Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gumbo Verde aka "Green Gumbo"

   Almost every week during winter, Peggy and I make a pot of gumbo.  It usually lasts us two or three days, sometimes having it for lunch and supper. On occasion we can a few quarts of it for later or to give away. In our neighborhood, friends are always bringing samples of their latest prized Cajun specialties, and we do the same. The other day, for example, our neighbor, Monica, brought us a sample of her delicious, creamy shrimp fettuccini, rich with Cajun spices that 'turned it up a notch' from what the "regular" world would expect. In turn, using the same bowl in which her sample arrived, we sent her back a nice portion of our latest gumbo. 
   This week's rendition of gumbo is an old poor folks version of gumbo that's traditionally made this time of year from whatever greens, bolting or otherwise that you may have growing around your garden. We have a winter mix of salad greens growing in one garden box along with some parsley, carrot and beets greens and "such".

Peggy picked a big bowl full of these greens.
Which we put soaking in water while thawing out a pound of our good buddy, Sam's homemade smoked sausage; kind of 'foodie' multi-tasking.
We threw a pack of (frozen)bacon in the pot to quickly thaw and cook, then while all that was taking place, we whacked up our usual veggie 'suspects', onion, celery, red and green bell pepper and garlic.

Once the bacon got mostly cooked.
We sliced up the sausage
The sausage and diced veggies got added to the crumbled bacon and set to browning down. (Peg prefers to drain the bacon grease off, first)
We also added some frozen okra from last Summer's crop.
While that all cooked down, Peggy took the drained salad greens for a ride in our food processor.
They got dumped into the gumbo pot.
With some water, Worcestershire sauce and our own special Cajun spices in the pot, we set it to simmer for a of couple hours. 
   The smell was amazing; fresh 'green' aroma filled the house and I finally had to take Beaux out with me to join a kitty on the porch swing and read for awhile while waiting for it to finish cooking.
The green gumbo came out amazing with a wonderful flavor.  Those of you who know us, know it was spicy with a hint of smoke from the sausage and richness from the bacon drippings.
Now for all yall who poked fun at my small gumbo bowl on our last gumbo Blog post where I pictured our chicken oyster gumbo, all's I can say is that, yep, that little bowl  was Peg's.   THIS! is mine.
You really need to try this old-fashioned green gumbo.  Lots of fancy foodie folks use complex recipes for this old favorite, but all's I can tell ya is that my Mama used to use whatever she had "green and growing" to make this wonderful wintertime TREAT.

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