Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gumbo & Mint Meringues

I love the weekend. It should always be the weekend.
I woke up at a reasonable hour (more reasonable than 5:45) this morning and made banana-chocolate-chip-date pancakes (was thinking about that banana bread I made last weekend) for breakfast. Last night after Say Yes to the Dress ended I went searching for smething to watch and distract me from my essay and I wandered over to the Food Network on demand (channel 93 for those of you who are Rogers customers and in Toronto) and to my delight I discovered that there are like 10-15 episodes of Chuck's Day Off on there! I knew John would be happy about this so we watched a few episodes this morning over breakfast. That Chuck. He's a very interesting food network host as he runs what appears to be a fairly successful restaurant in Montreal, has insane food items tattooed all over his arms (love it) and - from what I heard on the grapevine - used to have a pretty bad coke addiction!
Does that make me a sad individual that I have gossip on Canadian Food Network stars?
Anyway he's worth watching. He also features the music of Canadian artists each episode - lots of Sam Roberts which I can definitely get behind. Pump a little "Them kids" or "Fixed to Ruin" and I dare you not to enjoy it.
John's in the kitchen making a seafood gumbo and I am making mint meringues. I couldn't be bothered to try and fiddle around and make the nice red stripes like Marth did and mine sort of comically look like albino dog poop. But they taste good - although I think I may have added too much mint extract. It's a bit strong. Oh well. Maybe once they dry out the flavour will detensify (is that a word?) itself.

Mmmmm dog poop.
If you feel like making a gumbo of your own here is a Martha recipe for you:
You will need:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced crosswise, 1/4-inch thick
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (35-ounce) crushed tomatoes
6 ounces okra, sliced crosswise, 1/4-inch thick
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add flour. Toast, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to stop it from cooking.

2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl, and reserve. Add the chicken, and brown, turning once, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and add to the bowl with the sausage. Add the pepper, onion, and celery to the Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and add to the sausage and chicken.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the butter to the Dutch oven. Once melted, sprinkle in the toasted flour, and stir until combined. Continue cooking until bubbles form and mixture becomes very thick and dark brown, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, okra, thyme, bay leaf, and reserved meat and vegetables. Raise heat and bring to a boil; let simmer, uncovered, until chicken is tender and liquid has thickened, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove thyme, and serve hot over rice.
(taken directly from the website)
We're adding okra, shrimp, crab meat, and sausage to ours instead of chicken.
Well I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday night!

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