Fat Tuesday is less than a week away. Yup, it’s early this year. In honor of this wonderful season of celebration, Spiced will be featuring several traditional Louisiana-style dishes over the next couple of days. If you’ve never made this style of food at home, then you are missing out! So grab some
beads ingredients, and make one (or several) of these recipes this weekend.
I lived in southern Louisiana for several years, and my experience was amazing. From the food to the people to the food to the culture, wait did I mention the food? Many people think Cajun and Creole cuisine consists primarily of loads and loads of cayenne pepper. True, some creole dishes can be spicy–but the food of this region is so much more than hot spices! Take this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for instance…you can definitely make this recipe spicy, but you can also make a delicious gumbo that has very little heat.
I was taught how to make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from a coworker who had lived in southern Louisiana for her entire life. There are probably hundreds of recipes for gumbo…Some include tomatoes, others don’t. Some are seafood-based, some are rabbit-based, others are chicken or sausage-based. The great thing about gumbo is that its not particularly difficult to make (but it does typically include some unique-to-Louisiana ingredients). If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where these ingredients are common, then great! However, if you are like me and live far away from southern Louisiana, then you might have to hunt for things like tasso or andouille. The good news is that you can always order these specialty items on the web–you just have to plan ahead a bit…
Note: Celery, onion, and bell peppers are often referred to as the Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking–many Louisiana inspired dishes include these 3 ingredients in some way.
Tip: If you don’t want to make your own roux, then there are plenty of other options. When I’m not making my own, I prefer to use Savoie’s Old-Fashioned Dark Roux. (You can order this product from a number of websites.) I use about 1/2 jar of Savoie’s when I go that route…
Tip: Gumbo is almost always served with some sort of crusty bread. So pick up a baguette from your local market or check out my recent post on making your own homemade baguettes!
This Chicken and Sausage Gumbo serves a crowd…and it makes for a really fun dinner party. In fact, this is one of our go-to recipes whenever my wife and I have a big group of friends over for dinner. It’s relatively easy, delicious, and (depending on where you live) unique enough that people will enjoy trying something different at your place. So make yourself a pot of gumbo, pick up a six-pack of Abita beer, and celebrate the Mardi Gras season!