Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Gumbo Day

By Diane Forrest,

Laissez les bons temps rouler (Pronounced:(Lay say lay bohn tohn roo lay) is French meaning Let the Good Times Roll.  If you have ever been to New Orleans, Louisiana you will have heard this saying on more than one occasion.  New Orleans is famous for many things, Mardi Gras, partying and good food.  The residents of New Orleans and most of the rest of Louisiana are called Cajun. They have developed their own style of cooking and it includes a lot of spice.  You may have seen Emeril Lagasse cook on television.  He is from New Orleans and is known for "Kicking it up a notch".

I live just a few miles from Louisiana, just across the Mississippi, and while I am not Cajun, my mother's side of the family all came from Louisiana, and settled on the Mississippi coast.  One of the benefits from living on the coast was access to fresh seafood.  So my grandmother's specialty was shrimp gumbo.  I'm telling you this because today is National Gumbo Day.

I may have mentioned before that my expertise in cooking is pretty much nonexistent.  In fact I just made my first pot of rice last week.  But in honor of this day I decided to try out my grandmother's recipe for Gumbo.  The recipe is pretty easy, but the most important ingredient is the Roux.

Roux is a thickening agent for soups or stew.  It is just cooked flour with a little butter mixed in.  You melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2/3 cup of flour and heat it in the pan until it looks like coco powder.  Once you have it right, then just add the rest of the ingredients.  I even saw a cookbook titled "Can you make Roux" while researching for this article.

While it is not difficult to make, you can buy it premade.  Once you have added all the ingredients, you pour it over rice and eat with corn bread or crackers.

I have a friend who recently went to Louisiana to get fresh shrimp and crabs, and he was nice enough to give me his recipe and a picture of his gumbo.  I am also sharing my granny's secret recipe too, just don’t tell my daddy!

Gumbo can be made with any kind of meat, but the kind I use is shrimp and sausage.  You can also use chicken, crab or even beef.

So celebrate Gumbo Day by making a pot for yourself and Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Bob's Gumbo Recipe
  • 3 onions (chopped)
  • celery( 2-3 stalks, chopped)
  • two cans mild rotel
  • shrimp
  • (2lb), deer sausage and regular sausage
  • 5 or 6 whole boiled eggs
  • okra 1 package
  • 1 jar of roux
  • Crab claws (optional)
  • cooked rice

  • First boil celery and onion in 6 - 8 cups of water
  • add roux
  • season it up  with salt pepper and garlic
  • Add tomatoes, eggs and meat
  • what gives it the taste is the deer sausage
  • put okra in last after cooking it in a seperate pot
  • Let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, serve over rice

Granny’s Gumbo Recipe
  • 2/3 C Flour
  • 3-4 pods Garlic
  • 2 TBS Shortening
  • 2 tsp. File’
  • 1 Can Rotel Tomatoes
  • salt& pepper
  • 1 Pk. Okra
  • 1 lb. Sausage ( I use Smokey Hollow links, sliced)
  • 1 lrg. Onion
  • 3 lbs. shrimp
  • 2 stalks celery

  • Brown flour and shortening until real dark – add onions, garlic, and celery and saut√©. Spread roux to sides and put okra in center and add Rotel tomatoes. 
  • Stir until okra loses its slick. Let cook 15-20 minutes and add sausage. 
  • Put mixture into 2 quarts of boiling water and add shrimp. 
  • Let cook 20 minutes then add file’.

(My daddy uses butter instead of shortening, and doesn't use file')

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