I am spoiled. For the past few years, Christmas and my birthday have often meant some new and long-desired equipment for my kitchen. From canning equipment to ice cream makers and so on, these have always been delightful gifts that allow me to explore a whole new category of recipes. But this year, Santa (ahem, Santa Harry) really outdid himself. Readers, I present to you my Le Creuset. She is red, shiny, and battling my KitchenAid for most beautiful piece of cook- or bake-ware in my apartment. I have to admit, her simplicity and heft are making her a winner in my eyes.
As much as I believe this pot belongs more in a design museum than in my kitchen, since it is here, I plan on making full use of it, making everything from soups, to meats, to Dutch babies. (What is this creepily-named breakfast food? I have long wondered, and now I can know!) For its inaugural recipe, I wanted to put it to full use. There are no slow beginnings in the Anigacz kitchen. I thought, “What recipe could involve browning and slow cooking?”
Gumbo, of course. This is a dish I have long wanted to make, but have put off, since rumor has it roux (basically a mixture of oil, margarine, and flour, and the base of any good gumbo) can be a bit tricky to make in anything but a Dutch oven or heavy skillet. And while I’ve never made roux before, I can already tell that this first attempt was spot-on, all thanks to my new kitchen baby. Now while I go scouring the internet for more recipes to put my new toy to work, I suggest you read on, look past the fact that this recipe was adapted from Paula Deen’s (I swear, I did not realize this until it was time to post it), and make yourself something warm and hearty to fill you during tomorrow’s playoff games.
Seafood and Keilbasa Gumbo
Adapted from Paula Deen
Makes 8 servings
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons margarine
1 jumbo yellow or white onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
4 cups hot water
5 beef bouillon cubes
14 ounce can stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
1/2 pound medium or large shrimp, cooked and cut into small pieces
4 whole green onions, chopped
White rice, cooked, for serving
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Salt and pepper the chicken, and cook in the Dutch oven, until slightly browned on both sides. Remove from Dutch oven, let cool, and slice. Put the kielbasa in the Dutch oven and cook until browned. Remove and place on paper towel to remove extra oil.
Sprinkle the flour over the oil. Add two tablespoons of the margarine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, until the mixture is brown. This should take about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the roux cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Once the roux has cooled, return it to the stovetop on low heat. Add and melt the remaining margarine. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add the hot water and bullion cubes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken and kielbasa.
Raise the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce, the heat, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Add the tomatoes and okra, and simmer for another hour with the cover on. In the last five minutes, add the shrimp and green onion, and remove the cover.
Pour the gumbo over rice, and top with some parsley.