Gluten-Free Sunday: Addictive Chili Gumbo
The Recipe: Chili Gumbo
Why We Love It
We’re not really sure if this is chili or gumbo and Ashlae wasn’t either, hence the combination name! It’s packed with beans, veggies, and spices (and thickened with arrowroot powder) to warm you from the inside out. If you’re feeling like chili, add a bit more chili powder and skip the okra (or not). Want gumbo? Add some file powder (ground sassafras, pronounced “fee-lay”), which you can buy online. Or, just toss it all in, let it simmer away, and thank your lucky stars this freezes well because you’re going to be craving it.
The Chef: Ashlae Warner
Full-time Environmental Economics Student, Part-time Baker
Oh, Ladycakes is where Ashlae documents her adventures in her Denver kitchen. The thing we love most about reading Ashlae’s stuff is not only her delicious recipes and beautiful photos (of which there are many) but her style of writing, which always leaves us chuckling. She has such a personal and clever way of explaining the stories behind her recipes that you feel like you’re getting to know her through her recipes. And for the non-vegan or non-gluten-free folk out there, recipes like this Chili Gumbo are so good that you won’t miss a thing!
The Tip: Caramelize Tomato Paste for Deep, Rich Flavor
Many stews and soups, including this one, call for tomato paste to be added early in the process. On its own, tomato paste has a bright, raw flavor but this little trick will help you get that cooked-all-day flavor in just a few minutes. When the recipe tells you to add the tomato paste and saute it with the veggies, here’s what to do:
Move the vegetables to the edge of the pan to create an empty space. Add a bit more oil and add the tomato paste directly into the oil, sauteeing it on its own until deep red and caramelized, 6-8 minutes. Then, mix it in with the other ingredients in the pan and continue.
Some of it will stick to the bottom of the pan. That’s flavor. It’ll get picked up when you deglaze the pan with wine, stock, or water. By using this method, your soups and stews will have a noticeably richer flavor.
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