Crock Pot Gumbo

I opened up my weekly CSA delivery and was so excited to see the ripe, fragrant produce. One thing in particular caught my attention– OKRA. The first thing I thought of was some hot, spicy gumbo.  I think half of what I unpacked is going to end up in the gumbo— okra, tomatoes, basil, corn, green pepper… now if only I stopped at a farm for some chicken and then headed to the coast for some shrimp, but I guess I’ll have to buy those at the grocery store.

Gumbo is a perfect recipe for the crock pot because it needs to simmer for a long time to fuse all those flavors together. Cut your veggies into small pieces so you can have a bit of each morsel in your mouth! This soup would also freeze really well, so make the gumbo for dinner this week and then enjoy all these fresh treats again later this fall when they aren’t so available.

This soup can also be made vegetarian if you leave out the chicken, sausage and shrimp. I’d amp up the amount of veggies though and maybe get a little more okra, so that this tastes more robust and unique than just vegetarian vegetable soup.  You can also use Morningstar Farms chicken strips (fake meat) if you’d like to add some protein.  Enjoy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 lb. okra, sliced

1 c. of corn (cut off of fresh ears)

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

3-4 ripe, sweet tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

2 stalks celery, sliced

4-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 t. salt

1 t. black pepper

1/2 t. cayenne pepper

1/2 t. paprika

1/2 t. chili powder

1 T. parsley

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 T. Tabasco sauce

2 c. water

3 pork sausages, cooked and sliced

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

2 c. cooked white rice

Combine all vegetables in crock pot. Add liquid ingredients. Sprinkle with all seasonings. Place chicken pieces on top of mixture next. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add shrimp, sausage and cooked white rice and cook for an additional 1 hour on low.

Crock Pot Barbequed Salami

My nana didn’t make cookies. She didn’t make tea sandwiches. She didn’t make cute food like fruit, desserts, hors d’oeuvres, cordials or ganache. But she made amazing, hearty dishes in mass quantity like spaghetti and brisket and homemade potato salad. But anyone in my family could tell you that the one dish that she was known for was her barbequed salami. It is spicy and soft and just the right amount of sauce to smother a plain hamburger bun and make it melt. 

Nana always bought the big tubes of kosher salami and hand sliced in and then quartered it. I don’t know how she made it so thin. I suggest using the tubes of Hebrew National salami, but here’s an easier way to prepare it— cut it in half longways and then in half longways again (it will almost look like four hot dogs at this point). Then, run it through your food processor to slice it really thin. Or, you can do it by hand, like Nana, if you have a sharp knife and a lot of patience.

Kudos to Nana for always serving this amazing feast to our family, for getting us all together and giving us memories to last forever. This will always be a favorite meal for me and I can’t wait to share it with all of you, too. Make it for your next picnic, family gathering or game night. Barbequed salami is best served with a pickle, some wavy potato chips to scoop up anything that falls off the bun and a huge stack of napkins.  Enjoy!

2 lbs salami, sliced and quartered

2 12 oz. bottles Heinz chili sauce

1 c. ketchup

1 onion, quartered and sliced 

1 green pepper, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

2 T. white vinegar

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 t. dry mustard

1 t. chili powder

1 t. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 t. Tabasco sauce

Prepare meat to be sliced and quartered. Place in crock pot.  Cook onion, green pepper and celery in a pan until soft, but not browned. Add to meat. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour into crock pot. Mix all ingredients together. Heat on low for 2-3 hours. Serve on soft, plain hamburger buns.