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April 4, 2014

food52:

If you can’t stand the heat, step away from the gumbo. 

Read more: The History of Gumbo on Food52.

And now all I want for lunch is gumbo….

Three-day labor-of-love gumbo, that is (and nothing else will do).

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November 7, 2012

Last night we served miracle hurricane gumbo and I’m not saying it won the election for us but I’m not not saying it either. 
What makes it a miracle?
It miraculously survived Sandy.* She tried to claim it with her nefarious freezer-killing ways but it wouldn’t give in and it wouldn’t give up! (It was leftover in our freezer from this party.)
M. had the idea to serve it with traditional creamy Parmesan risotto. 
I admit I was horrified. 
Sacrilege! I cried.
(I may have also accused him of trying to take the attention away from “my” gumbo, never mind that we made it together….)
One bite, though, and I got it.
"We’re serving this at our restaurant some day!" I told him.
"Told ya so!" he told me. (Love, amiright?)
It’s especially wonderful plated side by side, as Elizabeth did in the photo above. That way you can mix them together bite by delicious bite.
Gumbo and risotto. Get into it.
* Not strictly a miracle.

Last night we served miracle hurricane gumbo and I’m not saying it won the election for us but I’m not not saying it either. 

What makes it a miracle?

It miraculously survived Sandy.* She tried to claim it with her nefarious freezer-killing ways but it wouldn’t give in and it wouldn’t give up! (It was leftover in our freezer from this party.)

M. had the idea to serve it with traditional creamy Parmesan risotto. 

I admit I was horrified. 

Sacrilege! I cried.

(I may have also accused him of trying to take the attention away from “my” gumbo, never mind that we made it together….)

One bite, though, and I got it.

"We’re serving this at our restaurant some day!" I told him.

"Told ya so!" he told me. (Love, amiright?)

It’s especially wonderful plated side by side, as Elizabeth did in the photo above. That way you can mix them together bite by delicious bite.

Gumbo and risotto. Get into it.

* Not strictly a miracle.

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February 21, 2012

Almost forgot to post the traditional standing-awkwardly-with-an-extremely-heavy-and-hot-pot-of-gumbo photo. Ah, fluorescent lighting. (See also.)

Almost forgot to post the traditional standing-awkwardly-with-an-extremely-heavy-and-hot-pot-of-gumbo photo. Ah, fluorescent lighting. (See also.)

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February 21, 2012

Making (and eating) gumbo and red beans and rice in 16 steps, from one-hour roux to a satisfying bowl of leftovers. (Note the bloody mary for the cook. Very important step.)
Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Making (and eating) gumbo and red beans and rice in 16 steps, from one-hour roux to a satisfying bowl of leftovers. (Note the bloody mary for the cook. Very important step.)

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

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February 15, 2012

(Pre-)Top Chef dinner while we prep for the gumbo party and I hook M on The Voice :) … black kale Caesar and orecchiette with broccoli rabe from Frank’s.

PS: Get a load of that King Cake! Yes sir, that’s my baby.

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February 6, 2012

Advance gumbo planning. Comparing my tried and true Creole recipe with Chef Link’s Cajun take (he’s the genius behind Cochon). I’m splitting the difference — no tomatoes (I learned my lesson from Mandie — or should I say, her grandma), which I believe is the Cajun way, but I’m using okra instead of filé powder, which I believe is the Creole way. (It helps that my grandma never made gumbo a day in her life. I can make it up as I go along without fear of disappointing my ancestors.)
In the pot goes shellfish stock, chicken stock, shrimp, crab, chicken, homemade Andouille sausage, ham, hambones, bacon, the Holy Trinity, and lots and lots of salt and spices. I like a mixed bag.
And then there’s the roux. Mine is made with butter, not vegetable oil like Link’s (but that’s ‘cause he likes it almost-black, darker than you can get a butter roux). I like mine deep chestnut brown. M. had some crazy Modernist Cuisine method he was trying to get me to use but I said no thank you. There are some things you don’t mess with.

Advance gumbo planning. Comparing my tried and true Creole recipe with Chef Link’s Cajun take (he’s the genius behind Cochon). I’m splitting the difference — no tomatoes (I learned my lesson from Mandie — or should I say, her grandma), which I believe is the Cajun way, but I’m using okra instead of filé powder, which I believe is the Creole way. (It helps that my grandma never made gumbo a day in her life. I can make it up as I go along without fear of disappointing my ancestors.)

In the pot goes shellfish stock, chicken stock, shrimp, crab, chicken, homemade Andouille sausage, ham, hambones, bacon, the Holy Trinity, and lots and lots of salt and spices. I like a mixed bag.

And then there’s the roux. Mine is made with butter, not vegetable oil like Link’s (but that’s ‘cause he likes it almost-black, darker than you can get a butter roux). I like mine deep chestnut brown. M. had some crazy Modernist Cuisine method he was trying to get me to use but I said no thank you. There are some things you don’t mess with.

