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Old 12-17-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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Lightbulb "Soul Food"

Hi All,

I friend of mine just recently lost her horse (he died) and she is bummed about it.

So, we are having a "Soul Food" night at her house on Saturday. Very fitting given the time of year and that it is a balmy 5 degrees here in MN.

So, we have decided on gumbo - any suggestions or recipes?

Also, I would like to make some bread - suggestions on what to make? I do have a sourdough starter. But I want to make bread that is fitting - cornbread maybe?

Any other accompaniments?

Any ideas for wine? I have a great wine store nearby so can find most anything.

Thanks so much!

ps - Her horse died of colic - ruptured colon - if anyone on here is a "horse person" and was wondering. :)


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Old 12-17-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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Black-eyed peas (served over rice), collard greens, grits come to mind.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your friends horse. That is terrible. How about some fried chicken???
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Here's my recipe for seafood gumbo:

File Gumbo (Connie’s)

Mrs. Bordis (Plattenville, La), Aunt Gert Gonzales (Gonzales, La), and Naomi

Boil a chicken with enough salted water to cover. When meat is tender, remove chicken, cool and bone. Strain and reserve broth (or substitute 4 cans Swanson’s or other good brand chicken broth)
Make the roux: In a large, heavy pot, stir together 1 cup flour and 1 cup oil (or butter, or lard).
Over med/high heat, cook roux, constantly stirring to keep it from scorching, until it the color of peanut butter. Be patient. Paul Prudhomme’s mother always said, “Turn off the phone and lock the children outside.”
Add 1 cup diced onion, (also the same of chopped celery if you like it and you have it), and continue cooking and stirring until the roux is the color of chocolate.
Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in reserved broth a little at a time, working out any lumps.
Return to heat, and season with salt, pepper, a little dried thyme and granulated or minced fresh garlic according your liking. You might also like a few red pepper flakes, depending on what kind of sausage you add. If you use Andouille (too hot for me), you won’t need it.
Cut links of a good smoked sausage or Kielbasa into 2” chunks and add to pot. (Other smoked meats can be used instead, like ham or smoked turkey leg.)
Add chicken meat to soup, cutting larger pieces of chicken across the grain so they won’t be stringy. (Opt)
Allow to simmer 30-60 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting seasoning as it cooks. The broth should have a little “bite” to it, and be slightly thickened.
Turn heat back up to medium and add peeled shrimp and chunks of crab meat. Cook until shrimp turns pink. (3-4 minutes, depending on size.)

To Serve: Put a large spoon-full of cooked rice in a soup bowl, ladle gumbo over the top, and sprinkle a pinch of file powder over the top. Offer chunks of crusty French bread to sop up the juices.

*Note: The first time this was served to me, the bones were still in the chicken, and shells were still on the shrimp and crab! Very messy, but the bones and shells do add flavor to the soup.

There are lots of different gumbos. The Creole version has tomatoes in it, while the Cajun version does not, and they make an entirely different kind in the Carolina low country. But it has always been made of whatever the cook had on hand, including a wide selection of wild life.
The roux is the clue, although I do think is also important to include one kind of smoked meat.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:03 PM   #5
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I believe gumbo is more cajun than soul food, soul food to me is fried chicken, collard or mustard greens, potato salad, mac and cheese, fried cat fish banana pudding made with nilla cookies etc. Very much comfort foods I know there is more but can't think of them right now especially since I'm not from the south. I know others will here will explain.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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I dunno. Whenever Buck and I thought of "soul" food, it was in the context of comforting regional or ethnic favorites we enjoyed. For example, he loved sauerkraut and Polish sausage.

Just an observation.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:48 AM   #7
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We feel much the same as Katie and Buck, For my dh it's his mom's ravioli and stuffed onions or torta, I love these as well but give me a pastie or some of my great grandmothers chicken with wine soul food for us..
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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I know how your friend must feel. We lost two horses this year, one to colic and the other had to be put down when tests revealed that he had contracted infectous equine anemia.

Anyway, there's a website I really like that's loaded with cajun/creole recipes, called the Gumbo Pages. Here's the link: The Creole and Cajun Recipe Page. I've made several of the gumbos and etouffes from this site and they've come out great. I prefer okra in my gumbos rather than file powder.

Also, if you're interested in trying my stovetop skillet cornbread, the recipe is posted on the Mama's Southern Cooking website: Skillet Cornbread. It's very tasty and easy to make.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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Not to insult anyone, but I have never heard of serving chicken, shrimp and crab gumbo. It is either poultry or seafood. WATCH THE ROUX! You do not want it on a high flame, or it will pop and easily burn, and it hurts like hell. It will blister. You want to cook the roux on a medium high fire, and stir using a wire Wisk. You will want to have all of your greens chopped, chicken done, and smoked meats cut before you start. You cannot multitask while making a roux. It should sort of smell like baked bread when it is done. If is smells slightly burnt, throw it out before you add anything other than the oil and flour. I usually cook 4 cups of oil and 4 cups of flour. After it cools, but it in a jar in the fridge. I will last for ever. Once it is getting close to the caramel color, you want to lower the fire substantially because when you add the onions, celery and bell peppers, it will pop and steam because of the water in the greens. You will want to have a wooden spoon handy. Do not put the Wisk back in there once you add the greens. The roux will darken some what with the greens in there. Once the roux has calmed down after adding the greens, you can increase the fire. Keep an eye on it until you are ready to add the stock. It will stick and get very clumpy. Gumbo is something that freezes very well. I usually make a large gumbo every few months and freeze the rest.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your ideas! I'm in the camp that "soul food" is comfort food. Although friends from La always call gumbo "soul food" too.

I'm thinking the cornbread would be great!

Wow, FincaPerlitas, colic is one thing but EIA - that must have been very scary for you. Sorry to hear about your loss as well.

People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
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