...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Help, Gumbo and Betweenity

pre-post:  well...ok.  one correction.  ;)
If you followed me, you could puzzle out what it was, but it wouldn't be enough to get me to follow, and I am grinning as much as I hope you are.

There is a piece of me that does not want to post this, but the blog that started all this, whatever "this" turns out to be, was a promise to the Best to be truthful about what It Created me to Be, so i give truth, now, as much and as often as i remember how.  I am to the point in my life where I need help in the sense that the woefully disparaging expression "it's hard to find good help" should have been meant. I hope it was meant that way.  I completely mean it that way.
The bag of stories that make up "my life" have become so much that I have had to find someone to do the things I want to but cannot do and still do the things I  must do:
Keep my home the way it should be kept.

The part of me that doesn't want to post this says,
"That's not true. You could stop doing this. You could get up earlier. You could stop reading. Dancing is not exercise."
Ah... that I recognize and it's always the same thing.
It's the voice that judges. 
The voice that judges is merciless, 
but it is not me.
 and I do not believe it because it,
It is another lie.  
Lying is so little fun and the wild ride of truth is beyond anything I could have imaged it To Be..

Tomorrow is the last post of/from blogspot and I'm only doing that one last final  tango because it's my birthday and there are some people I want to thank.

After that.....come here.

Today... I give 
....to share, to freeze, to give away to/for 20 starving people or 40 people who want to eat.
The good news is that this recipe can be reduced if you have basic math skills.

 Most of all, for my mother, because the thanking starts there and because she deserves a beach of her very own:
  • 4 T oil that collects on the top of the roux or rendered bacon fat
  • 5 c. chopped celery
  • 4 c. chopped green pepper
  • 4 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 T. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground allspice

Place the fat in a very large dutch oven until it's almost smoking then add  all other ingredients.  You want some color on this so depending on your stove and pan, allow it to sit until the vegetables on the very bottom being to caramelize a bit.  Continue to cook until the vegetables are sweated and the bottom of the pan has begun is begging you to deglaze it.  
  • 8 c. chicken stock
Deglaze the pan until all the browned bits that were previously stuck to the bottom have now loosened into a rich broth.
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes ( and don't tell anyone I told you to do this... it borders on heresy)
Allow the mixture to simmer on low while you do the following in a heavy skillet.

  • 3 strips of thick cut slab bacon ( find an honest to God butcher ) or 1/3 lb. regular bacon diced.
  • 2 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and take out the solids. Set aside.   Cut the chicken thighs into comfortable mouthsized pieces and cook in the bacon fat until they're browned.  Set aside.  in the same skillet brown and set aside:

  • 3lbs Polish beef kielbasa
 Add the meats to the vegetables and add:
  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup of roux
Allow to simmer for three hours on the lowest temperature that will produce a simmer. Stoves differ so that's as specific as I can get.   Add more water if you need to to create a broth that's about "stew" consistency then add:

  • 2 20ounce bags of frozen okra
Return the soup to a boil and add

  • 3lbs shrimp ( tailed and deveined and yes it is a royal pain the arse )
  • 1 lb. scallops (optional and not entirely traditional but we like the occasional surprise of sweetness
Continue to cook on low and while the shrimp and scallops become opaque, in the skillet you used to cook the chicken and sausage slowly cook

  • 1 lb good lump crab meat
To serve, top the gumbo, with a scoop of the cooked crab meat, chopped green onions and put some Tabasco on the table.  That's all it needs, but steamed white rice and crusty French bread have their place too... you'll have to use them the way you see fit..

no proofreading because it's all okay, even the ink splots, the typos, the guesswork and the stretch marks....  je t'aime toujour, Maman.


  1. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! But I'm confused: was it on Sunday or is it today? Either way, I hope it was/has been a great one.

    Secondly, I'm so excited to go back and read through your old posts. Thanks for putting up that link.

  2. I have always wanted to make Gumbo, and as this recipe looks sensational, your Gumbo will be my first Gumbo. Maybe this weekend?!?

  3. Jeff,
    it was yesterday and it was good all the way around. thank you!

  4. JJ,
    one thing I should mention is that you can continue to add stock or water until it gets to the consistency you like. A lot of the thickening factor depends on how much starch is left in the roux. The darker the roux, the less it can thicken and I get mine pretty dark, but if yours isn't, then you may have to keep adding stock/water to get it where you want it to be.

  5. this looks great-- I never made gumbo because I never wanted to make shrimp/seafood stock and most recipes call for it-- but chicken stock I can do!! Yay!!

  6. Lesa,
    We literally ate the last of it tonight with left over lamb curry made in the pressure cooker. Sounds weird, but it worked together. The gumbo freezes REALLY well and there's something to be said for cooking once and eating often. In this case, if the roux and the other ingredients are right, the stock won't matter that much.


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