Friday, August 8, 2008

Vegetarian Gumbo

gumbo, originally uploaded by mysterybridgers.

I always forget how long it takes to cook gumbo. Sure, the recipe says it will only take a little while to get the right color on the rue, but generally it takes quite a bit of time. This recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and I suppose is not really a true gumbo because it does not contain okra. It is very tasty though. It calls for onions, peppers, kidney beans, lots of paprika, and some kind of greens. We used collards--always a good green to use when you know your dish will be cooking for a while.

The rue is just flour and oil heated until the flour turns a deep shade of red. This is supposed to happen over very low heat, but we discovered that closer to medium on an electric stove is about right (the heat could probably be lower on a gas stove). Once we turned the heat up a little, the flour finally started to turn. It was supposed to take only 15 minutes, but we had it on the heat for easily 35 minutes. We didn't let it get to a really deep red because I remember from gumbos past that I thought the flavor was a little too strong. Instead we added the onions and stuff when the flour was a chestnut brown and the flavor turned out great.

We served the gumbo over rice (although you can't see it in the photo). Gumbo is very tasty, but just remember that it takes a while to make (even if the recipe says it is quick and easy) and don't add the rice to the leftovers for storage--the rice will get mushy. Although the gumbo was stellar the first day, the leftovers were not as good because of the mushy rice.

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