I made a huge pot of gumbo a while back and froze most of it plastic containers. It freezes it into a nice block that I can then vacuum seal, reclaiming the container for another use.Those vac-seal bags are good for this, you can thaw and heat the contents right in the bag. I usually drop them in a saucepan and let them simmer. Those shrimp in the first photo are precooked and were thawed and added to the gumbo to warm them prior to serving. In my freezer now are “bricks” of meatballs with sauce, Italian beef, and lasagna.
Mmm… sloppy joe with giardiniera and a side of chips. Those are Utz salt ‘n vinegar flavored chips. Amazon had a deal on them for Prime members, alas the deal has moved on. [ETA: They’re back in stock!]Mrs J sent me this pic of Toby at the vet’s office. He tangled with a feral cat and got a bite on his tail that abcessed. He’s fine now.Gabe waits by the door with Homer keeping him company. Mrs J has just left for the vet with Toby. She told Gabe he wasn’t going but he hoped she would change her mind.Franks with beans on the side.Franks with beans on the top.Mmm… gumbo! This recipe came up first with a Google search and it looked pretty good. I took my usual liberties with the ingredients, crawdads for the shrimp, and chicken because I like chicken. I used a small can of tomato paste and added four fresh ripe tomatoes sans their skins. It does have andouille sausage.Ribs and fries. I need to work on my presentation – the half slab doesn’t look “ribby” enough.Here’s a fresh loaf in a plastic bag. Do you tie? I often use small office binder clips if the loaf is going into the freezer but the twist and tuck under is the way I go if the bread is going to be used that day.Gabe likes to climb on my lap to be reassured Mrs J will come back home.
A little breakfast pr0n to start. The patty is from that batch of homemade garlic pepper recipe sausage.This is an older picture from a meal we had a couple of weeks ago. Not sure if I have used it so here it is. I bought a batch of purple potatoes and mixed them in with fingerlings and a cubed sweet potato. The pork tenderloin was done sous vide and then seared in a hot pan just before plating. There is a pan sauce made from red wine and the pan juices. I reached for the white but it wasn’t open so the red went in.Gumbo! This one has andouille, chicken, and shrimp.A couple of pineapple upside down cakes. There was a little pineapple left over from Mrs J’s carrot cake, and we finally used up the last of the maraschino cherries that have been lurking in a dark corner of the fridge for ages. Not the prettiest cakes ever but they tasted great. There is one small slice left but it will not last out the day.Here’s Ollie! He’s been mixing about with the other kittehs and we think he’s fitting in quite well. He and Bitsy spent the night chasing up and down the hallway.I dug one of the rib roasts out of the freezer. It was one of those the market had on sale for the holidays. It was oddly cut, the two end ribs were sliced down the middle, making the piece about 1-1/2 inches altogether. I promised Mrs J that I would turn out the next steak medium done and so set the water bath temp to 140. When it came out I sliced it in half and seared the pieces in a hot pan. The pan sauce was made of butter and the same red wine that I used on that pork tenderloin. The potatoes were rubbed with olive oil and generously salted, then baked in a 350 oven for an hour.Mrs J left for an appointment this morning. Gabe waited by the door for her return. He misses his dog mama every time she goes away.That garlic pepper sausage makes pretty good chili.I’ll close with this salad. It’s a bagged salad topped with a deli made Greek salad with a little extra feta.
Gail, a six month old kitten, was introduced to her her new staff yesterday. After her approval she allowed her new chauffeur to convey her to her new domain. We have no idea what this is. It’s about the size of a softball and is made of various fibers.I suppose it’s possible that it’s just a windblown ball of fluff that has been caught by the branch but it does appear to have been purposely anchored there by several loops of the same fibers as it is built of.Mmm… sloppy joes! I made a quick bean salad with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing to go with it – based loosely on this recipe.I made corned beef the other day and ran the butt ends and scraps through a food processor just for this hash dish. Frozen shredded potatoes make it a quick and delicious meal. That’s hot sauce on the egg, I like a dash of Tabasco on mine. Gumbo is always a good idea. This one has shrimp, chicken, and some of my homemade Andouille. I still have a little bit left, sealed in vacuum bags and frozen. Vacuum sealing is working out very well, pleased to have rediscovered the method.I made a quick batch of Italian sausage from some plain ground pork because I had my heart set on some and found none at all in the freezer. I was sure I had some!I’ll make kitteh bookends to the post with this snap of Bea. The cats have shredded the carpet on this old cat tree so Mrs J set it outside on the back porch, pending remediation.
Cloudy and drizzly and chilly days make it easy to stay in and cook. Found some frozen shrimp and decided to do a gumbo.I started with about a half cup of flour and poured in oil until it looked like plenty. I’ve seen cooks make a very dry looking roux but I prefer to go with it about like this because I find it easier to keep stirred. A roux is usually defined by its color, this one is past the peanut butter stage and is well on the way to milk chocolate. Keep the temps low and you can get by without standing over it every second but it will take longer. This is about as dark as I care to take it but you can stay with it until it’s much darker if you want.You’ll want a nice stock for your gumbo. This one has an onion, a carrot, a rib of celery, one sliced lemon, parsley, peppercorns, sliced garlic, thyme, and the shells from the shrimp. There are about two quarts of water in it and it’ll simmer for an hour or so.
There are tons of gumbo recipes, with tomatoes and without, with okra or not, with other meats like sausage or chicken. They all have a roux in common, and the trinity of onions, green peppers, and celery in water or stock. Knock yourself out!
I’m happy enough with how my gumbo turns out that I don’t much use a recipe anymore. The fellow over at NOLA Cuisine always gets my nod when someone asks for recipes for these sorts of dishes, be sure to take a tour of his place – click on his recipe page for sure.
This one has genuine Louisiana made Andouille sausage and chicken thighs. (Link goes to a Cajun Grocer’s page.) I ordered one of their turduckens to have on hand for the upcoming holiday.
I always send folks to this page when they ask for a gumbo recipe. It’s for a chicken and sausage gumbo but easily adapts to whatever meat you have on hand. The pictured gumbo has the chicken and sausage, plus precooked shrimp and crawfish tails that were added just at the end to warm through.
Mmm… gumbo. I’ve made this often enough that I was able to put this one together without even glancing at a recipe. We ran across some frozen crayfish tails while were were scouting brisket prices and “we can make gumbo” was the first thing that came to mind.
The general recipe is simple enough: Chop up up the trinity of onions, celery, and green peppers and keep them ready to go, then start a roux and take it to a color that suits you, stirring all the while. I use peanut oil instead of butter, use equal parts flour and oil. A large flat bottom pot and a wooden spatula with a flat tip is the best thing I’ve found for making one although you can do the roux in the oven if you have time.
When the roux is dark enough to suit, stir in the trinity . Season with your favorite spices. Give the veggies five minutes or so to wilt then add your stock. This time I used lamb stock I had on hand but the usual is chicken stock, or shrimp stock. The lamb stock worked great. Bring it to a boil and then simmer.
You are nearly home free, now. Add everything else in its proper time, sausage and chicken can go in early, seafoods go in late. I put okra in this one but that’s optional. Mine came frozen and chopped, I added it to the simmering stock early. It’s said to be a thickener but I really couldn’t say. Adjust your seasonings and serve it with rice.