Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking Glass History with Alligator Gumbo

There are days when the 911 troothers and history revisionists in the Looking Glass just get to me. These are people whose intellects have been nourished on episodes of The X-Files.  I just can't take all the trooth and history. But here it is, as it is posted on tumblr.

Without Muslims you wouldn’t have:
  • Coffee
  • Cameras
  • Experimental Physics
  • Chess
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Perfume/spirits
  • Irrigation
  • Crank-shaft, internal combustion engine, valves, pistons
  • Combination locks
  • Architectural innovation (pointed arch -European Gothic cathedrals adopted this technique as it made the building much stronger, rose windows, dome buildings, round towers, etc.)
  • Surgical instruments
  • Anesthesia
  • Windmill
  • Treatment of Cowpox
  • Fountain pen
  • Numbering system
  • Algebra/Trigonometry
  • Modern Cryptology
  • 3 course meal (soup, meat/fish, fruit/nuts)
  • Crystal glasses
  • Carpets
  • Checks
  • Gardens used for beauty and meditation instead of for herbs and kitchen.
  • University
  • Optics
  • Music
  • Toothbrush
  • Hospitals
  • Bathing
  • Quilting
  • Mariner’s Compass
  • Soft drinks
  • Pendulum
  • Braille
  • Cosmetics
  • Plastic surgery
  • Calligraphy
  • Manufacturing of paper and cloth

Betcha didn't knoes this, bizzitches. I bet you didn't know that Muslims discovered Amrika. Well, now you do! So there, and all. What you need after this histrionic lesson is some small comfort: Have some gumbo: I made this tonight. With alligator meat. And okra. The only vegetable that produces snot. Mmm.

Mother Effingby's Shrimp and Alligator Gumbo - a Most Haram meal for September 11th.

Yep, I took these pictures myself. New camera does the food some justice.


3/4 cup of whole wheat white flour (King Arthur)
bacon drippings
1/2 lb bacon
1 lb alligator meat cubed into small pieces
2 lbs shrimp (large, but not jumbo)
1 lb andouille  sausage, sliced into circles
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 diced green pepper
1 diced white onion
3 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 diced red pepper
1 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
chicken stock or seafood stock (you can buy it in a box, now)
1/2 lb okra
Creole seasoning OR cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, mixed together in no particular's all up to your taste.
2 bay leaves
Sriracha chili sauce
1 cup dry roasted slightly chopped peanuts

Break out your cast iron Dutch Oven if you have one, this is going to take a while.

Preheat oven to 350.  Put your burner on a medium high heat.

Slice the bacon into small pieces and brown, until all the fat is rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan.
Season the alligator meat with the Creole seasoning and add it to the fat, browning on both sides, but not cooking it through. Remove it to a plate. Add the sausage and repeat this process and remove when browned to hang out with the alligator meat.
Add the vegetables except for the okra and sauté until softened. Remove them to a bowl and add the flour to the fat. Whisk it right away. If the flour is too clumpy, add a bit of oil and whisk it until it is smooth.
Once it begins to bubble on the stove, remove it and cook the roux in the oven for about a half hour to 45 minutes, stirring it every 20 minutes. It won't burn this way. It is really easy to burn the roux on the stove, but this is a very important step in making gumbo. The roux has to be dark, and smell slightly like toasting nuts. When it's done, it should be brick colored. In the meantime, heat your stock.
Place the roux back on the stove and add the stock slowly, whisking it constantly. Add the vegetables and then the tomatoes. Add the sausage, alligator and bacon. Finally, add the okra and the creole seasonings and sriracha sauce. I used sriracha because I didn't have tobasco. It's less tangy than tobasco, but it is a full-bodied heat and will send you searching for liquid coolant.
Lower the heat and cook, simmering for about a half hour.  Add your shrimp and turn off the heat. Finally, before serving, stir in the peanuts. (a touch of Africa)
Some recipes call for filé, but I didn't have any, and you can use it instead of okra.
As for the peanuts, it is common in traditional West African cuisine, and it was just a spur of the moment decision to add them. They actually made the gumbo quite delicious!
Remember, keeds, this isn't necessarily a traditional gumbo recipe, but I imagine gumbo mutates from chef to chef. The next time I make this, it will probably be different, too.
PS. I understand, from all the purists who will write me enraged, that the cooking procedures are not the correct way of making roux. Too bad. This worked. I'm doing it like this from now on. One pot cooking. That's the house rule for making stews.

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