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January 9, 2012

The last couple days I have had the strongest hankering to make gumbo. I mean I can’t get it out of my head! Time and again I’ve found myself drifting off, images of crabs and Andouille sausages and chestnut-brown roux dancing in my head. (No surprise there, given I’m mainly subsisting on juice and ThinkThin bars in preparation for Eat Chicago 2012.)

I haven’t made gumo in two years and that’s just wrong. Wrong!

So.

It had been decided.

Saturday, February 18th. Mark your calendars, my friends.

(Photos of gumbo parties in 2010 and 2008.)

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April 22, 2011

The idea behind working out extra-hard and following a baby food diet the weeks before our Nola trip was pretty simple: arrive small, go home big. And go home big we did.
After a day spent bidding farewell to my parents, hanging out with old friends, and wandering from Magazine Street to the levee, Audubon Park, my old college neighborhood, and back, we pulled out all the stops for the final meal: is it fried, rich, and smothered in sauce? We’ll take it!
At Frankie and Johnny's, an Uptown institution that looks like a roadhouse, jukebox and all, we shared boudin balls and fried alligator strips (tastes like chicken). Mandie and Andrea had oyster po-boys, Peter had the red beans and rice, M. had the seafood platter (all-fried, duh), and I had gumbo with a turkey po-boy (dressed, double duh). 
I know it’s weird to choose turkey over oyster but I’d already had my fix and what can I say? I like all kinds of boys: rich, po, oyster, and otherwise.
I’m gonna miss you, Nola. ‘Til next time….

The idea behind working out extra-hard and following a baby food diet the weeks before our Nola trip was pretty simple: arrive small, go home big. And go home big we did.

After a day spent bidding farewell to my parents, hanging out with old friends, and wandering from Magazine Street to the levee, Audubon Park, my old college neighborhood, and back, we pulled out all the stops for the final meal: is it fried, rich, and smothered in sauce? We’ll take it!

At Frankie and Johnny's, an Uptown institution that looks like a roadhouse, jukebox and all, we shared boudin balls and fried alligator strips (tastes like chicken). Mandie and Andrea had oyster po-boys, Peter had the red beans and rice, M. had the seafood platter (all-fried, duh), and I had gumbo with a turkey po-boy (dressed, double duh). 

I know it’s weird to choose turkey over oyster but I’d already had my fix and what can I say? I like all kinds of boys: rich, po, oyster, and otherwise.

I’m gonna miss you, Nola. ‘Til next time….

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April 20, 2010

Fried green tomatoes with remoulade, hush puppies with herb butter (‘cause nothing goes with fried food better than butter!), 3 pounds of crawfish with spicy mushrooms, corn, and potatoes, seafood and Andouille sausage gumbo, 1 oyster and shrimp po-boy, 1 soft-shell crab po-boy, 2 servings North Carolina-style coleslaw, fried okra, corn pudding, red beans & rice, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Oh and 2 Abita Restoration Ales, 3 Abita Strawberry Harvests, and 3 Abita Lights. Total was something like $160 for 4 people. Not New Orleans prices and not New Orleans quality but a damn fine substitute for this Yankee.

04.19.2010, 8 pm. Mara’s Homemade. East Village, NYC.

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January 25, 2010

Gumbo A-Geaux-Geaux

So what WAS I doing? Only throwing an awesome party, thankyouverymuch.

As you know, the star attraction was gumbo (and M. was MVP). We’ve been cooking for days. Here’s the play-by-play:

On Friday night, Pinchy went in the pot … soon to be joined by her sister Grabby. Then we made shellfish stock with their shells plus shrimp shells.

The traditional assembling of ingredients.

The roux begins…

…and 45 very anxious minutes later achieves the proper shade of deep brown. I should have remembered this from last time. Yesterday, I went into a mild panic at about 3:30 pm, convinced the gumbo wouldn’t thicken in time and I’d have the shame hang over my head for years to come. But of course it did — just as it did before.

Success! Just look at those bulging biceps. ;)

A good gumbo should have a little bit of everything in every bite.

The spread, which included authentic queso — melted Velveeta with RO*TEL. A much-loved Texas recipe that Chris learned in college. So wrong it has to be right.

M. made wonderful hapa-style fried okra — coated in panko and served with a kewpie and ssamjang dipping sauce.

First quarter and all is quiet on the Northern front.

But not for long … I love Liz, Andrea, and Peter’s faces in this one.

No, Julie was NOT a Kappa!

Not everyone digs football. We welcome all kinds.

***

So the question now is … what do we do for the Superbowl? I must admit I was worried the Saints wouldn’t make it, so I took the opportunity to make gumbo for the play-offs (and it was of course perfect that they played my home team).

But now what? Two gumbos in two weeks is a bit much, even for me. Maybe we go in an entirely different direction. Maybe … bo ssäm?

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