Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guest Blogger: A Recipe from Picture Perfect by Leslie Ferdinand

New Orleans is renowned for both her food and her music. In Picture Perfect, several dishes are mentioned, including gumbo. Here’s a recipe taken from the novel. A little about the characters' musical preferences. Elliot loves Classical Music while Alex is a huge fan of Prince.
Pop in a CD of Classical Music or Prince as you prepare one of the dishes.

Chapter 45

"Sitting at the chef's table at the Seabreeze, Alex dipped her spoon into her bowl of gumbo and sipped it. Jade had come to the shop earlier and given her a good scolding for not answering her calls the past four days."

Shirley's Seafood Gumbo Recipe:

1 large onion
1/2 bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup shallots
2 lbs medium shrimp
1 pint oysters
3 crabs, halved
1/2 lb jumbo lump crabmeat (picked for shells)
3 qts water
4 tbsp flour
Pepper and salt to taste

Add flour to heated cooking oil. Stir until flour turns brown (this is the roux). Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, shallots, parsley and bayleaf to dark roux. Cook seasoning until soft. Stir in water and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and crab halves. Simmer 10 minutes more before adding in remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over hot, white rice.

Note: Leslie adds cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for a spicier gumbo.

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