A good gumbo is widely disputed, and there are so many different ways that it is served that some people might be confused about what is real and what is an imitator. You’re probably familiar with seafood gumbo as well as the classic chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, but there are many other ways to eat this popular dish than you may know. As restaurants around the globe try to imitate what is often sought out in Louisiana, let’s take a look at the different forms and variations of gumbo.
What makes a gumbo creole is one extra ingredient: tomatoes. The roux that is made for this specific type of gumbo is also a light colored roux and usually paired with seafood. However, many locals would argue that tomatoes are NEVER supposed to come close to the gumbo pot.
As in most culinary cultures, religion has a great impact on the dishes of South Louisiana. In the predominantly Catholic region of Acadiana, meat is consumed sparingly during the Lenten season leading up to Easter. Gumbo Z’herbes, (gumbo of herbs), has become an alternative usually served on Holy Thursday or Good Friday and contains nine different kinds of herbs.
Sometimes they are boiled, and sometimes they are poached. Either way, many people enjoy adding an egg or many eggs to their gumbo. Some people even drop in whisked eggs to make their gumbo similar to egg drop soup.
Gumbo with Potato Salad
When it comes to potato salad in gumbo, you either read this and knew exactly what we are talking about or thought that we had lost our mind. The gumbo potato salad has no eggs or pickles and is mostly mashed and is perfect for eating with gumbo, whether you scoop it right into the gumbo bowl, or serve it on the side. This concept is regional and comes from the most southern parts of Louisiana.
Gumbo with Okra
The word gumbo comes from the Bantu word “achinggumbo” which translates to okra. While it may be etymologically correct to say that all gumbos must contain okra, that isn’t always the case. Some Louisiana cooks have a distaste for okra and use other thickening agents such as filé instead of okra.
Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know all about Gumbo. We love gumbo so much, we have a prize-winning gumbo recipe of our own. We always love experimenting with new unique recipe ideas, so who knows which of these gumbos we will try next. Do you have a gumbo recipe that differs from the norm? Let us know in the comments!
Slap Ya Mama introduces the Mardi Gras Meatloaf with Mighty Mushroom Sauce brought to you by 37 Cooks. A perfect way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season complete with Slap Ya Mama’s signature gumbo mix, white pepper seasoning, and etouffee sauce.
The folks at Slap Ya Mama really know how to make seasonings. All of their various seasoning mixes and blends combine to make the ultimate Cajun eating experience! For this recipe, Slap Ya Mama Gumbo mix and a confetti blend of peppers create a meatloaf just bursting with the fun flavors and colors of Mardi Gras. Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce brings a rich, smooth base to a sauce that will have you lickin’ the pot!
Mardi Gras Meatloaf with Mighty Mushroom Sauce
Recipe by Gary of 37 Cooks
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably 70/30 ratio
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup diced red, orange, yellow, and green peppers (any combination)
- 2 Tablespoons diced celery
- 2 Tablespoons minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 can (8-ounce size) tomato sauce, divided use
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Gumbo Mix
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon minced onion
- 2 Tablespoons canned button mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line shallow jellyroll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
For the meatloaf: In a large bowl combine beef, pork, peppers, celery, onion, garlic, egg, half of the tomato sauce, olive oil, breadcrumbs, 2 Tablespoons gumbo mix, white pepper seasoning, and black pepper. Mix well, but do not overwork. Form into loaf shape on pan.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining tomato sauce and 1 teaspoon gumbo mix. Spread evenly over meatloaf. Place in oven and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine etouffee sauce and next seven ingredients over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed. Swirl in butter.
Slice thick portions of meatloaf to serve; cover with sauce as desired.
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Presenting Slap Ya Mama’s Peel-Apart Bread by 37 Cooks. You’ll never believe what you were missing until you try this pull-apart bread complete with our special blend of Cajun gumbo dinner mix baked right in!
Thinking outside of the box is my usual mode of cooking – whenever I get a new product, I think about how I can use it in some way besides its intended purpose.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I figured I was pretty safe in thinking about the Slap Ya Mama gumbo mix as a spice mix. It’s meant for making gumbo, and it’s got flour for thickening, but it’s also got a lot of flavor. It was perfect for making a pull-apart bread, using the mix in both the dough and between the slices.
This looks impressive but it’s actually pretty easy, as bread goes.
Slap Ya Mama Peel-Apart Bread
by Donna of 37 Cooks
For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Red Star Platinum yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
For the coating:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft or melted
1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead until the dough is elastic. You can also mix this in a bowl, then knead by hand.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Meanwhile, have a 9 x 5 loaf pan standing by and heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the butter and seasoning for the coating in a small bowl.
When the dough has doubled, flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Divide it into 16 pieces. Truthfully, you don’t need exactly 16, but it’s easy. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then divide each of those into 4. They don’t have to be identical, but they should be close to the same size.
Form each piece into a ball then flatten each to form a disk about 4 inches in diameter.
Stand or tilt the pan so it’s standing on one of the short ends. Place one of the disks into the pan lying on the short end. Brush the top of that disk with the butter mixture. Place the next disk on top of the first, and brush with butter again. Continue stacking dough disks with butter between until you reach the last disk. Don’t brush the top of that one.
Once all the disks are in the pan, stand the pan on its bottom and arrange the disks so they’re even in the pan. Brush or drizzle any remaining butter on top of the dough.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside until it rises about a bit over the top of the pan, about 40 minutes.
When the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350°F until nicely browned, about 45 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack. You can pull layers off if it, or slice it to serve.
Looking to experience some of Louisiana’s finest dishes? Try Slap Ya Mama’s Chicken & Sausage Gumbo recipe. Delivering unparalleled Louisiana Cajun flavor from our home in Ville Platte, LA. After trying our recipe, you’ll love it so much you’ll want to come on down to visit us at our home.
Gumbo is one of those authentic dishes whose roots are deeply ingrained in Louisiana’s culture and people. There are many variations of gumbo all over Louisiana and each variation is authentic and delicious in its own right. With Ville Platte being located in south-central Louisiana, we didn’t have consistent access to seafood or many other ingredients you might find in other gumbos. We instead made a gumbo with the ingredients that are most abundant in our area, such as chicken and pork. For that reason we traditionally prepare a Chicken & Sausage Gumbo with a dark roux. During the cold winter months a very large pot of gumbo was often made and we would eat on it for a couple of days. We had no complaints of eating leftovers when it came to gumbo because it actually gets better with time.
This winter, try preparing a chicken & sausage gumbo. Make a large pot of it so you can eat on it for days and keep the smiles coming from all that get to enjoy it.
In a 10-12 quart pot over high heat, fill ½ way with water and bring to a boil. Add ¾ jar of roux, boil until roux is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Reduce to medium heat; add sausage, onions, bell peppers, garlic and 2 tbsp of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning. Boil for 15 minutes. With the remaining ½ tbsp. of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning, season chicken and add to pot. Add water to pot until it is almost full. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 hour. With 10 minutes remaining of the hour boil, add parsley and green onions. Reduce low heat. Serve over rice, add a few dashes of Slap Ya Mama Pepper Sauce and enjoy!
If you are having trouble finding Roux or Smoked Pork Sausage, try Teet’s Food Store of Ville Platte, Louisiana.