Everything Gumbo

For the gluten-free eater, gumbo is one of those foods we will likely never enjoy in a restaurant. At the heart of this dish is the classic New Orleans-style roux — a mix of flour and oil cooked until it is a rich, deep brown. Roux is synonymous with gumbo.

But I love gumbo, and knew I could make an excellent dish using gluten-free flour, specifically, in my case, Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour. I also borrowed a trick from Alton Brown, using my oven to build my roux. This allowed me to do all my prep work while the roux turned a gorgeous shade of chocolate brown.

You can make chicken gumbo, shrimp gumbo, vegetarian gumbo, gumbo with okra, without okra. It’s your gumbo. This recipe has everything but the okra (which I prefer served on the side, lightly fried rather than in the stew itself). As a bonus, gumbo served over steamed rice makes an impressive they’ll-never-guess-it’s-GF party dish!

Chicken with Vinegar Sauce

I love chicken. I love vinegar. I love chicken and vinegar together. I love it so much that when I cleaned out my recipe clippings a few weeks ago, I had, in addition to my own recipe, three others from various publications. Clearly I’m not alone in my love of this flavor combination.

This meal packs a lot of flavor and adds a note of elegance to a weeknight or weekend meal. Make sure you plan for leftovers!

As with all my recipes, adjust the proportions to suit your needs, but you probably won’t need to increase the amount of vinegar — one cup is the maximum you’ll need for most meals. And the chicken stock and heavy cream are about right as well…unless you are feeding a small crowd.

If you love garlic (and who doesn’t?), the cloves come out of the pot soft and a bit pickled, so don’t be afraid to add some extra.

Mushroom Gravy

Mushroom gravy is a one of those things — it can be vegetarian or meat-based, depending on your mood. It can be smooth or chunky, depending on your mood. I personally love it on the chunky side with meatloaf.

As with all gravies, the key to making a flavorful, richly colored gravy is a roux. And patience. You need to stir your flour and oil over medium-high heat until it is a rich caramel brown. This cooks off the raw taste of the rice flour and adds additional flavor.

[box type=”note” border=”full”]The amount of mushroom and onion in this recipe seems massive. It is! But they will cook down to a reasonable level very quickly. And please note that the rice flour thickens quickly. You may need to add additional liquid to make it pourable![/box]