Chop! Chop!

We recently went on a little trip to one of our favorite places, New Orleans. There is no other place I have found that completely surrounds you in wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes! It can be a wild and crazy place which is fun for a while, but when we need a little peace and serenity, we head for the levee and just sit and watch the barges and ships moving up and down the mighty Mississippi.

Some people buy T-shirts to remind them of their vacations; I buy cookbooks. This time I bought cookbooks from two restaurants – Mr. B’s Bistro and Arnauds. I “read” them on the flight back to Dallas, and of course, I could not wait to try out some recipes. I picked Gumbo YaYa from Mr. B’s and meat pies from Arnauds.

Monday morning, I was at the grocery store gathering all the ingredients so I could come home and start cooking. When I took a good look at the directions, I realized I would have to do a lot of chopping before I could do any cooking. There’s the trinity of peppers, celery and onions that is in almost every Creole recipe, but there was a whole lot more to chop, too.

I decided to get all the chopping for both recipes done which literally took me at least an hour! I felt very proud of myself for being so smart to do all my chopping first! “I got this!”, I said to myself.

My plan was to start with the meat pies. I had ordered a little kitchen tool specifically designed for making meat pies – “I got this!” I said to myself. All I had to do was cut out circles of dough, put it on the meat pie maker, put some meat in the middle and close it together. It seemed simple enough, but alas, not so much. If I put even a little bit too much meat in the pie, the dough wouldn’t come together to make those cute little pies. I did get better at it as the afternoon wore on, but I think I got making meat pies out of my system.

On to the Gumbo YaYa. I had already stewed the chicken and made the broth the day before and the veggies were chopped, so all I really needed to do was make the roux. “I got this!, I said to myself.

Do you know how long one has to stand and stir to make a mahogany roux? If you guessed one hour, you would be right! Do you think all those restaurants in New Orleans have someone that just stirs roux all day? Even though the gumbo was quite tasty, I will be getting my gumbo fix at places other than Becky’s Kitchen from now on. “I got this”, I said to myself.


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