Friday, June 17, 2011

Edward H. Davis Interviews Mary Lou Cheatham, Part 4

Ed: Which unusual recipe has really made a surprising splash?

Mary:Dr. Paul Elliott, the co-author of The Collard Patch , helped develop the following recipe. We prepared if for food demonstrations. Tasters kept coming back to our table and asking for another little cup of it. It’s a mixture of south Louisiana gumbo, red beans and rice, and a mess of collards all in one pot.

When we appeared on Chef John Folse’s radio program, he raved over this gumbo. We call it Texianne cooking because it is what happened when a Texas cook and a Louisiana cook poured ingredients into one pot.

Red River Gumbo

1 cup small red beans
⅓ cup all purpose flour
⅓ cup olive oil
1 chopped onion (approximately 1 cup)
1 chopped green bell pepper (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups finely chopped fresh collards
6 ounces Richard’s tasso, finely chopped
1 can Ro*Tel® diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups cooked, diced pork or other meat of choice
2 tablespoons chili powder
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound crawfish tails
2 cups frozen mixture of okra, tomatoes, and onions
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste

•Soak the beans overnight, empty the water cover again with fresh water, and cook until they are tender:
•Make a roux in the Dutch oven by browning the flour in the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, collards, and tasso. Stir and continue to heat. Add enough warm water to cover the mixture as it continues to cook.
•Add the Ro*Tel®, pork, chili powder, lemon juice, and red beans; keep the pot simmering. Add water as needed.
•SautĂ© the crawfish tails in butter until they are warmed throughout.
•After the gumbo has cooked until the vegetables are slightly tender, add the tomato-okra mixture and crawfish.
•Adjust the seasonings by adding salt and red pepper as desired. Simmer until all the ingredients are warm throughout and the flavors are starting to smell so good you have to eat it.

Sprinkle on some gumbo filé. Serve it over rice.

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