Big Fun on the Bayou: Favorite Gumbo Recipes Article -
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Big Fun on the Bayou: Favorite Gumbo Recipes

A sturdy bowl of gumbo gives you the strength to party on from Twelfth Night to Fat Tuesday.

For serious party people, the celebration of carnival can stretch from the twelfth night after Christmas to the sober dawning of Ash Wednesday--with its rollicking highpoint on Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras. What fuels all those days and nights of parading, dancing, and carousing? In New Orleans, it's gumbo.

Top Tips for Gumbo Goodness

Take Stock

Great gumbo starts with great stock. Seafood Gumbo Stock adds depth to any seafood-based gumbo recipe. You can also begin with beef stock, chicken stock and vegetable stock.

Do the Roux

The pot thickens when fat meets flour. Cooked together into a roux, this preparation is almost always a basic building block for traditional gumbo.

Okra or Filé?

Okra (a green pod-like vegetable) and filé powder (ground sassafras leaves--pronounced FEE-lay) are often used to flavor and thicken gumbo, but rarely are they tossed into the same pot.

Okra (fresh or frozen) has the unfortunate reputation of turning slimy when cooked. The solution? Stew it for at least 45 minutes to correct the texture.

Filé powder should be added only after taking gumbo off the heat; cooking filé, even for a short time, gives gumbo a stringy texture and an "off" taste. For best results, let everyone stir a pinch of filé powder into individual servings instead of adding it to the whole pot--especially if you plan to reheat leftovers.

    Oct. 2, 2010 9:02 pm
    when I make shrimp gumbo with crab meat I smother my okra and I make a roux and add water and diced tomatoes and the seafood and I let it cook for an hour and add green onions and file'
    Nov. 22, 2010 5:38 pm
    Try one of your favorite gumbo recipe and subsitute alligator meat
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