Saturday, January 08, 2011


Gumbo We used to eat gumbo at the Ritz Cafe in West LA when it went though its cajun phase in the mid-80s. This is the stripped down Leicester version. Ain't never been nearer the bayou than Beaumont Leys. (Serves 8-ish)

Start by making the roux. Heat a large thick bottomed pot and then add half a pint of cooking oil and enough plain flour to make a thick roux. Keep stirring and cook until a dark caramel colour.

Add three or four chopped onions and fry.

Bone and skin 8 chicken thighs, ad the meat to the pot and cook. Add 3-4 smoked pork sausages chopped into large chunks. Add a pound or two of chopped okra.

Add enough hot water to form a thick soup. Add half a bottle of tomato ketchup, cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste (lots), Worcester sauce, salt and pepper.

Cook for an hour then add prawns (or other seafood). Cook for another 15-30 minutes. Add lots of chopped parsley before serving in bowls over cooked rice with hush puppies:
1 cup plain flower
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup chopped spring onion tops
Enough milk to form a soft paste
Deep fry golf ball-sized lumps until golden brown.