Kosher Fresh Fish Gumbo
Here is a great meal for Shabbat and a great time to start thinking about coming home to Israel. Give your children a chance to grow up with other Jewish children in the Lands that were promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and each and every Jew alive today. Become a part of this ongoing miracle. It ain’t perfect but we are getting there. You and your loved ones will never regret this move.
Gumbo is one of my family’s favorite dishes. In the United States it can be difficult to find Kosher Sausage. Substitute a little Kosher Salami. It works.
In Israel most everything that is normally found America that I need is difficult to find, so your pretty much on your own to try to recreate everything. At first this was really difficult but as time has gone on and I have figured out the Israeli food system and now we seem to manage without too much trouble.
I know that all of the following looks like a lot of work but in truth the hardest part is all the chopping. This takes about 15 minutes. The rest is simply waiting until it’s done.
For the Roux
1/4 cup all flour
1/4 cup cooking oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions for the Roux
In a medium frying pan heat the oil until it’s smoking hot. With a whisk, add the flour, constantly whisking until the mixture is smooth. In about 5 minutes the flour will begin at turn a light brown. The darker the roux the better. I normally wait until it turns a dark brown or nearly black. Take the roux of the heat and allow it to cool a little.
For the Gumbo
3-4 cups water
I tbs. canola oil (I never measure but add just enough to sauté the onions.)
Kosher Sausage or Salami. Chopped and diced. Your really don’t need to much. All sausages contain a lot of saturated fat so I don’t add much sausage. The amount is really up to you. Just be careful with all saturated fats that are contained in processed foods.
Fresh Kosher Fish fillets, your choice as to what fish you like. I use a kilo or about two pounds of whatever fish is on sale. Often times I mix the species of fish. So you can use whatever you like so long that the fish is kosher which means it originally had scales and fins.
2 or 3 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 package frozen whole okra, or fresh okra if you can find it.
2 large onions chopped
3 medium potatoes diced into ½” cubes
3 sweet bell peppers chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 carrot sliced
1 or 2 Hot peppers seeded, minced the more the hotter the Gumbo
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup rice to put into the gumbo
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups hot cooked rice. I generally use whole rice, red rice or brown rice al works but traditionally white rice is used.
In a large pot sauté the onions peppers, garlic and carrots until they begin to soften. Add the sausage, chicken and let it begin to fry. This only takes a minute or two. Add water and carefully add the roux. Remember the roux is still very hot. Carefully mix the roux into the water and add all the rest of the vegetables. Slice the fish fillets into 2-3 inch long strips. Add about half the fish when the water begins to boil. Add the rice cover and cover and reduce the heat to medium for 90 minutes. Add the remaining fish during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Serve over a bed of rice with a little hot sauce, a vegetable, Challah, a glass of Kosher Israeli Wine. Scrub the kids until theyu shine, light a couple of candles, say a few Blessings over the Candles, Wine, Challah and Children and remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy. Make this coming calendar year, the year that you and yours come home, your home in Israel.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel.