Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dinner Last Night: My Creole Grannie's Catfish Gumbo

Here is a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in our Creole family. What makes this dish so unique is that there are no Creoles in our family tree. We are of German extraction, but what the hell! If Grannie had been Creole, I bet she would have embraced this recipe as her own.

Traditionally, this dish is served with a scoop of white rice. Make it really special. Skip the rice and top with a big scoop of cole slaw. Grannie may not have approved, but damn that was some good eatin'.

My Creole Grannie's Catfish Gumbo

Recipe By      : My Creole Grannie
Serving Size  : 4  

     1/4           cup  bacon drippings
     1/4           cup  all-purpose flour
     1/2           cup  onion -- diced
     1/2           cup  celery -- diced
     1/2           cup  green pepper -- diced
     3              cloves  garlic -- minced
     15            ounces  chicken broth
     14 1/2      ounces  diced tomatoes
     1/2           teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
     1              teaspoon  sea salt
     1              teaspoon  oregano
     1/2           teaspoon  dried basil
     1/2           teaspoon  dried thyme
     1              bay leaf
     4              ounces  tomato paste
     8              ounces  frozen okra -- sliced 1/2" thick
     1              tablespoon  Tabasco sauce -- or to taste
     1              pound  catfish -- cut into chunks

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the bacon drippings and flour for the roux. Stir to incorporate into a slurry. Continue stirring to keep mixture from burning. You are looking for a roux with a rich copper color.

Add the trinity - onions, celery, and peppers. Stir and cook until tender, adding garlic about mid-way.

Pour in the broth and tomatoes, then stir.

Now, toss in everything else except for the catfish. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the catfish and stir to mix well. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

Give the gumbo a taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Start to Finish Time:
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 355 Calories; 18g Fat (44.2% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 79mg Cholesterol; 1195mg Sodium. The nutritional data is from MasterCook and may not be entirely accurate.

NOTES : If topping with cole slaw, save some time and energy by using a prepared slaw from the grocery, but get the good stuff.


  1. Dear Jon:

    My Momma was a gator and my Pappy was a Bull;
    I'm one part sumbich, three parts molasses; and I believe!, I believe!, brothers and sisters
    that this is one fine and righteous recipe that will do you and your ancestors proud. . . . . .Except for the cole slaw. We Texicans,
    with a warm spot in our hearts for the Bayou Teche country, believe in rice for all things Cajun or Creole.

    Just sayin'

    1. Holy moly Big Bill, where in tarnation have you been? I have missed hearing from you and was a-fearin' the worst - thinkin' you may have been Shanghaied by Sandra Bullock and blasted off into outer space with the two of you floatin' around with no gravity on.

      Seriously, you have been missed.

      Back to Grannie's recipe: I'm a rice person myself, but I read somewhere that there are "some" people in bayou land who do add a dollop of tater salad to their gumbo. I tried that and wasn't impressed. The cole slaw was pretty tasty though.

      If I ever make it to Bayou Teche and order gumbo, I'll make sure I never utter the word "salad" of any kind.