Saturday, February 17, 2024

Gumbo with Leftover Turkey

I always have leftover Turkey after a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. Scrape meat off the bones and make my Gumbo with Leftover Turkey. Gumbo is a Southern soup with veggies and meat. A Gumbo also has darkened flour as its base flavor called a Roux.

A Cajun Gumbo uses almost any kind of meat. I keep it simple by using cooked holiday turkey pieces.

Don't throw away the turkey carcass, I've peeled a lot of meat just from the turkey's back. Use any leftover part of the bird for this recipe. 

Go right to making a Roux out of flour. While the Roux is browning chop the Cajun Trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. For my Gumbo, I like to add garlic and okra, too. 

The most complex part of a Gumbo is the Roux. Usually, plain raw flour is cooked until a medium to dark brown, this gives Gumbo its unique nutty flavor and color. Back in the day an equal amount of oil was used to brown the flour. These days I leave oil out. As long as you scrape and stir the flour it will brown fine. It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Grocers are starting to carry Roux that is pre-cooked and brown, so you can go right to sauting veggies, then add the pre-cooked Roux. I've made Gumbo using the shortcut grocer method and the long homemade browning version.

A couple of hard-to-find ingredients in my Gumbo with Leftover Turkey can be left out. Filé Powder is dried sassafras leaves. Creole Seasoning is mainly salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne, onion, and garlic powders. 

The Cajun Trinity, comprised of bell pepper, celery, and onion, is used in many Southern recipes. 

I still get these veggies frequently on sale for less than a dollar.

Okra might not be to everyone's taste as it becomes slimy after cooking for a while, but I like it fine. 

Cajuns serve their Gumbo over white steamed rice. I've had it over brown rice and even quinoa.

My Gumbo with Leftover Turkey is best served hot on a cold day. If you are tired of Leftover Turkey Sandwiches or a plate of reheated dried-out sliced turkey with soggy sides, then go for my satisfying and filling Gumbo with Leftover Turkey

Gumbo with Leftover Turkey - VIDEO      Play it here, video runs 4 minutes, 31 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings)

  • 3/4 Cup Flour - for a Roux. Takes about 20 minutes to brown.
  • Leftover Turkey - about 2 pounds. I used a wing plus a mix of dark and white meat.
  • 1 Onion - chopped
  • Garlic - 1 tablespoon.
  • 1 Bell Pepper - chopped.
  • Celery - about 2 chopped ribs.
  • Okra - about 12 pieces. I slice okra depending on how large they are. Okay to leave a few whole.
  • Creole Seasoning - 1 teaspoon. Creole seasoning is usually a combination of salt, paprika or chile powder, dried garlic, and onion. 
  • Black Pepper - 1 teaspoon. Creole Seasoning has enough salt for my tastes.
  • Filé powder - 1 teaspoon, optional. Filé is dried sassafras leaf powder.
  • Water - 8 cups.  Okay to add the extra cup while cooking to reach a thinner Gumbo. For a thicker Gumbo simmer uncovered about 15 to 30 minutes. 
  • Steamed Rice - I usually steam a cup or two of rice. Add to the bottom of the bowl when serving Gumbo - white or brown rice. 

*A large raw turkey leg can be used if you don't want to cook a whole holiday bird. You should cook a raw turkey leg for about 2 hours in the Gumbo broth until tender. Then remove the leg and peel off the meat, finally return it to the Gumbo to reheat.


Add flour to a large pot over medium saute to make a Roux. This gives Gumbo its brown color and nutty flavor. I use a non-oil method. Most Roux recipes call for an equal amount of oil to flour. 

You need to stir the flour until it is medium to dark brown, about 20 minutes.

(And if you want to speed things up then buy a pre-made Roux from the grocery store.)

You can chop onion, bell pepper, celery, okra, and garlic while Roux is browning.

Add all the veggies including onion, bell pepper, celery, okra, and garlic.

Sprinkle on Cajun Seasoning (or salt), and black pepper. 

Add Gumbo Filé, which are dried sassafras leaves ground into powder. Okay to leave this out as it may be hard to find.

Now add the cooked turkey. Add 8 cups of water. Mix well and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to a simmer or low boil, then cover and cook for 1 hour. 

*If you are using raw Turkey, increase cooking time to about 2 hours or until Turkey is tender.

*If you are using cooked whole Turkey pieces then remove skin and bones after simmering, and shred Turkey into bite-size pieces. Return Turkey to Gumbo to reheat before serving.

If you like a thicker Gumbo broth, simmer it uncovered for about half an hour.

I like to serve cooked rice with Gumbo. During the last half hour of cooking, you can start your rice. Cook according to package directions.

When Gumbo with Leftover Turkey is ready add cooked rice to a bowl or plate and spoon on the Gumbo.

Gumbo with Leftover Turkey can simmer on the stovetop for extra time, as the longer it cooks the better. 

Okra falls apart after an hour, but that's okay as it will help thicken the Gumbo. It's okay to add the okra during the last half hour of cooking if you like it less mushy.

My Gumbo with Turkey Leftovers can be made with regular chicken pieces, too.

And don't forget the Hot Sauce!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Valentine's Day Recipes - Videos & Photo Story

Please sit down and have a glass of wine, and how about a back rub? Kindly allow this Amorous Culinarian to hold your hand and guide you through a luscious menu of Valentine's Day Recipes.

Well, you are in the right place for a romantic read. If the following recipes look enticing to you then click on any name and you will be directed to my food blog recipe pages filled with tempting, tender prose, and pulse-quickening GIFs, photos, and video.

