Tonight I decided to try a gumbo recipe from Darius Cooks. He has been showing love to those who have requested more vegan recipes. My grandmother is from Louisiana so I like to think of myself as an aficionado of great creole cooking. For my family, gumbo is a rights of passage and something that if done wrong you will NEVER live it down.
Most people (Dolph included) think that a gumbo has to have chicken, shrimp, crab or sausage but that is not the case. Gumbo is a stew originating from Louisiana and what makes it gumbo are the seasonings and “trinity” which is onion, green bell pepper and celery. Like any other recipe I see it as a skeleton but the true magic happens in making it your own. My version of this recipe is NOT vegan, but DC’s version is so you can easily follow his.
For this gumbo you will need:
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
- one large yellow onion, chopped
- one green bell pepper, chopped
- 6 stalks of celery, chopped
- 8 cups of vegetable stock, may need a little more
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 7 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. gumbo file
- 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. of fresh coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp. of your favorite hot sauce (adjust accordingly)
- 1.5 Tbsp. cajun seasoning (non salted)
- 2 Tbsp. of coarse sea salt (taste before adding salt, adjust accordingly)
Start with heating a deep pot on the stove then add your cup of oil and let it heat until you start to see smoke. Add your flour and stir until the flour turns a chocolate brown color. Next, add your chopped vegetables and cook for about five minutes, stirring as you go then add your vegetable stock.
Turn your heat down, add your seasonings, garlic and bay leaves and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stew should start to thicken up and then you want to taste and adjust accordingly. REMEMBER, you can always add but you cannot subtract!
While your stew is going I take this time to clean my greens (soak in water to make sure you get any bugs or dirt out and I take off the stems). If you use frozen greens you can skip this step but I prefer fresh vegetables when possible. Once finished chopping up your greens add to the pot and let cook on low for another 30-45 mins.
Last thing is making your rice. Now some people cook the rice in the gumbo and others cook it on the side. I’m not here to argue so whatever floats your boat. I prefer minimal dishes so I cook everything in the same pot!
I usually make corn bread in my cast iron skillet and serve.
Peace & Love,