Friday, August 24, 2007


Many Cajuns add potato salad to their gumbo and eat it with or without rice. Have you ever heard of this? I only recently have, I’m not sure where , but I’ve heard of this. We haven’t ever tried it, probably should.

Gumbo is one of those things. Either ya know it or ya don’t. You can cook or ya can’t. Look at all this on gumbo :

  • Gumbo, a spicy, hearty stew or soup.
  • Gumbois another name of the vegetable okra, also known as bhindi or lady’s fingers.
  • Gumbo, a particularly sticky form of clay till. Gumbo (mascot), the mascot dog of the New Orleans Saints
  • Dr. John’s Gumbo, an album by Dr. John
  • Gumbo, the clay-rich and hard to work soil of Southern Manitoba
  • Gumbo is the surname of the family in the comic strip Rose Is Rose.
  • Comic Gumbo is Japan’s first ever free weekly manga magazine.

Now to me Gumbo is a lot of stuff, some of the things from the list above and some stuff that makes “my gumbo”, “my gumbo” well that would be “our gumbo”.

Let’s see, gumbo defiantly means Mardi Gras. Gumbo also means 30 minute roux or 2 beers consumed slowly. It also means the “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onions. It means you better have a lot of homemade chicken stock on hand. Gumbo means at least double the recipe, dumb ass. Christmas Gumbo means oysters and chicken.

Gumbo is best after a few days, whenever I make it I try to not pay attention to it, just ignore it and cook it and put it away for a few days and then eat it. I usually have to have something else to eat while I cook the Gumbo , so as not to think about eating the Gumbo I am cooking.

Here is a loose outline for 50 cups of Gumbo. You know what you like , so work it in to this recipe, sausage, chopped chicken, crab bodies are great cooked down in Gumbo. My Grandma Hartley used to always have crab bodies in her Gumbo. I remember Grandma Hartley had Gumbo often. I bet she had it on the table at least 2 days a week. It was regular at their house.

3 lbs shrimp cleaned

2 cup celery

4 cups onion chopped

1 cup bell pepper chopped

2 gallons fresh chicken broth (or use what ya got, slacker)

salt / pepper

2 cups roux ( take cup of Wesson oil and a cup of flour and cook it in a cast iron dutch over or heavy duty stock pot for about 20 - 30 minutes or until looks like peanut-butter, cook it hot but slow)

So do your roux and as it finishes add celery, onions, and bell peppers and cook til onions are clear, about 15-20 minutes.

Then add hot chicken stock and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Then add shrimp, oysters, chicken, sausage or whatever ya want and cook for another 20 minutes.

At this point you can always think about adding something like file, crab boil, or Zatarans is good.

You have got to let this cool for a long time uncovered and stir it every once in awhile otherwise it will “sour”.

So put it away for a day or two and when ya go to serve it, cook some rice to layer the Gumbo on.

You could just serve it on tater salad.

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