On those confused days of late summer when the clouds hang sort of lurkingly in the sky raining spastically, there are few things more magical than gumbo bubbling on the stove.
So like, I think, a lot of y’all, I have an ongoing list of recipes I’ve been meaning to make that numbers probably in the thousands. Sooooo Kath posted a recipe for Poor Man’s Gumbo literally years ago that I thought sounded yummy and brilliant- a veggie-heavy gumbo that used economical canned tuna instead of fancy fish.
I of course tweaked it some (since crazy lady doesn’t like onions) and sort of worked from this Cooking Light recipe on methodology, and thus my gumbo was born!
I began with Cooking Light’s method for a roux: heating 1 T of vegetable oil in a pan, then adding 3 T of flour.
I persevered, adding 10 T of liquid (I used my homemade vegetable stock- all my veggie trimmings in a crockpot covered with water for 6 hours or so yielded this beautiful, richly colored, aromatic, totally delicious stock:
And then I had… a brown and lumpy mess.
I was concerned. But sure enough, once I added it to my veggie mixture, the roux thickened it up beautifully, and I had a wonderful rich and tasty gumbo.
A note on those veggies.
I used my favorite onion, Vidalia (I use this for almost everything- I love its sweetness!)
Along with GORJESS local veggies! Okra and green pepper (traditional gumbo uses celery but I never have any. I didn’t really miss it, quite honestly).
For a garnish, this local fresh parsley, which may be the most beautiful, vivid green I have ever beheld. It is BEAUTIFUL. It is so vastly superior to grocery store parsley. I kind of hadn’t known what I was missing!
And so I give you:
Poor Lele’s Gumbo
2 T vegetable oil, divided
3 T flour (I used white whole wheat)
10 T vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1 cup diced onion (I used Vidalia)
1 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 lb okra, ends trimmed and sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
9 canned roma tomatoes (about half of a 28-oz can)
2 T tomato paste
3 T water
1 t Filé seasoning
1/8 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 6-ounce can tuna
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Heat a Dutch Oven on medium high heat. Add 1 T of your vegetable oil, and then whisk in flour. Cook for one minute or until flour is light brown, stirring constantly. Whisk in vegetable stock. Set roux mixture aside.
Heat remaining oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook for ten minutes. Then add jalapeno, okra, garlic, and green pepper. Cook another five minutes. Add tomatoes, squeezing them with your hands to break them up. Then add tomato paste, the reserved roux, 3 tablespoons of water, Filé seasoning, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until your vegetables are tender. Then add tuna, and cook four minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley, serve with rice.