Coast Cooking

Gumbo is the ultimate leftovers dish

Gumbo may be the ultimate leftover food dish.
Gumbo may be the ultimate leftover food dish. Special to the Sun Herald

This is the last day in a week of blogging about what to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers.

I’ve blogged about left over greens, rice and roast beef, but it might surprise you to know gumbo just might be at the top of the list of things to make with leftovers.

Originally gumbo was a dish made with whatever you had at hand — seafood, sausage, duck, chicken, almost anything would do. But what about yellow squash, sweet potatoes or pumpkin? Why not?

The leftover turkey necks I blogged about the other day would also be perfect. In some parts of Louisiana, gumbo is served with a dollop of potato salad. Would a pasta salad work just as well? You tell me.

Here are the basics: Sauté onion, bell pepper and celery in oil until tender, the longer the better. Make a hearty chicken stock with roasted chicken backs, an onion or two and a few carrots.

Simmer 1 hour, strain and reserve. Sauté sausage until well-browned, remove and set aside, add shrimp to the pan and cook quickly.

Now make a dark brown roux, add everything but the shrimp, and simmer for 30 minutes. Just before serving add the shrimp. Serve with steamed rice or potato salad.