Friday, September 21, 2012

Ramen for Two

I had previously posted a Shrimp Ramen Soup recipe - this is a more traditional ramen that is pork based.  Being an empty nester makes it necessary to scale down recipes for just two people.  That can often be difficult since the ingredients necessary may not come in small enough portions.  This is the first post focusing specifically on recipe's for two people - hopefully there will be others.

Ramen soup - a staple for college students.  I will occasionally eat it even now using the included broth packet.  I like to eat it for breakfast - I use a bit less water than it calls for; and, after adding the noodles and broth packet, I'll stir in a slightly beaten egg. 

But, sometimes, you just want the real thing.  I put that in italics as I really have no idea if this even remotely resembles ramen soup that you might find in Japan, having never been there.  But it is a hearty, and quite tasty, soup - perfect for dinner in the cooler months of fall and winter.  It's easy to make and much of the preparation can be done the day ahead.

  • 3/4 pound of pork (see note 1)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1-inch hunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms with stems removed and reserved
  • 4 cups chicken stock (preferably home made)
  • 1/4 head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • (optional) other fresh vegetables (see note 2)
  • 1 Tbl miso
  • 1 Tbl soy sauce
  • 1 Tbl mirin
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • (optional) salt and pepper (if necessary)
  • 2 packages ramen soup noodles (discard seasoning packets)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • (optional) sriracha, or other hot sauce, added to taste, while serving


A small 6-quart crockpot works well; but, this could also be done on a stove top. The first 5 steps can be done ahead of time - even the day before.
  1. Place the sliced onions in the bottom of a pot.  Place pork meat on top (cut pork into smaller hunks if necessary).  Top with garlic, minced ginger, and and dried shitake mushrooms (both stems and tops).  Pour chicken stock over everything.
  2. Simmer until pork meat is tender enough to shred (about 5 hours in a crockpot - possibly quicker on stove top)
  3. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle
  4. Remove pork meat; shread and reserve.  Remove shitake mushroom tops (not stems); slice into slivers and reserve
  5. Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer and then let sit to allow oil to float to the top.  Skim off oil
  6. Return stock to pot and add all remaining ingredients (including reserved pork and shitake mushrooms) - except noodles and green onions.
  7. Simmer until vegetables are tender
  8. Taste and add salt, if necessary
  9. Meanwhile, cook ramen noodles by placing in boiling water for two minutes, strain and run under cold water to stop cooking
  10. To serve, place noodles in bottom of bowl, ladle soup over noodles, add sriracha, if desired, sprinkle chopped green onions on top

  1. You can use any type of pork, such as country style ribs, pork chops, etc.  I happened to find a slice of pork shoulder that was 0.8 pounds which I used.  Preferably the meat should include bones and they will help make a richer stock - but boneless will work as well.
  2. You can add any other vegetables you may happen to have on hand; for example:  Chopped bell pepper (green, red, or any other color), summer squash or carrot, julienned, etc.  You can also add things such as snow peas or sugar snap peas - although I would add these later (just a few minutes before serving) so as to not overcook.  Personally, I would avoid vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower as they have a strong flavor which could prove overpowering.  I would also avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and winter squash.   But, this is America - so do whatever floats your boat.
More Notes
  • I like to add lots of vegetables which almost makes this a thick soup - or thin stew. This is a good use of extra vegetables in the fridge that need to be used before they go bad.  When I made it, I julienned some zucchini squash,  yellow crookneck squash, and carrots in addition to the cabbage.  I also used a whole 8oz package of mushrooms thinly sliced.
  • No need to reconstitute dried shitake mushrooms as they will reconstitute while making the stock.  But, be sure to remove the stems as, even reconstituted, they can be tough and chewy.  But add the stems to the stock for flavoring since they will be strained out with everything else
  • If using store bought chicken stock then you may not need to add any salt as it typically has a lot of salt.  I make my own chicken stock and don't add any salt; so, I find I do sometimes need to add a bit of salt to recipes using my homemade chicken stock.  Although, for this particular recipe, I find that the soy sauce, mirin, and miso add enough sodium for my taste and don't need to add any salt - but others may find it necessary.
  • My wife does not like black pepper - so I usually leave it out in recipes and grind some on top of my portion at the table.  But, if you have no aversion to black pepper, I think this recipe could benefit from it.
  • Only cook enough ramen noodles that you will eat during the meal as they will get mushy if left in the soup.  You can easily cook more noodles if you have leftover ramen soup,
  • Normally I like to add lots of garlic - I will often double the amount called for in a recipe.  But, in this recipe I tend to take a more conservative approach - especially since I use my own homemade chicken stock - which I make using garlic.  I love garlic; I just don't want too much of a good thing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I was having a hankering for sliders so I came up with this recipe

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 Tbl dried onion flakes
  • ¼ Cup hot water
  • ½  tsp smoked salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • small buns or potato rolls
  1. Soak dried onion flakes in hot water for a few minutes to soften.
  2. Mix together beef, smoked salt, garlic powder and onion/water mixture.
  3. Divide meat into 8 portions and form into patties about 3 to 3½-inch in diameter.
  4. Fry on a griddle or heavy frying pan until cooked through, flipping once
  5. Slice buns and place a patty on each bun
  6. Add condiments of choice
  • Dill pickle slices
  • 1 medium (or ½ large) onion, thinly sliced and sauteed until caramelized and a nice rich color
  • BBQ sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup (or Catsup)
  • Mustard
  • Dill pickle slices are a must on sliders as far as I am concerned.  Everything else is a matter of choice
  • Serve with frys - or, even better, tater tots - or best, cheesy tater tots

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

We had a lot of family over for the holidays.  In preparation for their visit, I had stocked up on cube steak thinking I would make my Chicken Fried Steak.  Unfortunately, it never happened; so, now we've got a bunch of cube steak in the freezer which needs to be used before it gets freezer burnt.  So, I've been looking for recipes that use cube steak.  One such recipe is Beef Stroganoff.

The problem I had with the Beef Stroganoff recipes I found is that they use Cream of Mushroom soup.  I don't know what it is, but I really do not like canned soup nor recipes that use them.  Maybe it's the preservatives - but there is just some after taste that I don't like in a lot of canned foods.

So, I set out to prepare a Beef Stroganoff recipe that didn't use canned Cream of Mushroom soup.

Serves: 4 people

    • 1 Tbl oil
    • 1 medium (or ½ large) onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 8 oz mushrooms, ¼-inch sliced
    • 1 pound cubed steak, cut into strips
    • ½ cup flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 Tbl oil
    • 3 Tbl unsalted butter
    • 3 Tbl flour
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • salt/pepper to taste
    • Noodles, cooked according to directions on package
    1. Add 1 Tbl oil to heated pan and then add sliced onion and chopped carrot.  Cook until onion starts to brown. Add muchrooms and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and reserve
    2. In a separate sauce pan, add 3 Tbl butter and 3 Tbl flour to make a roux.  Cook until flour starts to turn a light brown.  Then whisk in 2 cups beef broth and 1 cup heavy cream.  Continue cooking, whisking frequently, until thickenen.  Add in reserved vegetables and fresh thyme and simmer.
    3. Meanwhile, combine ½ cup flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp garlic powder in a plastic bag, shake to combine.  Then add strips of cube steak and shake to coat thoroughly.  Put 2 Tbl oil in heated pan, add meat and saute until meat is cooked through.  Add meat to sauce and vegetables
    4. Continue simmering until heated through, stirring occasionally to keep from burning on the bottom of the pan.  
    5. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and heat through.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
    6. Remove thyme stem and serve over cooked noodles
    • This can be an inexpensive, and relatively easy, recipe to prepare.  Our local Kroger store has a bin where they sell meat that has reached its 'sell by' date and a similar bin for vegetables (what I like to call the 'used meat' and 'used vegetable' bins).  So, I only paid about $3 for the meat and 89¢ for the mushrooms.
    • When making the sauce, be sure to select a sauce pan that is large enough to hold everything that will be added later and (if you're like us), to serve from.
    • Beef Stroganoff is traditionally served over egg noodles; however, I just use whatever pasta I happen to have on hand.  When I made this recipe, I used Farfalle (bow tie or butterfly shaped) pasta simply because I had ½ box that I wanted to use up.
    • Try adding ¼ tsp dried thyme to the sauce in place of the fresh thyme sprig
    • Try using thinly sliced round steak in place of cubed steak.  This would make it easier to trim the fat off of the meat.  I suppose you could also use chicken in place of beef - but then it would be Chicken Stroganoff.
    • I'm not really sure the purpose of coating the meat with flour before cooking - this was just something I saw in a lot of the recipes I reviewed.  Try just seasoning the meat with salt and garlic powder (or garlic salt) before cooking

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Boiled Turkey Dinner

    On one episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network, Guy Fieri visited Landmark Diner in Charlotte, North Carolina.  One of their specialties is turkey and stuffing. As you can see from watching this YouTube video, they boil their turkey instead of roasting.

