Although I was raised in the Mid-South, gumbo's really a deep, deep South thing. It's far more popular in New Orleans and parts of Southern Louisiana. To be honest, I'm not sure I've even tried meat gumbo. It often contains seafood, and my family just didn't eat seafood at all. But since I'm writing a Southern cookbook, gumbo is mandatory, right? That's why I developed (and am re-testing) this Tempeh Gumbo:
That's fresh okra you see, paired with cubes of sauteed tempeh and some stewed tomatoes. And that's all fine and good, but the real secret to a tasty gumbo is the roux. The combination of flour cooked in fat is essential and it's gotta be cooked for quite some time. Lots of standing over the stove and stirring constantly. For tips on how to roux, check out this old post from roux-master Kittee Kake.
I paired my gumbo with a warm, split Hush Puppy Corn Muffin (another tester for the cookbook) topped with tomato marmalade:
Let's talk about that marmalade! I buy it at the Memphis Farmers Market. It's homemade by Carolyn Dodson-King, an awesome lady who makes adorable aprons (I have two from her!) and homemade jams and jellies. The tomato marmalade is one of my faves, but it's hard to come by a jar as it goes quite fast:
Last week, I purchased a jar of zucchini marmalade from Carolyn, but I'm waiting to get through my tomato jar before I open it. I've never even heard of zucchini marmalade, but it sounds amazing. I'll keep y'all posted on that.