Holy crap. Here it is Lent already, and I'm just now getting around to Mardi Gras.
Not that I am religious. Ho, boy, no. In fact, I might just go and enjoy Pancake Day tomorrow, even though it was supposed to be two days ago. Yum, pancakes. I might substitute crepes. Wait, I have a recipe for Korean pancakes!
I confess that Pancake Day is alien to my culture. Never heard of it until a few years ago, when a Brit friend described her to-die-for flapjacks with lemon and sugar. Wow, that sounds better than meat, which is what you're supposed to overconsume on the eve of Lent and its 40 days of privations.
And you know what else? I don't know anything about Lent. I'm not a lapsed Catholic, I'm a neo-atheist based on sturdy Protestant stock. Well, my dad was a Mormon; is that even Protestant?
And I am also an American.
In America, Mardi Gras is synonymous with New Orleans.
With ingredients almost entirely on hand already, today I stirred up a pot of gumbo. (We only had to buy celery and a green pepper; I chose a mildly spicy poblano.)
My mentor, Paul Prudhomme, says to quick-stir the roux over high heat until it's dark red or even brown. I always chicken out and use a lower temperature. I also chicken out and quit when it's the color of peanut butter. This recipe is structurally similar to what I cooked; I used shrimp instead of chicken. Forget about all that proprietary commercial stuff in the ingredients. Wing it.
I am just about at the point where I can wing this dish without a recipe. Today I did a little remedial spicing when it turned out the proportion of thickened chicken stock was too high for the amount of (dried, always dried) spices and herbs I had put in.
A little andouille, a little shrimp, a scoop of rice. Bon temps!
And dog bless.