A Flurry Activity of the Kitchen!

From Jyl Benson, Director of Culinary Programming

Just last week the Culinary Innovation Center at Rouses by Jenn-Air hosted 80 guests who were touring New Orleans in association with Afar travel magazine. Their visit included a luncheon in our kitchen with shrimp remoulade and bread pudding prepared by Chef Scot Craig of Katie's Restaurant in Mid City, white chocolate bread pudding prepared by Chef Christian DiCarlo of the Fatty Shack in Luling; and a selection of gumbos prepared by Poppy Tooker of Louisiana Eats! (seafood), writer Pableaux Johnson (Cajun turkey bone and andouille) and Mrs. Leah Chase (gumbo z'herbes) of Dooky Chase Restaurant.

It was a fantastic, successful day and I owe it all to my kitchen comrade Nanou de Raczynski, and gracious volunteers Cindy Williams, Noah Weinberg, and Marguerite Keenan. I am grateful for each of you wonderful people every single day.

Here's a little lagniappe for your kitchen:

Mrs. Leah's Chase's Gumbo Z'Herbes

Dooky Chase Restaurant

Serves 8

  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch beet tops
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • water, as needed
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound smoked ham
  • 1 pound brisket stew meat
  • 1 pound boneless brisket
  • 1 pound hot chaurice sausage
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder

Clean all vegetables, removing bad leaves and rinsing away all the grit. In a large pot, place all greens, onions, and garlic. Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes. While the greens are boiling, cut all the meats and sausages into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Strain the vegetables after boiling, reserving the liquid.

In a 12-quart stockpot place smoked sausage, ham, and brisket meats, adding 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Steam for 15 minutes. While steaming the meats, place the chaurice in a skillet and steam until the fat is rendered. Set the chaurice aside, reserving the grease.

Purée all vegetables in a food processor or meat grinder.

Heat the skillet of chaurice grease; than add the flour, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until a light-colored roux is achieved. (The roux does not have to be brown.) Pour the roux over the steamed meats, stirring well. Add the vegetables and two quarts of the reserved liquid. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chaurice, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well.

Simmer for 40 minutes. Add filé powder, stir well, and remove from heat.

Serve over steamed rice.