M and I will be having a traditionl New Year's gumbo. The following recipe is from Commander's Kitchen by Ti Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon (Broadway Books, 2000). Ti is a member of the Brennan family and Jamie, who passed away in 2001, headed up the Commander's Palace kitchen for a number of years. The traditon of gumbo z'herbs is that for each different green included a new friend will be made in the coming year. Some recipes call for leaving out meat and substituting sea food, oysters and/or shirmp for example.
1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch turnip greens
1 bunch beet greens
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 bunch fresh parsley
3 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup salt, for washing greens
4 quarts water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, medium dice
2 green bell peppers, medium dice
1 head garlic, peeled & minced
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds ham hocks
1 tablespoon hot sauce or to taste
Thoroughly clean the greens by washing in salt water and several changes of fresh water. Coarsely chop.
Put greens in stockpot with water, bring to boil and then simmer for 1 hour. Drain, but save the cooking liquid and set aside.
Place oil in dry pot over high heat for about 3 minutes and bring to smoking point. Slowly add flour while whisking all the time. Continue to add and whisk until all flour added and then cook roux stirring all the time until dark brown.
Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic to the roux and stir. Add the spices. Add the greens and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the cooking liquid that was reserved and the ham hocks. Bring to boil and then simmer for about 1 hour or until meat tender. Remover meat from pot, dice and return.
Spoon rice into bowl and pour gumbo over.