Monday, March 8, 2010

Nuthin' but a po girl.

So the thing is, I have my reservations about certain holidays.  It's those "drinking" holidays that seem to make me sad.  You know, holidays like Mardi Gras, St. Pattys Day, The 4th of July, Lent (okay, maybe not Lent).  It seems like ever year, these holidays arrive and every idiot fratboy tough-guy crawls out from  their "man-cave" to stir up trouble.  Their intentions: all you can eat holiday food, get wasted on holiday booze, beat up holiday wimps, start a holiday riot.  Seriously, here in Seattle it seems like every Mardi Gras a building in Historical Pioneer Square gets burned down and couple of dozen hate crimes have to be ignored buy the police.  It's crazy, you don't see this kind of junk happening on Easter Sunday.  "Dude, I'm gonna eat like 76 Easter eggs, 6 choco-bunnies, like a hundred Peeps and then I'm gonna drink Zombies until I blackout and then I'm gonna go flip over cars at the church parking lot.  Easter frickin' RULES!"  That never happens.  

But anyways, I love to celebrate these holidays as idiot free as possible so this Mardi Gras we celebrated at home.  Stir up some Sazeracs, turn on some good French music (not Zydeco music, I can't listen to that stuff), and whip up some Shrimp Po-Boys and a pot of Gumbo Z'Herbes.

Gumbo Z'Herbes

3 tablespoons butter
½ cup tasso ham, roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon filé powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 cups sliced collard greens
2 cups sliced mustard greens
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ lb. tasso ham, chopped
2 cups crawfish tails, cooked
salt and pepper, to taste
white rice, cooked

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the tasso, sauté until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the celery and onion, and sauté until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the green onions, parsley, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in the filé, oregano, and Cajun seasoning. Add the collard greens, mustard greens, and spinach.

Add 2 cups of the chicken broth and stir. Cover and cook on low heat until all greens are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes . Remove from the heat. Purée the mixture in a food processor and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the same soup pot and add the flour, whisk until smooth. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the remaining broth and bring to boil, whisking often. Add the green purée and the the tasso ham and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the crawfish tails and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over hot rice.
recipe adapted from Louisiana Cookin by Wynton Marsalis

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