Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gumbo - The Smell of Nostalgia

Well as time passes, and memories fade into obscurity, I can often find comfort in waxing nostalgic over photo's of days long gone. In this particular case I have been longing for the liquor soaked blurred streets of New Orleans. With all the smells, tastes, and visual splendors. Its warm climate, hospital people, and never ending cycle of alcohol abuse and places to dance. So I decided to take comfort at home, and enjoy on of the New Orleans treats. Which also so happens to be a good hearty cure for the Canadian Winter Blues.

So lets rattle off the ingredients shall we;

1/2 cup veg oil
3/4 cup all purpose flour

3-4 Andouille Sausage (or other smoked spicy sausage)
1 lb shrimp
4 bone in skin on chicken thighs (deboned, skinned, and diced)
3 celery ribs
1 green pepper
2 medium yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
3 tbs creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 L chicken stock
Hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce to taste
File Powder to taste

So lets make the roux. In a deep pot, heat the oil. Once hot, add your flour. Whiskey for about 10 minutes.

Your aiming for a colour slightly darker then that of milk chocolate.

Once your roux is ready, lets begin to cook the meat and veg. Add the chicken, sausage and all the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are soft.

Now lets add the herbs, the chicken stock, and the chicken skin and bones. This is going to cook for approximately 2 hours.

Once nice and thick, add the shrimp, hot sauce, File Powder and Worcestershire.

Once the shrimp are cooked, its ready to be served. Take care to not over cooked the shrimp. Serve on a bed of rice, I use basmati. You can also feel free to garnish with parsley and/or green onions.

The File powder can be substituted for okra when in season.

A delicious meal for a winter day, or summer day a like. And whilst eating it, I may reminisce of days of cocktails, staggers, and brass bands, not even a tasty gumbo can take me back to the streets of the big easy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Public Service Advisory - The C-Lounge

Whilst during a pleasant evening out myself and my friends made a trip to C-Lounge. Whilst by no means my 'cup of tea', my typical evening haunt, not my local, not a place I would normally so much as cross the street to spit on. However, after one too many beverages, the worst of ideas can seem like the greatest. So we landed in, and continued our revelry. Eventually after returning from a cigarette, I could see a confrontation brewing between a friend of mine and the security. The confrontation which I would find out would be as trivial, as my friend trying to defend his right to remain in the establishment, after ANOTHER patron had pushed him. The offending patron, more then likely friends of the security. Within a short amount of the time annoyed security upped the anti and called for back up. Suddenly myself and my friend were swarmed by upward of 8 bouncers. Whilst being thrown out, I was thrown down a flight of stairs on to concrete, kicked down the road, and inevitably kicked in the head. My friend received a sprained wrist. I ended up receiving 5 stitches, and my back has been sore for months.

Now I implore you, does this sound like rational treatment? Considering, I had done nothing but wait for my friend as he explained his circumstance, to people who neither cared nor wanted to hear it. To people willing to react to harsh violence at the drop of a hat. To use gang mentality to a T. Now whilst stories of abuse of power are a dime a dozen (by anyone with power to abuse, this particular case bouncers), I hope this helps convince you to avoid the C-Lounge, and falling victim to these pre-historic minded assholes.

I beg of you, do not end up like me. Do not attend the C-Lounge. Lets face it, good security or bad, its still a shit hole anyway.