A Romantic Saturday With The Starks
My husband and I have a routine: Mondays and Wednesdays are my dedicated days to pick up the kids, while my hubby goes to the gym or to study for his CFP (a credential he is working toward in the finance industry). Likewise, Tuesdays and Thursdays are his days to get the kids, and one can usually find me at Starbucks or a local coffee shop working. Originally we established this schedule so that we could get our workouts in after we had our daughter (who is now six). Since then, the schedule has evolved as I’ve started my business and he continues to advance in his career and we had another kid... With that said our days have gotten longer, typically we get home between 6 PM and 8 PM, but as of late, I’ve been getting home between 8 PM and 10 PM. Which is no bueno, but it is temporary, so I persist. But I guess hubby was feeling some kinda way.
And this is reason #2,049 why I love my husband: recognizing that we needed some quality time, he decided this past weekend we were going to cook gumbo together. He just came in our bedroom, where I was reading and said, “On Saturday, we’re cooking gumbo,” and that was that. He’s so smooth and romantic, that one.
So on Saturday we mostly ignored the kids, play 90s music loud, he chopped the veggies, I whisked the roux, we danced in the kitchen and just had a good time. And the gumbo was bomb, so I decided to share this recipe. Maybe you and your hubby can find this recipe and this story useful and take a day to reconnect in the kitchen.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large onion, diced
6 stalks of celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic
4 slices of bacon
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
8 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. cajun seasoning, separate
3 bay leaves
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
Cook bacon and set aside. Put drippings from bacon in a measuring cup and combine the vegetable oil to get one cup of oil mixture.
Poor oil in a large pot and add flour. This will be used to make the roux. Whisk the flour and oil continuously until the mixture becomes dark brown in color (like dark chocolate). This process could take up to 30 minutes. Be very careful to keep whisking, as this mixture will easily burn.
Add onion, celery and bell pepper to the roux. Let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, bay leaves, 1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning and salt to the mix and cook for another minute.
Add chicken stock, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and stir all ingredients together. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and continue to cook for 1 hour.
While gumbo is cooking, season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning, paprika and garlic powder. Cook chicken until brown in a separate pan. Once chicken is brown, add it to the gumbo immediately.
Add salt to taste and continue to let gumbo cook for the remainder of the hour.
Add shrimp, and let cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
Serve over brown rice immediately.
If you enjoyed what you read, or gleaned some insight/value, please share.