The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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386                                FOREIGN DISHBS.
Gumbo Filie, for 6 or 8 persons, (which Mrs. Edmund Ran­dolph's colored mammy showed her how to make).—One large chicken cut up and disjointed, sprinkle over with salt and pepper; have ready a frying pan with lard, 1 large onion, 1 head of garlic, both cut up; when the lard is boiling hot, put in the chicken with a slice of good ham, fry till nicely browned. Have a gallon of water boiling. (If you have a quart of clear stock it is better). Put into the water or stock the chicken, adding 1-2 can of tomatoes or 3 large ones (with the skins taken off), 1-2 head of celery. Add also (tied up in thin muslin, spruce, sweet laurel leaves, parsley, cloves, chives, a large red pepper). Let these boil with the chicken, boil 4 hours, (if you have stock, only 3 hours). A few moments before you take these ingredients off, add your oysters, shrimps or crabs, and then sprinkle in your filie (buds) stirring all the time, until as thick as you desire. Two tablespoonfuls I find enough. Add salt and black pepper to taste. N. B.—If crabs or shrimps are used in making the gumbo, then the meat should be veal. Note.—File is the young leaves of the sassafras (ground very fine).
How to Cook the Rice for Gumbo.—Take a saucepan, put in 1 lb. of rice, pour some boiling water over the rice so that it will be well covered, put in a little salt; when the water has boiled off put more water in, by the time the water is boiled off again, your rice is done. The rice should be eaten with the gumbo.
Okra Gumbo.—Is made in the same way, only the okrais cut up and cooked over an hour. Note.—Either okra or file gumbo should be served with a large dish of rice, boiled very dry.—(Mrs. Ran­dolph).
Creole Gumbo.—Have a large pot on the fire, put in three table-spoonfuls of lard. When hot, stir in a little flour, till brown, then add a good deal of ham, beef and onions, cut fine, crabs, shrimps or oysters. When all are well fried, pour on enough boiling water for the quantity of soup required, allowing for boiling down, as no more should be added afterwards. About five minutes before stir in the file (pounded sassafras) until the soup is sufficiently thick; Oysters and shrimps should not be put in until some fifteen minutes before serving; crabs with the beef, &c Fry beef, then sliced okra when nicely browned, (no flour) pour on water; made like the above.
New Orleans Gumbo.—Into your soup pan put 1 1-2 spoonfuls of fresh sweet lard, 3 spoonfuls of flour, which stir into the lard until it is brown; take a large fat chicken and cut it up in small pieces and put it in the pan with the lard and flour, and cover it up to stew. Then chop 1 lb. of lean beef very fine, 1 large slice of sweet ham, 2 large onions, sliced fine, 1 pod of red pepper, teaspoonful each of chopped parsley, marjoram, and thyme, and spoonful of salt; add