This wonderful bowl of good stuff is blackeyed pea gumbo with okra. The okra isn't simmered with the meats and vegetables, which is the usual way. Instead, the sliced okra is cooked separately until the slime is gone, then stirred in at the end of the cooking time.
The recipe is from Chef Tom Fraker of Melissa's Produce. For rich, full flavor, Fraker puts in two kinds of sausage, chunks of chicken and blackeyed peas. He likes the gumbo over rice, but you could also serve it with French bread and a salad for a great dinner with, hopefully, leftovers so you can have it again.
BLACKEYED PEA GUMBO
Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa's Produce
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 (12-ounce) package okra, ends trimmed; sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
½ pound andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
½ pound hot linguica sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
½ pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup cipolline onions, peeled and diced small
1 cup organic celery, diced small
1 cup organic green bell pepper, diced small
3 cloves peeled garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups organic tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup organic parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon ground rainbow peppercorns
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoon file powder
1/3 cup cold water
1 (11-ounce) package steamed blackeyed peas
Tabasco sauce to taste, optional
In a saucepan, melt the 1/3 cup of butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour.
Whisking constantly, cook until a golden brown roux is formed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter, add the olive oil and vinegar and heat. Add the okra and, while stirring often, fry the okra for 10 to 15 minutes, until no longer slimy. Remove the okra with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a large pot, render the fat from the andouille and linguica sausages. Add the chicken and brown over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until tender.
Thoroughly blend the roux into the sausage, chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dissolve the file powder in cold water and add to the gumbo. Stir in the steamed blackeyed peas and fried okra and heat through.
Remove the bay leaves and serve in soup bowls with a splash of Tabasco, if desired. Serve over white rice.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.