One of the first “big deal” recipes I ever tried was gumbo. Having been successful at gumbomaking over the years, I’ve made the dish quite a lot. I’m a big fan of success. I’ve made it so many times that the whisk I had designated as my “roux whisk” finally died this year. I have a special spoon for skimming off the oil and weirdness from the top of the soup as it simmers.
Now that I’ve stopped worrying about following the recipe I find that I make something that is really what gumbo is all about. A huge pot of too much soup grown out of everything you have on hand. It’s a great way to use up those ingredients that you are worried about going south because you can just throw them all in the same pot and simmer the hell out of them.
Today’s gumbo has about 3 cups of a beef broth that I made last weekend. You know, the gelatinous kind of stuff when it gets cold? It’ll give the overall broth more body and silkiness. I’m adding a chicken and clam broth mixture to the beef broth to make enough liquid for the soup. (Is it soup or stew?)
A while back I bought a bag of flounder filets from Whole Foods. They were all individually packaged inside the bag. For some reason I never got inspired and they’ve been in the freezer a while. They’re going into the gumbo. I’m adding them in big pieces, in hopes that they’ll hold together for a minute or two. Ultimately, they’ll flake up into the soup. Nothing wrong with that. It’s gumbo.
Same thing with a few smoked linguesa sausages. Been in the freezer a while. They’ll be good in the gumbo, too. Oh, and the leftover pork sausages we had for dinner the day before yesterday. Going in. Portabella mushrooms. I don’t even remember why I bought them. Diced green onions with wilted tops removed. All of that is in the pot.
What did I buy? Red and green bell peppers and some shrimp. I bought some skinless, bonesless chicken thighs that I thought I would use, as well. But, I’m not so sure it’s needed. I might hold on to those for dinner tomorrow. Wonder what I could do with those…
Damn. I forgot about that hunk of salmon I have thawed in the fridge. What do you think? Broil it and serve it as a pure flavor along side the gumbo? Somehow… that doesn’t sound too bad to me. With light salad?