I made this for dinner not so long ago and Jen, my wife, really wanted the recipe… maybe she is having an affair and wants to make it for her other lover/s? At least I know they shall be eating well…
For the some-kind-of-a-gumbo I had a few of the ingredients that would go into a traditional gumbo and a few that I made up. Well. I didn’t actually ‘make them up’. I am not God. I just got cheeky and added them to my gumbo, sniggering like a twelve year old child the whole way.
Traditionally, a gumbo should start with a roux of fat of some description and flour, followed by the ‘holy trinity’ of Cajun and Creole cooking, capsicum, celery and onion.
Okra is another essential, but I’m not sure how readily it’s available from the supermarket. My wife happened upon some at our local farmers market (right beside a small gnome whittling some fine wooden clogs, she brought them home too)… maybe try and grow your own (okra that is, not clogs)…
A lot of recipes call for shrimp, or prawns as we would call them in Australia, and andouille sausage (a present from their French fore fathers who actually based the dish on the bouillabaisse of their homeland)
I have included prawns, and stuffed them into zucchini flowers (we have a lot of male flowers* on our plant atm), then braised them in the stew type thing. If you can’t get hold of zucchini flowers, or you just can’t be effed stuffing them, just chuck them whole prawns in for the same cooking time.
I’m sure there would be some people out there screaming bloody murders because this is not the gumbo that they make but fuck, isn’t gumbo one of those dishes that are meant to have a little give and take. If it pisses you off just imagine that I called it a kind-of-a-casserole or a stew or something.
I am not from, nor have I ever been to the great state of Louisiana. I have never even tried a traditional gumbo. So I am clearly just not the man for this job.
Try my stew. It tastes good.
A brown roux made from 2 Tbls plain flour and 2 Tbls butter
1 brown onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 capsicums (whatever colour you like), diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tspn dried thyme
1x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
1x tin of red kidney beans, the same size as the tomatoes
The prawn stuffed zucchini flowers
1 hobbit’s handful fresh parsley and thyme
Chives or spring onions
12 zucchini flowers
In the same heavy based pot you must be using for all of your cooking now, cook out your roux over a med-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until it turns brown and smells like cooked flour and butter. Kind of nutty. This is a brown roux.
Add the vegetables,garlic and thyme, and cook out for a minute or two.
Add the beans, tomatoes and stock, and simmer for about half an hour.
While ‘the stew’ is doing it’s thing, you should make the stuffed zucchini flowers.
Peel and devein the prawns, pick the herbs and trim the chives or spring onions if they have any shitty bits. Now chop it up nice and fine, and mix it all together. If you are using a food processor just pulse it minimal times, because if you give it too much and it starts to heat up it will start to cook, thus making your prawns rubbery and unfit to serve to any top class chef that may be visiting.
Take the stemen out of the zucchini flowers, hobbit hands work well here, too. Or fish tweezers will do the job. Don’t worry if they tear a bit, the prawn farce will hold them together.
Now stuff those puppies.
Place the stuffed zucchini into ‘the stew’, and cook for a further 5 minutes, rolling them around gently to ensure even cooking.
TASTE AND SEASON.
Eat with rice or bread or whatever you damn well want.
*male zucchini flowers. These look the same as the female flowers, except the females grow on the end of the emerging zucchini, and the male grows on a long stalk. No zucchini included.