Chef Bobo’s Blog
What a great concert last night…celebrating Steve! If you missed it, you really missed it! And it was so nice to see so many alums and parents there who I haven’t seen in years. What a nice community we have.
Today, lunch is from New Orleans. Here’s what it’s going to be:
There will be no soup today since the entrée is a type of soup.
Our sandwich is one that was introduced very early after my arrival at Calhoun. It has Apples & Cheddar on a Baguette with Tarragon Mayo. After the sandwich is constructed we warm it up in the oven for the cheese to melt over the apples. This sandwich immediately became quite popular with so many people declaring it their “favorite sandwich”. It’s a nice combo of sweet and salty and crunchy.
Today’s New Orleans entrée is Chicken & Sausage Gumbo! This is always good anytime of the year but especially so in the winter. Note: the sausage in the gumbo is made with beef. For those of you who are new to Calhoun,Gumbo is a lesson in culinary history and a celebration of the diversity of our country. It is a stew or soup which originated in south Louisiana in the 18th Century and combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, Including French, Spanish, West African and Choctaw. The dish likely derived its name from the native word for either okra (ki ngombo) or filé (kombo).
There are many types of gumbo but there are characteristics which they all share that make them “gumbo”. In Louisiana you can find seafood gumbo, duck gumbo, beef gumbo, even alligator gumbo and many other different variations. The characteristics which they all share are: 1) They all use what is called “the holy trinity”, equal amounts of onions, celery and pepper, all chopped; 2) They all are made using a “roux” (pronounced RUE) for flavor and texture. Roux is equal parts of flour and oil. The oil is heated to very hot and then the flour is added and stirred constantly until the flour becomes brown, sometimes even almost black. The darker the roux the deeper the flavor of the gumbo; and, 3) They all use something to make the gumbo thick. It may be okra or filé (pronounced FEElay). Filé is made by grinding the bark of the Sassafras Tree, a tree native to the southern USA.
For today’s gumbo, we will cook the roux until it is the color of chocolate and then we’ll add the “trinity”, sausage and chicken stock. We will allow it to simmer for hours before adding the chicken. We’ll be using okra and file for thickener.
Vegetarians will enjoy our very popular Vegetable Gumbo, cooked the same way but with more vegetables and tofu.
On the sides we’ll be serving Sauteed Collard Greens along with Steamed Rice. In New Orleans we add our rice to the gumbo.
There’s plenty more on the Salad Bar and Fresh Fruit.
Enjoy the day!
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