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Gumbo, Jumbo



Anders Osborne “Dive In That Gumbo”

In many ways, New Orleans wouldn’t be the same without her many flavors, and distinctly different cuisine. From beignets with café au lait to etouffe smothered in roux, New Orleans is rich in flavor…

…perhaps no dish represents New Orleans better than Gumbo, a soup or stew which reflects and blends the rich cuisines of New Orleans’ peoples: Indian, French, Spanish, and African cultures. A Cajun specialty, the word "gumbo" actually comes from an African, a Bantu word for okra, "gombo." The Choctaw Indians brought Filé powder into the recipe gumbo and Europeans adapted bouillabaisse to suit the unique New World spices. It has a lil bit of everything that makes New Orleans unique. That, and it tastes amazing! Don't believe me, try this!


Serious Vegetarian Gumbo

½ cup plus 1 teaspoon organic canola oil
½ cup white whole wheat flour
3 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 medium green peppers, chopped (about 3 cups)
3 portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped off, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry sherry
4 cups vegetable broth 
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (use regular if you’re not a veg)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, or a bit more to taste
4 vegetarian sausages, sliced (I used Field Roast smoked apple sausage)
1 16-ounce package chicken-style seitan

For serving:

Gumbo filé powder, optional
Tabasco sauce
Cooked rice

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the oil and flour in a large ovenproof dutch oven. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until the roux is very dark.

Add the onion, peppers, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook on the stove over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for one minute, then add the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices.

Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If the gumbo seems too thick, add water as you see fit (you can leave the gumbo on the thicker side if you’re not serving the filé powder on the side).

Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced sausages and brown on both sides. Add the seitan and cook for one minute more, stirring.

Add the sausage and seitan to the pot and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Serve over brown rice, and pass the file powder (if using) and Tabasco.

recipe from

Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee