Friday, August 2, 2013

Irish Gumbo

With the exception of the full Irish breakfast, the Irish have been accused of having no flavor in their food. An Irishman told me that on his spice rack are two bottles, salt and pepper. Boil some meat, throw in a few carrots, celery, potatoes, a couple pints of Guinness, salt, pepper, more potatoes, and simmer a couple hours. It's served in every pub in Ireland~Guinness Stew.

Follow me lads into Woody's travlin' test kitchen. Lay out all your ingredients and get a mental image of what our mumbo gumbo looks like "outside the bowl".

Let's start with the special ingredient. No, put away the Guinness for later. When you put that beer in just about everything, it's no longer so special. Tune in some zydeco music. Add a little jig to that stew. Bam! Now that's special. We're cookin' with Queen Ida.

Stir together equal parts of oil to flour to make a roux, about a cup. Set aside.

Here we go, the flavor- a teaspoon each.
Bay or Creole seasoning
White pepper
Red pepper
Black pepper- 20 turns on the grinder.
1 Bay leaf
Your choice. Either mortar spices together or roast for 10 minutes in hot oven.

Okay, so a recipe is fun, and helpful, but only a guide. Gumbo typically has okra in it. I prefer either zucchini or that little Peter Pan squash. Use what you have, including that half jar of salsa in your fridge. It's up to you. Put these goodies in during the simmer.

In a big pot get some olive oil hot. Stir in chopped garlic, celery, red bell pepper, and onion. Stir 5 minutes, add andouille sausage, stir 5 more minutes. Your shrimp, already deveined and peeled go in now. Just 2 minutes, stirring, add spices, stirring, add V8. Enough V8 to cover the"stew" in the pot. Simmer, covered, 1 hour.

In the mean time, make mashed potatoes. 

Lately, I've been roasting beets. Save the greens, wash thoroughly, and boil 10 minutes. Drain, add a tad of butter, pinch of salt, and plate the greens.

By now, the potatoes are ready, the gumbo HOT. Slowly stir in the roux until stew becomes gumbo.

Grab a few bowls, put a scoop of mash in the middle, and ladle gumbo over the mound. Garnish with some parsley, serve.

Now, my friend from Louisiana, Aaron, would insist on a scoop of rice. Wait a minute my friend, this is Irish Gumbo, give the mash a try. On the table, next to the salt and pepper shakers is my other friend from Louisiana, Mr. Tobasco. 

Well done, and SPICEY!
Irish Gumbo

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