(no it’s not the start of a bad joke)
Today I have several things to share with you!
I’ve been dating someone for a few weeks. His name is Theoden, he’s a firefighter, a rock enthusiast (yes, I’m crazy about a drummer, what a cliche!) and draws really well (he made me want to get back into it, maybe I’ll post something on which I am working on at the moment but it takes time).
We met when they needed an interpreter after finding a lost child who happened to be deaf. He was the only one in the barracks who didn’t try to flirt with me by flexing his muscles.
It was his humor that made me crack at first, but what made me want to go further is that he is deeply kind and very cultured.
His friends at the brigade learned that I love to cook and in a joking tone they challenged me to cook for them, challenge accepted!
To help me in my task I have my little brother Søren come for the weekend. I invited him for this “event” because I know that fire trucks fascinate all boys.
- The first part of the challenge already comes from the choice of the recipe. Several times when I went to see Theo there (yes, I play taxi drivers, he doesn’t have his car license. He drives a motorcycle but this one is in the garage), I understood that in his team, the sun is starting to fail for some.
- They are big guys who eat well, so we needed something that holds well.
- I have a relatively tight budget given their number but I am used to cooking for not very expensive.
For these reasons, I decided to go with an exotic dish reminiscent of travel and the sun, a typical dish from New Orleans (I have wanted to cook Cajun since my grandmother made me reread the Mayfair saga Witches for our play. ^^’), the Gumbo. I chose a Chicken Gumbo because I was told to avoid seafood.
You need for 4 people:
- 50g butter (or oil)
- 50g flour
- 2 smoked sausages (330 g)
- 4 chicken breasts (600g)
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (optional)
- 2 carrots (optional)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 sprig of celery
- 1 large white onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp Cajun spice blend (or 1 tbsp paprika + 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1 pinch pepper)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 liter of water
- 250g long grain white rice
- Prepare a brown roux: In Louisiana they do it with oil instead. I didn’t have any on hand so I made it with butter. In a saucepan, melt the butter. When it is melted, add the flour and spices then mix. Cook, stirring all the time, until it turns brown. Book.
- Cut the smoked sausages into rounds. Heat a skillet and brown the sausages for about 3 minutes on each side. The idea is not to cook them but to lightly grill them.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts into cubes. When the sausage slices have grilled well, remove them from the pan and brown the diced chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Book.
- Split the peppers in half, remove the stem, ribs and seeds. Wash them and cut them. Peel and chop the onion. Wash the celery stalk and cut it into cubes, do the same with the carrots. Peel and press the garlic clove.
- Return the roux to the heat in a cast iron casserole dish. When it is hot, wet with the liter of water, little by little. Stir constantly and bring to a low boil. Then add the vegetables, the diced chicken and sausage.
- Cover and cook for 45 minutes over low heat and covered. At the end of this time, uncover and simmer for about twenty minutes uncovered.
(For a shrimp or crayfish gumbo, omit the meat and poach them in the sauce 5 to 6 minutes before the end.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice by immersing it in a large volume of water. Let it cook for the time indicated on the package.
Serve in the same container the rice and the meat, and drizzle with broth.
We all had a great time and all the members of the team present surprised me by learning a few signs in sign language, with more or less talent, but it touched me a lot. I was invited to become their regular cook so maybe I will do it again!
At the end we showed Søren around the hangar, it didn’t last long then everyone had to leave for an intervention but I will never forget the stars in his eyes when they let him fly from one of the trucks.
My Theo hold a blog because of me! He talks about Rock music and his social impact to the world. There is olso some of his drawings, please take a look 😉 (there is a cartoony portrait of me! :D)
Take care of you and your loved one and see you later.