Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vegan Greens and Squash Gumbo

A friend was making a roux for gumbo during the week. He had some issue with the first batch. I thought it was be a lot simpler if I could just show him how a cooked roux should look like since, by coincident, I was going to make some gumbo this weekend. I made the roux, took a picture of it. Great thing about roux, you can actually make it ahead of time and pour it into a jar and store in the fridge for a week of so.

The treat to make a good roux is all about patience, slow and steady. Keep stirring on low heat, then the flour is toasted and you will have a popcorn like smell and a runny peanut butter color and texture, it's down.

As with the recipe here, this is a modification of the classic Good Friday Greens gumbo. I added squash since it is in season and it also add a little texture to the stew. When you assemble this, you will notice it is very thick at the beginning. Not to worry, as you cook the greens, the sauce will loosen up since the vegetable will release juices/liquid.

By the way, this is not a low-cal dish since we are using a rich roux.

Vegan Greens and Squash Gumbo
4 large bunches of greens such as collard greens, chard or kale. I am using 2 bunches of collard greens, 1 rainbow chard and 1 green kale. If you are using collard green and kale, remove the rib, roughly chopped the greens.
1 large leek, cleaned and diced
4 stalks of celery, cleaned and diced
1 large green pepper, cleaned, seed and stem removed, diced
1 large onion, diced.
1 large tbsp chopped garlic.
2 large shallot, finely chopped
1 squash, peeled, seed removed and cut into 1" pieces.
1 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

File mix:
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ancho chilli powder
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp grounded black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour

Bring a large pot of water with a dash of salt to a boil.
Blanch the green in batches to soften.
Bring the green to a quick boil.
Remove the green from the water. For this recipe, you don't need to shock this
Save 3 cup of the liquid, set a side.
In a large dutch oven, add the roux mix reheat till hot.
Add spice mix, let it toast for a min
Stir in the garlic, you will notice the roux with bubble with the moisture from the garlic
Stir in onion, green pepper and celery. The roux will be come very thick. Lower the heat to med and let it cook for a few mins.
Stir in leek and shallot.
Add squash.
Slowing pour in the reserved liquid from the greens. Bring to a boil
Return the greens to the gumbo mix in the dutch oven.
Add in the tomatoes, stir well.
Add bay leaves once everything is mixed well

Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to low. Cover and let it slow simmer for about an hour. Stir the gumbo every now and then to make sure the stew is not sticking. (I use a non-stick dutch oven which make cooking quite simple)
Once the greens and the squash are tender. It's ready to serve.
Ladle the gumbo over rice.

How to make a roux
Heat the oil in a small saucepan till hot. Slowly add in the flour. Keep stirring the mixture till the color the roux turn to a peanut butter color, with a consistency of runny peanut butter. You will also get a popcorn-like fragrant. The roux is ready.
You can transfer the roux mix in a glass jar once it's cold and store in the fridge.
Or if you are using it right away, you can cook the roux in the dutch oven.

Make 10-12 serving.


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