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August 2nd, 2009
03:34 AM ET

America I Am Pass It Down Recipe Contest

Breaking news bumped this segment yesterday, so we're reposting the recipe.

New York Times best-selling cookbook author Chef Jeff Henderson has been asked to edit a new book of cherished family recipes, produced in tandem with the "America I Am" exhibit of African American history.

This morning in the CNN Newsroom Jeff will talk about that, AND cook up one of his own family recipes - with a new twist.

Chef Jeff’s King Crab Gumbo
By Jeff Henderson
Serves 10 to 12

My granddaddy stockpiled the ingredients for this soup (a costly treat for our family) until he had enough shrimp, blue crab, andouille, and hot sausage to make this dish during the holidays. After the big dinner was over, Granddaddy would store the leftovers in mayo jars to serve to visiting relatives. I think he might actually have been proud of my version of King Crab Gumbo with chicken wings and no pork. But I'm sure that if he were still with us, his exact words would be, “Boy, you know you don't put no Alaskan crab and chicken in no gumbo. You been learning that fancy stuff on them jobs.” My granddaddy pulled no punches when it came to kitchen tradition.

Brown roux
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 ounces smoked beef sausages
1 pound beef hot links, sliced 1 inch thick
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 bay leaves
10 to 12 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons filé powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound chicken wings, washed and cut in half
1 pound fresh or frozen okra, washed and sliced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and washed
2 pounds frozen king crab legs, rinsed and cut into pieces
8 ounces cooked lump crabmeat

Brown roux
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt it. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the roux is brown but not burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. This thickening agent should be added gradually until your soup reaches desired thickness. Start adding roux to the gumbo broth after the water has reached a medium simmer.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and hot links and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Add half the roux and 1 tablespoon file powder. Simmer until the gumbo begins to thicken, 35 to 45 minutes.
Season the gumbo with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken, okra, and tomatoes and continue to simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Adjust the thickness by adding more roux and filé. If the gumbo becomes too thick, add more water.

Add the shrimp and crab legs. Simmer until the shrimp become a little pink and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked crabmeat. Serve with steamed rice.

If you have a treasured recipe, and a family story that goes with it, e-mail it to America I Am Pass it Down.

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Filed under: In the Newsroom
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. suhail khan

    2 table spoon chopped carrots
    2 chopped onion
    1 table spoon chopped cabbage
    recommended water for a single pack ramen boil and put seasoning and ingredients on top for a minute add red chilli pepper ,garlic , and quarter tea spoon of cummin seeds to enhance taste
    put ramen noodle and let it sit 3 min
    its ready sprinkle lemon juice and u want go over board half tea spoon chopped cilantro

    August 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Danelle Jay

    Dani's Nam Sod Moo

    3 lbs lean ground pork
    2 medium red bell peppers (julienned)
    small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
    2 tsp ginger root ((finely chopped and mashed)
    1 medium, thinly sliced red onion ( i mean, thin, if you can't read through that onion slice, keep practicing 🙂
    3/4 cup chopped green onions (aka scallions)
    1 cup fish sauce ( i use squid brand myself, with the arresting green cap)
    1 cup squeezed lime juice from fresh limes
    1 cup dry roasted peanuts
    3 thai bird peppers (finely diced)
    13 thai basil leaves (look for basil with purple stems and a licorice scent)
    several washed, unblemished lettuce leaves
    1 tbsp white granulated sugar
    1/4 cup matchstick carrots
    1 kafir lime leaf, diced and chopped
    mint leaves for garnish

    now, the easy part.....
    first, blanch the pork and let it cool.
    now, in a large mixing bowl, combine all of the above ingredients, minus the lettuce and mint, and toss well.
    chill the nam sod for one hour.
    place scoops of the am sod on lettuce leaves and garnish with sprigs of mint leaves.
    thats it 🙂

    "Thai food is like tasting color" and I believe food should have that effect, along with bringing back feelings of fondness and affection, maybe that's what soul food is, regardless of whether it's Thai, French or Creole. Soul food is a medium for making someone feel at home.

    p.s- I'm seriously trying to get into CIA (the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde park, NY) by January 2010, so if anyone can recommend grants or scholarships, I'd appreciate it hugely...

    I want to become the kind of chef that makes people feel at home.

    August 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

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