Sunday, December 13, 2009

A New Orleans State of Mind: Gumbo


While skimming through Poppy Tooker's Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook for my recent post about Gulf brown shrimp, I found this recipe for gumbo. It turned out to be the ideal vehicle for the rest of my leftover turkey.

Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a heavy pot over high heat until the oil is smoking. Add 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour and cook carefully, stirring all the while until the resulting roux is the color of milk chocolate. Add 1 large onion and 2 stalks celery, both diced, and cook for about a minute until the onion is fragrant. Scrape in 1 red and 1 green bell pepper that's been diced and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 minced garlic clove, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon cayennne, a pinch each of dried basil, thyme, and oregano and a teaspoon kosher salt. Pour in 2 cups chicken or turkey stock gradually, while stirring. Add 1 link andouille or other spicy sausage (I used Mint Creek's lamb chorizo) cut into 1-inch pieces, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups leftover turkey and cook until the turkey is warmed through. Add a teaspoon file powder and cook, stirring constantly until the powder is dissolved. Serve on rice and top with chopped green onions. Be sure to set a bottle of hot sauce on the table.


Try Co-Op Habanero Sauce made from chillies grown organically in Co-Op Image's Community Gardens, which are located in Humboldt Park. Proceeds from the sale of this hot sauce go directly to providing safe spaces for youth ages 6-20 in Chicago.

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