Friday, February 20, 2009

'MARDI GRAS' ORCHID PARADE ~ SHELLFISH GUMBO

"There's a thing I've dreamed of all my life, and I'll be damned if it don't look like it's about to come true—to be King of the Zulu's parade. After that, I'll be ready to die."
~ Louis Armstrong
( Time magazine, February 21, 1949)


~ 'Mardi Gras' orchids*
(life ... lives on)
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SHELLFISH GUMBO

~ from a fav source, Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, comes this slightly adapted (with the addition of herbs) peasant dish, perfect for 'Mardi Gras' and the upcoming season of Lent

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3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (preferably grape seed)

2 Tbsp. toasted unbleached, all-purpose flour*

1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped sweet onions

3/4 cup chopped celery

1 lb. (1/4-inch sliced) okra (frozen is fine)

1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded chopped tomatoes

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 bay leaf

6 cups hot fish, shrimp or chicken stock

1-2 tsp. chopped garlic

1-1/1/2 lbs. peeled shrimp

8 oz. fresh (picked over for shells & cartilage) crabmeat

1 pint fresh shucked oysters

hot pepper sauce

salt (opt)

  • Heat oil in large pot and stir in flour over medium-high heat until flour is absorbed. Add onions & celery (the flour will stick to vegetables). Continue cooking roux, stirring constantly until vegetables wilt slightly. Add okra, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Stir until stock comes to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for at least 45 minutes, uncovered. Stir in garlic (gumbo at this point may be refrigerated for 1-2 days).
  • Check consistency and thin gumbo with water or additional stock if necessary. Before serving, bring to boil and add shrimp, crabmeat, and shucked oysters. Cook mixture no longer the 1-2 minutes, depending upon size of shrimp and oysters. Do not overcook. Season with hot sauce and salt to taste. Ladle over rice. (You can add add cooked andouille sausage, ham, chicken or bacon but all shellfish is a favorite.)

*Note: To make toasted flour, spread 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour in baking dish. Roast in preheated 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until light beige color (it darkens when mixed with fat). Cool and (if wished) whirl in blender to remove lumps. Store (refrigerated) in covered jar.

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14 comments:

nancybond said...

Wow, does that recipe ever sound good! I adore seafood in most any form. And wow again -- those orchids are spectacular. Enjoy your weekend!

flowrgirl1 said...

Yummmmm. Love the quote too!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Wonderful Joey, each one of the pictures is so great, especially effective with the dark backgounds and together as a collage it's amazing. Very nice on this cold February day.

Tyra

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I love all of your photos. But today this collage resonates with me. What beauty.

Jen

beckie said...

Joey, I love orchids-so glad I can come here and admire yours. I wouldn't even try to grow them. I know they'd die under my care. :} Have a great weekend!

joey said...

Thanks Nancy ~ Friday is always a fish/seafood day here and at least one other night of the week. Hope the weather holds and your dreams come true this weekend :)

Perfect Friday Night Feast, Flowrgirl1!

How kind, Tyra! I love these beauties ... part of my hall of fame orchid collection from the past. Happy Tulip Friday :)

Thanks Jen ~ thinking of Mardi Gras Colors, these favorite orchids came to mind.

You would be surprised how easy orchids are to care for, Beckie, and though pricey, the blooms last forever. Enjoy the weekend behind your lens :)

Roses and stuff said...

Those orchids are like jewels - you've definitely captured their beauty!
Have a nice weekend
Katarina

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

You just amaze me with your recipes!

Cameron

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Mmmmm, gumbo! Plus, I love Louis Armstrong. :)

joey said...

Thanks Katarina ~ orchids are delightful to photograph, one of my favorite subjects.

Hard to go wrong with wonderful shellfish, Cameron! Enjoy the weekend, which I'm sure is warmer than our 'whiteout' winder wonderland!

Perfect for this snowy weekend, Monica. Hold on to your hat!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

MMMMMm I love shellfish, but don't have any but shrimp and some scallops right now. So instead, I'll have cod cheeks and tongues for lunch tomorrow!
Your glorious orchid pics remind me that I didn't make it to the orchid show and sale today. Not enough hours in the days lately...

joey said...

MMMMMMm cod cheeks, yes, jodi ... tongues ???? Don't fret ... I missed 2 weeks of orchid shows here also. You must indeed be time crunched ... I know I'm barely able to wrap my arms around my life plus fighting the winter crud that's had a firm grip on me all winter.

Selba said...

Beautiful orchids!

My mom loves orchids and also a lot of other plants. We have a garden in our roof :) and half of it is orchids, jasmine, eurphobia and many other plants.

You can see some of her flowers in my old blog: www.selba.blogspot.com

joey said...

Thank you, Selba ~ indeed I will visit ... sounds delightful!