I am very proudly half Cajun. And that half of me loves some Cajun food. Oh, who am I kidding. All 100% of me loves Cajun food. Or Creole food. Or anything cooked in Louisiana. So much so, that we Honeymooned in New Orleans. I ate gumbo 3 times that week.
My husband has been begging me since we met to make him gumbo. I'm Cajun. I'm supposed to just automatically know how to make it. It's in my blood, right? Hahahahahaha! He's so funny. Last night, during Go Go Gadget Free Sunday, I made gumbo for the very first time in my life. And since it was Go Go Gadget Free Sunday, I couldn't google anything or look it up on Pinterest. (Dang it!) I went to my second best resource: My recipe cards from culinary school and my cookbooks. After looking at them, I decided to combine two recipes into one that worked for me.
Gumbo really isn't that hard to make. It is time consuming, though, so fair warning. The trickiest part of gumbo is the roux. Roux is a mixture of fat and flour that is used to thicken sauces, gravies, and soups. Roux usually has 3 stages, but gumbo takes it to that 9th stage, better known as Almost Black. You guys might remember the peanut butter stage from the slow cooker roasted chicken gravy. There I was standing in the kitchen just whisking and whisking and whisking. Finally, it reached that color... almost black.
Gumbo, along with most other Cajun/Creole cooking, consists of something called The Holy Trinity. Yes, it is based on The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. New Orleans is a predominantly Catholic city. The Trinity is a mixture of onions, celery, and green bell pepper. You can tell I'm Cajun because I want to replace carrots with green bell pepper in most things. It just tastes better. So in our gumbo, I put some extra Trinity. Hey, Jake is Catholic, so it works out.
While we are on the subject, 'gumbo' is the African word for Okra. That is why most gumbos contain it. Okra has some magical thickening ability, so combined with the roux, you get a rich, delicious, nothing else like it, yummo bowl of awesomeness. Another secret to gumbo is the file, pronounced fee-lay. File is made from dried and ground sassafrass leaves.
Speaking of file, the first time my stepdad met my grandparents, my Papa was making his own file, so he had tons of sassafrass drying in his barn. My stepdad asked my mom if it was pot! Hahaha!
Now that I've bored you all with my rambling...
Put the diced up meat in a Ziploc bag and add:
1/2 teaspoon of each of these seasonings: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne.
Seal the bag and squish it all around to distribute the spices.
Open the bag, add 1/2 cup of flour and do the squishing again (after you seal the bag)