Sunday, March 29, 2009

Evan's Gumbo

It's live blogging time here (though I won't publish until we're all done). Evan is making gumbo right now to a rapt audience of a toddler and I'm finally going to capture the recipe! Elspeth quickly mastered the word 'gumbo' last time we had it and would scream it gleefully every meal. Now she has pirated an enormous quantity of ham and keeps calling for more. 'HAM!' she exhorts.

This may be the number one family favorite. One batch makes enough for 4 or 5 nights of dinner for our family, served with the Cajun Adaptation of Baked Brown Rice. It also freezes really well. This week, we'll be alternating gumbo with Roasted Squash 'Foup', which I made this time with red lentils for the best texture ever. Amazingly, neither of these meals has ground greens in it, but both would not be harmed by them!

We've taken to keeping ham and okra in the freezer so we can easily make this dish. We may have to buy celery and green peppers at the store. This summer, I'll buy green peppers from the farmers' market to freeze, as I did with the red, orange and yellow last year.

INGREDIENTS
1 TBSP (sweet) paprika
1/2-1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBSP oil
2 pkg okra, thawed (1 lb each--we use frozen since it's nearly impossible to get fresh)
3 c. onions (approx 2 onions), diced
2 c. green pepper, diced (approx 1-2 peppers)
2 c. celery, diced (approx 4-6 ribs)
4 bay leaves
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb ham
1 1/2 lb smoked andouille sausage (we have started using smoked kielbasa to make it toddler-friendly)
8 c. chicken stock (ours is homemade unsalted--be careful of salt if using storebought)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix all of the spices together in small bowl and set aside
  2. Heat a 7 qt. Dutch oven over medium and add the oil
  3. Once the oil is hot, add one package of okra
  4. Saute the okra until soft
  5. Add the onions, pepper and celery and continue saute until soft
  6. Add remaining ingredients; bring the gumbo to a boil
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour
  8. To serve, put some Cajun brown rice in a bowl and ladle over a generous serving of gumbo

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