    In Charlotte, NC, Guy pays a visit to the Greek family-run Landmark Diner.

    For Thanksgiving this year, it was going to be just me, Linda, and my son and his wife; so, I setout to try to duplicate this recipe.  One challenge is that the chef showed what ingredients he used – but no clue as to quantities.  I, of course, also wanted to scale it down to a single turkey.

    One problem I anticipated is that the turkey stock is needed for the dressing and the gravy; I didn't want to boil the whole turkey so that the meat was done before I could even start making the dressing and gravy - I wanted to be able to time it so that the turkey was ready about the same time as the rest of the dinner. To accomplish this, I decided to separate the breast meat from the turkey carcass so as to be able to make the turkey stock the day before.

    Of course, I can't resist adding my own tweaks; so, I decided to roast the turkey carcass (sans breast meat) before making the stock; I applied a dry rub to the raw turkey breast as it sat overnight in the refrigerator; and, I included thyme, dried cranberries and pecans in the dressing so as to make more of a complete turkey dinner.

    Of course, you can't have a turkey dinner without a sweet potatoe dish of some sort; so, for dessert, I made Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce and Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise; although, I didn’t have a vanilla bean nor do I keep bourbon and/or apple schnapps on hand; so, I used 1 tsp of brandy extract in the pudding and a ½ tsp vanilla extract in the Crème Anglaise.  I also chopped 2 apples and microwaved for 2 minutes then pressed with a potato ricer to extract the ½ apple juice for the Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce (I thought using fresh apples might impart more of an apple flavor than if I just used store bought apple juice). If I made this again then I think I might try using 3 or 4 apples to get a bit more apple flavor.

    So, here is my version of a Boiled Turkey Dinner. The result is a moist, succulent, and flavorful turkey with gravy and dressing that is to die for.


    • Turkey, 12-14 pound
    • 1 large Onion, quartered
    • 3 stalks Celery, roughly chopped
    • 3 Carrots, roughly chopped
    • 1 full head garlic cut in ½
    • 1 Tbl kosher salt
    • ½ tsp whole black Peppercorns
    • 2 bay leaves
    • Oil (enough to coat turkey breast)
    • Water to cover
    Turkey Rub
    • 2 tsp Thyme
    • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp white pepper
    Day before
    1. Cut up turkey into parts and debone breast from turkey keeping skin on breast
    2. Dry boned turkey breast and rub with vegetable oil, then sprinkle rub over turkey breast including under the skin. Tie breast with twine wrapping in skin and store in refrigerator in heavy ziplock bag overnight.
    3. Put remainder of turkey carcass into oven and roast at 350 degrees for 2 to 2½ hours. During the last hour, add the vegetables (onion, celery, carrots, and garlic) to the roasting pan. Remove thigh meat and save for another use (optional)
    4. Put everything except boned breast meat into a large stock pot and boil for about 5 hours
    5. Strain turkey stock. Reserve stock for making gravy and dressing. Reserve remaining stock to boil turkey breast.
    Day of
    1. Add boned breast meat to reserved stock, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 1 hour in a covered pan
    2. Turn off heat and leave breast to cool in stock for another hour
    3. Leave breasts in stock to keep warm until ready to serve (reheat if necessary)


    The gravy can be made the day before using reserved turkey stock

    • 4 Tbl Butter
    • 4 Tbl Flour
    • 4 Cups reserved turkey stock
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Melt butter in sauce pan
    2. Add flour to melted butter and cook for a bit until starting to turn light brown
    3. Add turkey stock and whisk to fully incorporate flour/butter rue into stock. Cook, stirring frequently, to thicken, if necessary, add salt and pepper to taste  


    • ¼ pound Butter (1 stick)
    • 1 large Onion
    • 4 stalks Celery
    • 4 Carrots
    • 2 Cups peeled and chopped apples (about 4 apples)
    • ½ Cup brown sugar
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg
    • 3 cloves Garlic
    • 2 tsp Rubbed Sage
    • 1 tsp Thyme
    • 1 tsp Poultry seasoning
    • 1 kosher tsp Salt
    • ½ tsp Black Pepper, ground
    • 16 cups Bread cubes, toasted (1½ - 2 loaves)
    • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
    • 4-5 cups reserved turkey stock
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 cup pecans chopped
    Day before (optional)
    1. Finely chop onion, celery, and carrot
    2. Cook onion, celery, and carrot in butter until onion starts to carmelize
    3. Add chopped apples, brown sugar, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg garlic, sage, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning) and continue cooking until apples are soft.
    4. If done the day before then store the vegetable mixture in refrigerator until ready to use.
    Day of
    1. Add reserved turkey stock and eggs to breadcrumbs, it should be fairly moist, but not soggy.
    2. Fold in vegetable mixture, dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix well
    3. Spread bread mixture into a large flat baking dish, like a lasagna or 9x13 dish
    4. Bake in oven covered for 1 hour. Remove cover and bake for another 30 minutes to crisp top


