Chili & Gumbo

OK, I want some help concerning my two favorite foods, well for now anyways.

I love to cook, but my skills are best at Grilling and saute’ing. My family is cooking impared, always have been, and I seem to be the only one who likes to eat things not delivered by a guy in a rusted out car wearing some paper hat. Chili and Gumbo are two dishes that must be made according to grandma’s old recipe, and nothing from a book will suffice. So I turn to the TM, what are the best ways and recipes to make these two great dishes. Anything from crock pot, to stove top, to microwave I’ll be willing to try. Lay it on me!

Ah, gumbo, the food of the gods !

I will share my seafood gumbo recipe with you. There are no measurements for it as I learned to make it from my father-in-law who was a chef. The man did not use measuring cups or spoons !

You need a big pot, at leat 4 quarts maybe bigger, (mine is 12 quarts} pour a couple of quarts of water in it, add a couple of fish filets to this,(they will boil to pieces which is cool beause this is the stock.) Chop 1 medium size onion, a couple of stalks of celery (2 or 3) mince some garlic according to your taste. Add all these to pot along with some fi’le, salt and pepper. Clean /cut up any other sea food you want to use. Now start your rou, pour some oil into a skillet, heat, add flour untill it is fairly thick, add salt and pepper, add a pinch of sugar ( this helps take the raw taste off the flour and helps it to brown nicely) stir constantly. While this is cooking start adding the seafood to the water, make sure to put crab first (if you are using it ) or sausage ( if you are using that) fish and shrimp need to go last. Now add some water to the rou, stiring it with a whisk as you pour. When it has reached the thickness of pudding start adding it to the big pot with the seafood and vegs. Stiring as you add it ! If you want okra and tomatos add a can or two of them mixed at this point. Simmer. Make a pot of rice, when this is done turn off gumbo and let it sit so the flavors are well blended for about 10 mins. Set out seasonings, hot sauce ,ect. and let folks doctor their own acording to taste. Serve the gumbo over rice, with french bread you can’t beat it.

I may have to make a pot tonight myself !


Ayesha - Lioness

You sound reasonable. Must be time to up my medication.

Every chili cook on the planet thinks his (wimmin can’t make chili, he trolled) is the best. They are wrong. Mine is.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

Don’t make the mistake of only paying attention to spicyness. A friend of mine does this; his chili is extremely hot, but has very little flavor otherwiwse. It’s like eating a big bowl of pain. Don’t go there.

If you want recipes, I can type up mine for you. But I’m sure I’ll get flak from the chili purists, because mine doesn’t contain any meat. (Enter JBENZ with flamethrower in hand… =B^)

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

Actually, when Im dieting (not that I, ahem, need it) I make a sort of vegetarian chili. I cheat with a fat free beef broth base or beef bouillon cube or two but you can replace the meat and fat with red beans cooked in beer and it ain’t too bad. You can eat a ton of it and not feel guilty.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

Don’t look at me.
I’m taste imapired.
For a good start on the gumbo/jambalya thing try:

As far a chili goes, check out SOAR (searchable online archive or recipes) at Berkeley. “Soar” should got you to it…

I’m a hopeless, addicted Cinti. chili fan. (I’mthecowgodmoo, eat Skyline for me! 4-way, w/ tabasco: bliss!) It’s a Greek version of chili, w/ cumin, coriander, unsweetened chocolate; served over spaghetti w/ clouds of shredded cheese, finely minced onion…I’m homesick! Any my freezer is nearly denuded of frozen Skyline!..whimper.)

Sorry…lapsing into gastronomic greed,

Dang! No wonder that link thingy didn’t work; I misspelled “roux”…

ok, trying again… http://wwww.

Also, check out “top secret recipes on the web”; I got some killer “white chili” recipes w/ chicken etc. and some veg chilis that will break your heart…

Better at cooking than computing,

First, a little help for TV, [url=]click here[/ur/] (it’s always bugged me a bit to see that “nawlins” because I don’t know anybody who says that naturally - I deal with my neighbors to the east frequently and my little sister’s been there since her early teens and she’s - YIKES! - 39 now; what they say is more like nuawlins).

On to the gumbo…

My dear friend Danny, who’s from some town whose name I can’t remember in Calcasieu Parish, has a Christmas Caroling party every year (that oughta be comin’ up pretty soon - yum!) for which he whips up a gigantic batch of gumbo. Now, I’m from the cooking-impaired side of the tracks; I’m an artiste at the grill (charcoal, not gas), but other stuff is best left to those who know what they’re doing. So I’m not going to tell you how to build a gumbo. But let me get back to Danny’s: into this gumbo goes boiled new potatoes and shelled hard boiled eggs (I know, not super secret stuff, but you never get that in the restaurant gumbos); they are flavored by the roux (and etc.) and help the alcohol-impaired continue. They’re also sort of a “prize” for best fishing in the cauldron. In the summer they’ll add crawdaddies (for some reason the cooks amongst us can explain better than I, certain crawdaddy dishes are OK to prepare with the now commercially farmed and available all year c-daddies while others are only attempted w/“in season” c-daddies).

Another thing that can add to the enjoyment - personal adjustment of the spice level. I use a sauce called Cajun Chef, they’re out of St. Martinville, LA. There are others like them - the point with this type of hot sauce is that they’re cayenne based and can take a dish from anywhere between mild to painful in many small steps, whereas other hot sauces tend to be ON or not.

Now I’m hungry.


I think, between TV and me, this is the fourth attempt.

Well, as you can all see I forgot my X’s again ! It was early damn-it !

Ayesha - Lioness

You sound reasonable. Must be time to up my medication.

You’re wrong about book larnin’ being useless as far as chili and gumbo are concerned.

John Thorne’s superlative SIMPLE PIG contains lengthy essays about each dish, and many others besides. See also his website,

I won’t say I follow his receipes to the letter, but he’s taught me a lot about food, and his knowledge has led to many adaptations of my own gumbo and chili techniques.