Food Tools: Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix with Rice

(Note: the blog author is in no way related, affiliated, or otherwise linked to Zatarain’s.)The weather is starting to get colder (well sort of.  Here in the Midwest cold is off and on) and cool weather gets me in the mood for soups and stews including my personal favorite: gumbo.  However, to make gumbo requires cooking a nice dark roux, remembering to buy fresh file, and a whole lot of time for slow cooking.  All of which makes it largely incompatible with my weekday schedule.That is why I love Zatarain’s gumbo mix.  I am not going to claim that one taste of its authentic New Orleans flavor takes me back to the French Quarter nor have I ever taken a bite and found myself hallucinating that I was marching down the street waving my napkin.  (I hope they recalled those boxes…)Instead, I find that if I add some extra cooked rice, some shredded chicken, a few medium sized shrimp, and a little extra chili for heat I have a very nice pot of gumbo that hits the spot.  In other words, the gumbo mix makes a very nice canvass that I can a few splashes of flavor and get dinner on the table quickly.Try these ideas.For authentic flavors use:

  • shrimp or other seafood
  • chicken and andouille (or chorizo or kielbasa) 

For less authentic tastes, try:

  • small slices of beef precooked beef
  • for vegetarians: okra and corn and tomatoes
  • white beans
  • thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash

Give them a try, and tell me, what do you add to your gumbo?

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