Saturday, July 27, 2013

Minnesota Gumbo

As related in an earlier post on okra, Lisa and I honeymooned in New Orleans 26 years ago. We sampled many of the local specialties and one of the best was the local gumbo. I've made gumbo many times and have adapted it to Minnesota and what is available locally in the summer.

The word gumbo is derived from African words for okra. Gumbo is a stew that can take many forms, one of the common threads through most gumbos is okra, which we are starting to sell this week at the farmers market.

Minnesota Ingredients:

1 cup of oil (coconut, butter or bacon grease)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 pounds Okra with stems and tips removed (Petersen)
1 large onion, diced (Petersen)
1 large green bell pepper, diced (Petersen)
4 stalks of celery, diced (Petersen)
1 pound of smoked pork sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick (farmers market)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 chicken breasts, diced or shredded
Creole seasoning (optional)


  1. Whisk flour into the oil a roux is formed, about 8-10 minutes and the roux is the color of chocolate
  2. Cook the okra until the sap has disappeared.
  3. Mix the onion, bell pepper, celery, and sausage into the roux, cook for approximately 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Add the okra. Season; mix thoroughly. Pour chicken broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered for about an hour, mix occasionally. Stir in chicken, and simmer another hour.
  4. Serve over a bed of rice.
Kick It Up
  1. Many gumbos use seafood such as fish or shrimp.
  2. You can add more spice by adding the creole seasoning.
  3. A jalapeno or two will also add some spice.
  4. Ham is also a common gumbo meat.
  5. You can add some heirloom tomatoes to thicken the sauce.

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