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      La Belle Cuisine

Gumbo Galaxy

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

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Although no dish better defines New Orleans cooking than seafood
gumbo, there are probably as many gumbos as there are cooks.
~ Ti Adelaide Martin, "Commander's Kitchen"

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La Belle Cuisine


Paul Prudhomme's
Seafood Filé Gumbo

Chef Prudhomme's
Louisiana Kitchen

by Paul Prudhomme, 1984,
William Morrow and Co., Inc.

 “Gumbo is a Cajun soup almost always containing a cooked roux and sometimes thickened with okra or gumbo filé*; it usually contains a variety of vegetables
and meats or seafood and is served over rice. Many people top their gumbo with gumbo filé*.
“You can substitute pieces of fish for any or all of the seafood in this recipe. Be
sure to use margarine instead of butter, because margarine is oilier and seems to conduct more heat. The extra heat, plus the additional oil, develops the gumbo
filé to a more desirable taste, texture and color. Upon reaching a temperature
above 140 degrees F, however, the oil separates out and rises to the surface.
Some people prefer to skim the oil off before serving.
If the gumbo is made in advance, do not add the seafood. When ready to serve,
bring the gumbo to a rapid boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and add the sea-
food. Immediately cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the pot stand covered
6 to 10 minutes.”

Makes 4 main-dish or 8 appetizer servings

1 pound medium shrimp with heads and shells (see Note)
5 cups Basic Seafood Stock (recipe follows)

Seasoning mix:
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 bay leaf, crumbled

3/4 cup margarine (not butter)
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
3 tablespoons gumbo filé (file powder) *
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/4 cups canned tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups, packed, crab meat (picked over),
about 1/2 pound
1 dozen oysters in their liquor
(about 1/2 pound), optional
1 1/3 cups hot cooked rice

* An herb of ground young sassafras leaves often used
as a flavoring or thickener in… Cajun dishes.

Note: If shrimp with heads and shells are not available, use 1/2 pound
shrimp without heads but with shells and substitute other seafood
ingredients for the shrimp heads in making the seafood stock.

Peel shrimp, rinse and drain well, and use the heads and shells to make seafood stock; refrigerate shrimp until ready to use.
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. In a
4-quart heavy soup pot, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers.
Turn heat to high and stir in the gumbo filé, Tabasco, garlic and seasoning mix. Cook 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and stir
in the tomato sauce; continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (Dur-
ing this time, the mixture will begin sticking to the pan bottom. As it does
so, continually scrape pan bottom well with a spoon. The scrapings not
only add to the gumbo's flavor, but also decrease the gumbo filé's ability
to thicken.) Add the stock and bring the gumbo to a boil; reduce heat and
simmer [uncovered] 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the
shrimp, crabmeat and oysters (if desired); cover and turn off the heat.
Leave pot covered just until seafood is poached, about 6 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
For a main course, place about 1/3 cup of rice in each bowl and top with about 1 cup gumbo. For an appetizer, serve about half that amount.

Basic Seafood Stock

To Make 1 Quart of Basic Stock:

About 2 quarts cold water
Vegetable trimmings from the recipe(s) you are serving, or
1 medium onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 large clove garlic, unpeeled and quartered
1 rib celery
…shells or carcasses from seafood used in the
recipe(s) you’re cooking, or
For Seafood Stock: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds rinsed
shrimp heads and/or shells,
or crawfish heads and/or shells, or crab shells
(2 1/2 to 3 quarts), or rinsed fish carcasses
(heads and gills removed), or oyster liquor or
any combination of these

Note: If desired, you can first roast meat bones and vegetables at 350
degrees F until thoroughly browned. Then use them to make your
basic stock. (When you brown bones and vegetables, the natural
sugar in both caramelizes on the surface, which gives the stock a
fuller taste and adds color when it dissolves in the stock water.)

Always start with cold water – enough to cover the other stock ingredients. Place all ingredients in a stock pot or a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then gently simmer at least 4 hours, preferably 8 (unless other-
wise directed in a recipe), replenishing the water as needed to keep about
1 quart of liquid in the pan. The pot may be uncovered or set a lid on it
askew. Strain, cool, and refrigerate until ready to use. (Note: Remember
that if you are short on time, using a stock simmered 20 to 30 minutes
is far better than using just water in any recipe.)


Gumbo Z'Herbes
Tom Fitzmorris

“The name is a contraction of "gumbo aux herbes." As the name implies, it's
made with greens, and it's very different from any other kind of gumbo. The
more different greens, the better the gumbo z'herbes. Another tradition is that
you must have an odd number of greens in there for luck, and that whatever
the number is will be duplicated during the year in the number of new friends
you'll make.
More gumbo z'herbes is served during Holy Week than all the rest of the year combined. Depending on family tradition, one cooked gumbo z'herbes on either Holy Thursday or Good Friday. This recipe comes from Leah Chase [Dooky
Chase, New Orleans], who makes gumbo z'herbes every Holy Thursday, and
sells many pots of it. She uses quite a bit of meat. Other cooks affirm that
there should be no meat in gumbo z'herbes; the purists say there shouldn't
even be seafood.”
The Dooky Chase Cookbook

1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch turnips with greens
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch beet tops
1 bunch carrot tops
1/2 head lettuce
1/2 head cabbage
1 bunch spinach
2 medium onions finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 pound smoked sausage
1 pound smoked ham
1 pound chaurice (hot sausage)
pound boneless brisket
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon filé powder

1. Clean all vegetables, making sure to pick out bad leaves and rinse away
all grit. Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain the vegetables
but save the water. Chop all the vegetables fine.
2. Cut all meats and sausages into bite-size pieces. In a 12- quart stockpot place all meats except chaurice, plus two cups reserved vegetable stock.
Bring to a light boil for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook chaurice in a skillet until all the fat has been cooked
out. Stir in flour and cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring
constantly, to make a light brown roux.
4. Stir roux into the stockpot with the meats. Add vegetables and 2 quarts
of the reserved vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add chaurice, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper; stir well. Simmer for
40 minutes more. Stir in file powder, then remove from heat. Serve
over steamed rice in bowls.
This makes enough for about 20 entrees.

Gumbo Galaxy continued!
Commander's Seafood Gumbo with Okra
Emeril's Duck and Wild Mushroom Gumbo

Featured archive recipes:
Gumbo Ya Ya (Mr. B's Bistro)
Gumbo Ya Ya Two (More) Ways
Chef John Folse's Chicken, Oyster
and Andouille Gumbo

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Chicken
and Andouille Gumbo

Chef John Folse's Creole Turtle Soup
New Orleans Oyster and Artichoke Soup
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Corn and
Andouille Soup


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