    1. Cut dressing into squares.  Remove skin and slice turkey breast
    2. Place a square of dressing on plate and spoon some gravy on top
    3. Place warm turkey slices on top of dressing and cover with gravy. Dip turkey slices in hot turkey stock to warm if necessary.


    • When I made the dressing I used a can of store bought apple pie filling. I like the sweetness of the apples in the dressing; but, I thought it was a little two much since a can of pie filling is about 21 ounces; so, I've adjusted this recipe to incorporate just a couple of cups of apples plus sugar and spices typically found in an apple pie.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Chicago inspired deep dish pizza

    I used a recipe by Emeril Lagasse Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizzas as my muse and then added my own tweaks.  This recipe makes 2 (10-inch) deep dish pizzas.  I don't think Emeril's sauce recipe makes enough for two pizzas; so, I doubled it.  Although, there will be a bit left over (probably need to 1½ it).  I also used kalamata olives in place of the tasteless black olives, but only ½ as much since they have a more intense flavor.  I also used a red bell pepper in place of a green one.  And, I increased the amount of sugar in the sauce.

    The recipe says it makes 2 12-inch pizzas; however, I had a lot of difficulty spreading the dough in that size of pan.  So, I think making 10-inch pizza's is a lot easier.  The crust will be a bit thicker - but, it's a tasty crust, especially infused with all of the goodness from the toppings and sauce.

    I don't have a deep dish style pizza pan; so, I've used both a cast iron frying pan and a springform cheesecake pan.  Oiling the pan plus the oil in the dough makes it come out of the pan very easily.

    The first time I made this pizza, I put the mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion in raw; but, this resulted in a lot of liquid in the finished pizza which we had to mop up with a papertowel.  The next time I made it I precooked the mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion.  I also cooked the sauce longer to remove more of the liquid.

    • Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Dough, recipe follows
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
    • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
    • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, salt free
    • 2 tablespoons wine (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
    • 8 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced
    • 8 ounces mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin slices
    • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
    • ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
    • 1 pound crumbled hot Italian sausage
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan
    1. While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds, salt, and black and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.  Smash tomatoes and then continue cooking until thickened, about 30min to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.
    2. Meanwhile, precook sausage in a frying pan, remove from pan leaving as much of the oil as possible.  Then precook mushrooms in same pan with leftover oil from sausage.  Remove mushrooms leaving as much of the liquid as possible in the pan, then pour mushroom liquid into simmering sauce
    3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
    4. Place onion and red pepper slices on a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper lightly sprayed with cooking oil and bake for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned
    5. Oil 2 seasoned 12-inch round deep-dish pizza pans with the extra-virgin olive oil. Press 1 piece of dough into each pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes.
    6. Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each with half of the pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper rings, onions, black olives and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top with Parmesan.
    7. Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
    8. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot
    Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza Dough: 
    • 11/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
    • 1 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to grease bowl
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1.  In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, ½ cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.
    3. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
    4. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
    5. Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed.
    • I read recently it's best to use canned whole tomatoes, instead of chopped, whenver possible because they use the best tomatoes to can whole and the rest for other styles.
    • Be sure to use good quality (i.e. name brand) canned whole tomatoes.  I tried making it with Walmart Great Value brand - and it just didn't taste quite as good as when I made it with a name brand.
    • If you can't find salt free canned whole tomatoes then try leaving the salt out of the sauce
    • Precooking the onion, red pepper, and mushrooms is important as it removes as much moisture as possible - otherwise there will be a lot of liquid in the finished pizza.
    • I used kalamata olives packed in olive oil.  After pitting and chopping the olives, I used the olive infused olive oil in the dough to impart a bit of an olive taste.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Curry

     This is an easy meal to make, tasty, and inexpensive.  Plus, it's a good way to use up vegetables you may have on hand.

