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Mardi Gras Means Gumbo

Tuesday, February 12 is Fat Tuesday, better known by its French equivalent Mardi Gras, the gluttonous celebration before the lean days of lent begin on Ash Wednesday.
    New Orleans has cornered the market on Mardi Gras with parades, revelry and delicious Cajun comfort food. But Chesapeake Country won’t be left out of the party.

Andouille & Chicken Gumbo

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 cup canola or peanut oil
1 cup plain flour
4 quarts chicken stock (plus additional water if needed)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbs. fresh or dried thyme
2+ Tbs. Cajun seasoning, to taste
1/2 lb. or 4 cups fresh or frozen okra, chopped
1 lb chicken meat, cooked and deboned
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced thin
4-6 cups cooked white rice

 

    Chop and set aside onion, celery and bell pepper.
    Heat a cast iron skillet over med-high heat; add oil, then flour, blending well to make a roux. Whisk over medium to medium-high heat until the roux turns dark brown.
    Add chopped onions and cook until they caramelize in the roux. Add celery, bell pepper, garlic and thyme to the hot roux, stirring on low heat for about 5 more minutes.
    Transfer the cooked roux mixture to a large stockpot and whisk in the tock over high heat. Add chicken, sausage and Cajun seasoning. While gumbo comes to a boil, fry the okra in oil, then add to the pot. Lower heat to med-low and simmer 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot over a bed of rice.

    This Sunday, February 10, get a taste of New Orleans at the 8th annual Gumbofest, where chefs compete to win the favor of you the people and celebrity judges, including Brian Bolter of D.C.’s Fox 5 News, who is also owner of Red Red Wine Bar in downtown Annapolis.
    Your $25 admission makes you a judge in the People’s Choice competition. Cash bar and live music by Too Big To Fail is sure to amp up the party.
    1-4pm at DoubleTree Hotel, Annapolis to benefit Friends of the Lighthouse Shelter.
    For a great Andouille & Chicken Gumbo recipe, log onto http://bayweekly.com/node/15436.

Mardi Gras at McGarvey’s Saloon’s
    On Fat Tuesday, bring your mask and healthy liver to McGarvey’s Saloon  & Oyster Bar’s annual Mardi Gras blow-out (6pm-2am) with Rum Girls, purple beer, drink specials, classic Cajun grub, zydeco, swamp and blues music and lots of beads. No cover charge.

Eat That Burger at Metro Diner Cafe
    Last week’s cover whet many appetites, with callers and e-mailers wanting to know where we got that burger.
    Try the real thing at Metro Diner Cafe in Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole.