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Stirring up a Spicy Creole Menu

Pair chicken gumbo with tangy shrimp and buttery bread pudding for a deeply satisfying, do-ahead dinner

Fine Cooking Issue 19
Photos: Brian Hagiwara
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Jamie Shannon is a New Orleans chef, so he makes many kinds of gumbo at work, but when he entertains at home during Mardi Gras season, this is the gumbo he likes best. Gumbo’s long, slow simmer means that he has time to prepare the rest of the menu–in this case, shrimp rémoulade and bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Shannon introduces us to the food culture of New Orleans, which is unlike anything else in the United States, and then goes on to explain how his gumbo is put together. He likes to cook everything–the chicken, the vegetables, the roux, the entire gumbo–in one heavy soup pot, which builds layers of flavor. The making of the roux, “the thing that makes gumbo gumbo,”  is the part that demands your full attention. Once the gumbo is on its slow simmer, it’s time to turn to the shrimp rémoulade, which, like gumbo, is as individual as its chef. It demands perfectly cooked shrimp, and Shannon tells you his method.  Dessert is another New Orleans favorite, bread pudding, which is made delicious by the local French bread and the addition of a bourbon sauce. Let the good times roll! Featured recipes: Shrimp Rémoulade; Gumbo Ya Ya; and Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.

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