought them back the following year. Brought them back to the parties, back to the great Cajun cooking…” Smith, Dean Wesley. X-Men: The Jewels of Cyttorak. New York: Berkley (1997); pg. 13.

Great, indeed. Anything and everything I’ve tasted regarding New Orleans cuisine has satisfied me deep within. For everyone, it may not be, as people vary with heat tolerance and uh cholesterol but its mighty fine. I can’t wait for the day I’ll be able to savor real Cajun and Creole dishes. Unfortunately, Gumbo isn’t one of them nor, er, any heavy gravy-ed items since a roux would be utilized. Ah, well, no matter. I know there’s something in NOLA waiting for me. In the mean time, I shall continue to cook up gumbo and jambalaya for no tomorrow. I mean I guess I’m good since I got my boyfriend and his father to eat tofu jambalaya without any complaints and those two are serious carnivores. Next time, I’m making gumbo with shrimp and chicken; chorizo is too expensive and I don’t own a smoker..although there are other ways in making tasso.

Gosh darn it, I’m still craving pork!

Seafood Gumbo
2 oz of mini shrimp
6 large sea scallops, cut in chunks (I had monsters!)
1 celery stalk, diced fine
1 small pepper, diced, or 1/3 cup diced bell
1 small onion, quartered and chopped or 1/3 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped okra
1 cup stock
½ cup diced tomatoes (optional - not all gumbos have tomatoes but I like it in there)
½ cup water
2 scallions, cut thin and tops saved
2 tbsp Creole spice blend
3 dried bay leaves
A palm full of dried garlic flakes, crushed
2 tbsp chopped parsley
A few dashes of hot sauce and Braggs or gluten free Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp mixed in 1 tbsp water

In a medium pot, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Saute the trinity - peppers, onions, and celery. Add 1 tbsp of Creole spice, tomatoes and water. Cook until the tomatoes break down. Add stock, last tablespoon of seasoning, bay leaves, garlic, Braggs or Worcestershire sauce, and okra. Cover and cook for ten-fifteen minutes.
After the time is up, add the shrimp, scallops, scallions, 1 tbsp of parsley, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the shrimp becomes pink. Take off the heat, stir in the cornstarch slurry until thickened.
Plate with rice, garnish with last tablespoon of parsley and serve with bread if desired.
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