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1 potion of brown roux
Chicken Stock
1 cup Cajun seasoning
1 small ham hock
1kg chicken (pieces with or without bones are fine)
2 chorizo sausages
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup okra
1 cup green capsicum – diced
1 cup celery – chopped
1 cup – white onion – chopped
white rice for serving

Fry sausage to remove some oil and slice. Brown chicken in sausage fat. Set aside the meats and brown the onion, capsicum and celery, add the ham, stock and half the seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add sausage and roux and stir till the roux has combined – I usually whisk the roux with a fork in a separate glass with a bit of the warm stock – prevents lumps. Add chicken.

Simmer for a further 30 minutes then remove the ham hock and scrape any meat back into the pot. Return bone to pot also and add the second half of the seasoning (taste).

Lower the heat and add the okra and garlic. Let it all cook on quite a low heat for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. You may find a lot of oil on top of the gumbo – this should be removed carefully with a ladle.

Serve with rice.

Brown/White Roux

I use a white roux (pronounced roo) as a thickener in many sauces and soups – it is made by simply kneading together equal amounts of flour and softened butter (not margarine).

If you want the roux to flavour as well as thicken then you might use a brown roux. In school I was taught to make this by first browning butter in a pan to the desired colour and then adding flour to make a paste while cooling.

For Cajun recipes and places where you want an even stronger taste the following recipe may be of use – be sure to stay with the pan while cooking though as this can be volatile.

125 ml Peanut oil
60g Flour

Warm oil in a pan and stir in flour. Keep the heat quite high and keep stirring – the roux may stick a bit while thickening so scrape the bottom of the pan if necessary.

After about 10 minutes or when the mix has reached the right color remove from heat and stir till cooled. If there are any black flecks in the roux at this point you will need to start over as they will add a burnt taste which is not wanted.

Sopa de Elote Y Rajas (corn and chile soup)

1 large tomato – broiled
¼ onion

Blend to a puree

3 tablespoons butter
3 small poblanos, seeded

Cut chiles into strips, fry gently without colouring.

Add tomato puree, cook 5 minutes over medium flame till sauce has reduced. Cool.

Kernels from 4 ears (3 cups)
3 cups milk

Add tomato mix very gradually along with ½ tsp salt and cook over very low flame for 25 minutes.

Serve with a little cheese and tortillas.

Rib Chille Sauce

1 fresh tomato
4 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles
1/2 cup vinegar
2 fresh chiles (to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
4 peppercorns
4 garlic cloves
450g plumb jam
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

Soak chiles in vinegar till soft then blend with other ingredients.

Chimichanga Sauce

1 large onion, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp chipotle puree (or birdseye chilli)
1 tsp butter
1 litre crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Saute veg in butter till just soft. Add tomatoes and chipotle and blend till smooth.

Bean and Tomato Soup

1 ltr cooked borlotti beans
5 lge tomatoes – very red, diced
2 cups Napoli sauce
1 diced chilli
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup taco sauce
water and salt

Top with cheese, sour cream and taco sauce. accompanied by a tortilla.

Taco Sauce

400g whole tomatoes – blended
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 small minced onion
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper

Fry onion and garlic in a tiny bit of oil. Add all other ingredients and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cool before serving.


800g  tomatos
800g fresh beetroot
600g rump beef
1 marrowbone
1 litre Stock
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
4 large potatoes, diced
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
1 pinch cumin
½ bunch chopped basil

Sour cream to serve

Fry all vegetables except potatoes in butter, add meat and seal. Add about 1 liter of water and stew gently for a few hours with all other ingredients.

I sometimes lightly brown the beetroot and marrowbone in the oven before adding them to the pot.

Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

500g thigh chicken
1 onion
Saute chicken and onion.
Add 3 cups Chicken Stock
2 spring onions
4 cups corn
1 cups milk
1 tbsp cornflour
2 eggs, separated

Pour in egg white whilst the liquid is boiling. Allow to cool, then whisk in cornflour. Take off the heat and add the yolk, stirring immediately.

Tom Yum Soup

2 tbsp Groovy Tom Yum Paste
1 ltr Chicken Stock
200g chicken thigh (or prawns, or a combination)
galangal (or ginger)
1 small onion, sliced
4 mushrooms, halved
2 slices of lemon
2 bird’s eye chillies
20 ml fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp finely diced lemongrass

Fry onions, chillies and ginger in a little sesame oil and seal chicken. Add other ingredients except noodles and simmer until the chicken is tender. Add noodles and eat rapidly.

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Adding coconut milk (not coconut cream) to this recipe can be very tasty and can make the taste a bit milder. (also requires you to change the sticky label to tom kha).

Yogurt can also be nice in the soup. Feel free to add things and invent new names for it- I advise dropping the tom if needed but keeping some form of the yum.

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