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Livvie’s veggie gumbo
So there’s a bit of a disclaimer attached to this recipe. I haven’t actually been to Louisiana and certaintly haven’t ever eaten an authentic gumbo, vegetarian or otherwise. So I’ve created this out of what I know from cookbooks and magazines. With the 15 minute time limit, I decided to skip the rouille usually used to thicken and flavour gumbos. And I couldn’t get my hands on any file powder which is usually used to flavour gumbos. Cajun spice mix, however does do a wonderful job of bringing this bastardised gumbo to life.
for the gumbo:
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
4 summer squash or 2 zucchini
1 red bell pepper (capsicum)
2-3 teaspoons cajin spice mix
poached eggs, to serve:
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1. gumbo: Heat a large pot on a high heat.
2. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, chop squash into 1/6ths or coarsely slice the zucchini into rounds and chop the pepper into chunks. Add veg to the pot.
4. Cover and simmer.
5. Meanwhile, coarsely grate the cauliflower using a food processor or coarse box grater. Add cauli to the pot along with the spice mix. Cover and keep cooking.
6. eggs: Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil.
7. Reduce heat to a simmer and add vinegar. Break egg into a small cup and slip it into the water. Repeat with the other egg.
8. Simmer gently for 3 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
9. When the eggs have 1 minute to go, taste and season the gumbo, adding more spice mix if you think it needs it.
10. to serve: Divide gumbo between two bowls and top each with and egg and a little more spice mix.
The gumbo could easily be made ahead and reheated. And the eggs can be poached for 2 minutes, chilled in cold water. Then reheated for a minute before serving
Will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
variations for fun
vegan – replace the poached egg with a generous handful of toasted pine nuts or almonds.
carnivore – replace the veg or add some diced chicken thighs and simmer until just
carb-lovers – replace the cauli with cooked rice. Add it at the end and allow to warm through before serving.
different veg – okra would be more authentic but (thankfully) it isn’t available here. Most veg would work well here. A few greens wouldn’t go astray.
problem solving guide
bland – remember to season generously. Spice mixes will vary in their intensity so feel free to add more if needed. A little file powder, if you can find it, would be a great addition as well.
too watery – next time simmer with the lid off Or use less water in the beginning. Different veg will add different amounts of water so you may need to adjust accordingly.
too dry – add a little more water until it looks to be the right consistency
veg too crunchy – depending on your veg and how large you leave them they may take longer to cook. Next time chop smaller or use different veg but for now you could simmer for a little longer.
eggs rubbery – this means they’ve been overcooked. Next time watch more carefully and make sure they only simmer gently rather than boil in the water. It’s also a good idea to have the gumbo served up and ready for the eggs a minute or so before the eggs are ready so you can get them to the table without delay.
I think this is best served in deep bowls with the eggs on top.
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