Something Like Gumbo

In my fridge I had some shrimp, trout, a couple of pork cutlets, and leftover rice. All signs pointed to gumbo. My mom’s friend, Jen, is from Louisiana and makes fantastic chicken gumbo. Mine does not hold a candle to hers. My friend, Kylie, learned to make proper gumbo at a cooking class in New Orleans. I did not call either of these ladies for advice and instead winged it.

I made fish stock from the trout bones and head, shrimp peels, bay leaves, a dried sweet pepper, a garlic clove, salt and pepper. For stock: cover whatever is in the pot with water, add spices, bring to a boil, reduce on medium heat, scoop off foam, and strain.

My proteins (leftover from a pan-fried meal the night before) were dredged in flour. This plus the okra’s natural stickiness served as thickener.

Inauthentic but tasty. Wash it down with an equally full and spicy red or an Abita.


pork, cut into cubes

shrimp, cut into pieces

trout, cut into pieces

fish stock

cooked rice



chili powder


salt & pepper

Preparation: In a large pot heat butter on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute. Then brown the pork. Add okra and cook until tender and sticky. Cover with stock. Add fish towards the end (it cooks quickly). Serve over rice or add it to the pot. Spice as you go. Serve with favorite hot sauce (mine is chipotle Tabasco).


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