    • 1 lb package firm tofu
    • ½ head cauliflower
    • 3 carrots
    • 1 medium sweet potato
    • 1 Tbl vegetable or olive oil
    • ½ large onion (or 1 medium onion), diced
    • ½ red bell pepper, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbl Curry Powder
    • ½ tsp Cinnamon
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • ½ cup raisins or dried currents
    • 2 Tbl cornstarch
    • ½ cup water
    • Salt, to taste  
    • Cooked rice
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
    2. Remove excess moisture from Tofu:  Slick Tofu block in half cross-wise so that you have two slaps of Tofu about ¾-inch thick.  Lay down a section of newspaper the put a paper towel on top.  Lay the Tofu slabs on top of the paper towels.  Place another paper towel on top and another section of newspaper.  Then lay a cookie sheet on top of that and weigh it down with cans from the pantry.  Leave for about 20 minutes.  Then cut Tofu into chunks (not too small)
    3. Meanwhile, wash and cut vegetables into chunks (not too small).
    4. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray and lay out all of the vegetables and Tofu in a single layer.  Spray top of vegetables with oil spray
    5. Roast vegetables and Tofu in Oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway.
    6. While vegetables/tofu are roast, make sauce:  In a large pan, heat oil and then add onions and bell pepper, saute until onion starts to turn light brown.  Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute.  Add Curry powder and Cinnamon and cook for about 30 seconds to bring out flavor.  Add two cups chicken stock and bring to boil.  Mix cornstarch with ½ cup water and gently pour into boiling sauce stirring constantly so as to avoid clumps.  When thickened, remove from heat.  Taste and add salt to taste.
    7. When vegetables and tofu are roasted, add them to stock and gently stir so that all of the vegetables are coated with sauce
    8. Serve with hot rice
    • For a fully vegetarian meal, substitute apple juice for chicken stock.
    • For a more meat-atarian meal, substitute chicken for Tofu.  Use beef stock, add a dash of Thai fish sauce, and saute some bacon to sprinkle on top - so as to use as many animals as possible.
    • Try other vegetables (whatever you have on hand):  Eggplant, potato, squash, etc.
    • I like Madras curry powder - but any good curry powder will do
    • Try serving with Couscous instead of rice

    Saturday, September 4, 2010


    I've been having a hankering for gumbo lately. My wife an I were at Fish City Grill a week or so ago so I ordered a cup of gumbo. Unfortunately, it had a burnt flavor; so, I sent it back (something I very rarely do). They replaced it with a cup of crab bisque, which was quite good - but it didn't satisfy my gumbo hankering.

    The weather cooled down a bit; so, I decided to make some gumbo. As usual, I looked up several Gumbo recipes and then concocted my own.  So, here is my Gumbo recipe inspired by Alton Brown, Emeril Lagasse, Paula Dean, & Rachel Ray.

    BTW, the shrimp and oyster Po'boy's at Fish City Grill are very tasty.

    • 2 tsp paprika
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • ½ tsp dried oregano
    • ½ tsp ground thyme
    • ½ cup oil
    • ½ cup flour
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • ½ red pepper, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1 quart chicken broth
    • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 boneless (half) chicken breasts (about 1 - 1½ pounds), cubed
    • 1 pound cooked andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
    • 2 cups frozen okra
    • 2 bay leaves
    • Cooked rice
    • Filé powder
    1. Mix rub ingredients together and then mix with chicken cubes, being sure to coat each cube.  Refrigerate until ready to use
    2. To make rue:  In a cast iron (or other heavy) dutch oven, mix together ½ cup oil and ½ cup flour.  Place in oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake 1½ hours, whisking 2 or 3 times while baking.  Rue should be a nice creamy chocolate color.
    3. Remove dutch oven from oven and place on stove top over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, and celery (the holy trinity) and saute until onion is transluant
    4. Add stock, tomatoes, and water and whisk thrououghly.  Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking frequently, until thickened.
    5. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry sausage until browned, remove sausage and add to gumbo
    6. Then cook chicken in the oil rendered from the sausage, when cooked through add to gumbo
    7. Add okra and bay leaves to gumbo
    8. Simmer for 30 minutes (or longer)
    9. Remove bay leaves and serve with cooked rice and Filé powder (to sprinkle on top)
    • Kudoes to Alton Brown for the idea of baking the rue - it's so easy to burn when doing it on the stove top
    • I prefer red pepper over green, but green pepper will suffice
    • Any smoked sausage (like kielbasa) can be substituted; although, I prefer something spicy
    • This gumbo is not very spicy, so add some tabasco sauce if you want to spice it up a bit