Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gombo (Gumbo) - From La Cuisine Creole, 1885 - Lafcadio Hearn

("Gombo" is Hearn's spelling of Gumbo)
2 pounds cold roasted chicken, turkey, game or any other meat
salt and pepper
1 gallon boiling water to every 2 pounds meat and bones
½ pound of ham or less of (Canadian) bacon
1 quart sliced okra or a coffee-cupful (use 1 ½ tablespoons) of gombo filée, for every gallon of water
Optional: oysters, crabs or shrimp; tomatoes, green corn, other vegetables

This is a most excellent form of soup, and is an economical way of using up the remains of any cold roasted chicken, turkey, game or other meats. Cut up and season the chicken, meat or other material to make the soup; fry to a light brown in a pot, and add boiling water in proportion to your meat. Two pounds of meat or chicken (bones and all), with ½ pound of ham, or less of breakfast (Canadian) bacon, will flavor a gallon of soup, which, when boiled down, will make gombo for 6 people. When the boiling water is added to the meat, let it simmer for at least 2 hours. Take the large bones from the pot, and add okra or a preparation of dried and pounded sassafras leaves, called filée. This makes the difference in gombo. For gombo for six people use 1 quart of sliced okra; if filée be used, put in a coffee-cupful. Either gives the smoothness so desirable in this soup. Oysters, crabs and shrimp may be added when in season, as all improve the gombo. Never strain gombo. Add green corn, tomatoes, etc., if desired. Serve gombo with plain boiled rice.
Tags: Lafcadio Hearn, first New Orleans cookbook
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