Good morning. Brett Anderson has a great story in The Times this week about a new wave of gumbo cooking in New Orleans restaurants, one that’s stretching the boundaries of what constitutes the city’s signature dish and, in doing so, bringing it a fresh relevance. Brett’s is a marvelous yarn, rich with good reporting, and it may leave you wanting to book a flight to Louisiana right away. It certainly left me with the desire to cook gumbo this weekend. I hope you’ll do the same.
Brett came through with receipts. He got Arvinder Vilkhu, the chef and owner of Saffron Nola on Magazine Street, to give up his recipe for curried shrimp and crab gumbo (above). It’s a dish Vilkhu has developed over the course of his 30 years in the city, and it incorporates curry leaves, fresh ginger and other ingredients and flavors you’re more likely to see in the cooking of his native India than in the gumbo pots of south Louisiana.
The Cajun-ish pork and black-eyed pea gumbo that Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski serve regularly at their Cochon in the Warehouse district is also well worth making, with its once-radical-in-New-Orleans use of pork, legumes and greens, against the roux.
Looking for a shortcut or two? You might try the inky brown duck and Andouille gumbo that’s served Uptown, at Upperline — you can use chicken stock in place of duck, and you can use roast duck from a Chinese restaurant in place of one of your own.
Finally, Brett pulled in a recipe for the Creole redfish gumbo that Jordan Ruiz serves at his Munch Factory in the Lower Garden district. It’s a version of the seafood gumbo his mother and grandmother made when he was growing up in New Orleans and the rare New Orleans gumbo to be made with finfish. You could substitute halibut or grouper or bass, if you can’t find those reds.
We’ve got loads more recipes for gumbo on NYT Cooking, including one for the chef Paul Prudhomme’s chicken and sausage gumbo and another for the chili gumbo that was named America’s best firehouse chili recipe in 2017.
Gumbo not your bowl of bliss? I think this Tuscan farro soup could answer, with some no-knead dinner rolls on the side. Or maybe you could make this cauliflower rice, or this giant chocolate cake, or one of these 31 recipes that will give you eggs for dinner.
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Now, it doesn’t have anything to do with nutmeg or Aleppo pepper, but just so you know: I’ve slid out of Australian crime novels and into the world of televised Australian crime series. And so: “Secret City” on Netflix. Pretty good.