Let's set the mood with the most decadently sexy of confections, a Chocolate Covered Cherry. Here, I'll feed it to you, Mon'Amie....

Click on any photo or gif to see larger.

First up is a video of the Amorous Epicurean on the prowl for budget aphrodisiac ingredients to create a perfect romantic dinner date. Allow me to adjust your seat cushion -- there, lean back, and watch the show.

Shopping for a Romantic Recipe - VIDEO

You will want to start your romantic evening meal with an appetizer - a plump and pleasing Steamed Artichoke is the perfect dish to share with each other. Just swipe a steamed artichoke leaf into my creamy Ginger Mayo Dip and feed the tender petal end to your amour. Your appetite will surely build as you get to the delicately delicious artichoke heart. My Steamed Artichoke appetizer is just a tease.
Cooking & Eating an Artichoke - VIDEO

A lovely Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing looks good on the plate and will impress your true love with its lightness and fresh flavors. And it's the perfect prelude to the main course.

I think Italian food is the sexiest of cuisines. Tender swirling ropes of pasta sliding through a rich creamy sauce will soften any hardened heart. Click on any recipe name below to see my luscious photos and read my tender prose.

There's nothing like a creamy warm egg yolk stoking the fires of desire, and the Flirty Chef's  Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the perfect mood-setter. With the first bite, your date will swoon with pleasure. Sprinkling crumbled bacon over the pasta is gilding the lily, but sometimes you need to go all the way!

In my Spaghetti alla Carbonara Video below I took a couple of cheap shortcuts. I used bacon bits, but you could substitute real bacon or kick it up a notch with sauteed pancetta. Also, freshly shaved parmesan cheese will be more pleasing than the dried brand I used.

And finally, I added a blended raw egg -- for a more romantic presentation, just gently place the egg yolk on a mound of steaming pasta.

Oh, is it time for another sweet confection? Of course, I have more, the apple of my eye...

Would you like another glass of wine before you watch my Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe video below? Oh, don't worry about driving - I'll call Uber for you.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe - VIDEO

There, wasn't that edifying? Staying on the creamy theme, I can also recommend my Fettuccine Alfredo.

It's pasta with butter and cream -- simple and direct. You could mix in some fresh steamed veggies like broccoli for color and crunch -- just see how easy it is to do by clicking here on my Veggies in Cream with Pasta.

For something lighter, lose the cream and serve my stripped-down pasta recipe of John Cassavetes Red Pepper, Olive Oil, and Garlic with Spaghetti. It's a spicy tongue-tingler any tough guy can knock out.

Of course, a Latin lover would challenge any Italian Casanova for Lotherio's scepter. And my Mexican Chicken Tinga spicy stew will send chills down the spine and tingle any lady all the way to her toes.
Chicken Tinga - VIDEO

What? Another? You really do have a sweet tooth, well I do too, I think we are two peas in a pod.  Let's share this one...

Your love will fall under a lusty voodoo spell after sipping a couple of my homemade rum and sugar cane Cuban Mojitos. And if you and your lover are nursing a hangover the next morning, I have a hangover cure: a bowl of Pozole. It's a rich red broth of hominy, chiles, and pork.
Cuban Mojito - VIDEO

Black and white, yin and yang -- all inhibitions will drop with the sweet and sour flavors of my vegan Cuban Black Beans served over White Rice.

If you want to channel your inner domestic goddess, then tie on the apron, get out the potholders, and bring in a hot casserole dish of my luscious Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese to the dining room table. Just check out the tempting short animated video below to see the yummy and gooey details.

Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese - VIDEO

I have a recipe that will get any Lady Godiva off her high horse. Let's get tough guy Stanley Kowalski, but with a mushy heart. My chef nephew's Shrimp and Grits will take your date on a one-way streetcar to desire. All aboard to check out the video below of two lunkheads hanging out and cooking.

Shrimp & Grits - VIDEO

A close second to the most sensuous of nibbling is a tender fish fillet on rice or Sushi. Raw seafood will quicken a lover's pulse, and if you chase the sushi down with a few warm cups of sake the temptation to stay the night may be overwhelming.

My Sushi recipes are quite easy to do when you follow my directions. I even have a recipe for those averse to raw fish, a California Roll (in the hay,) that's made with cooked fake krab, creamy avocado, and sliced cucumber. Seafood Rolls and Sushi are handheld bites meant to be shared with your true love.

California Roll -VIDEO

Hawaii is the destination for romancing the palate. Make your own romantic Hawaii-themed date night with my exotic Island classic: Lau Lau. It's a banana leaf-wrapped package of deliciousness.

Oh look honeybunch, I have one left. 

The aroma of slow roasting pork, Hawaiian-style will fill the kitchen and dining room, stoking the appetite of desire. Slowly unwrap the package of tender Lau Lau for your beloved. You won't need a Lei of plumeria flowers to steal a kiss when you serve my savory dish. So click here to see the luscious photos and easy-to-follow recipe text. And aloha to love.

Hawaiian-style Lau Lau

Of course, you can't have a romantic dinner date without sweets. And I have a simply delicious deconstructed dessert that I call Mini-Banana Puddings.

It's the perfect finger food to woo your loved one. All you need is to lay out some vanilla wafers and stack them with a spoonful of pudding and banana slices, finally topped with Hersey Chocolate Kiss. You could also drizzle on any sweet topping like chocolate syrup, caramel, and other favorite candy pieces or sprinkles.

Pssst...don't let your date see this next video, so you can tell them the next confection is from a fancy chocolatier. Slip a Chocolate-Covered Cherry in your date's hand and a heart may melt. Just between you and me, I got the confections at my local 99c only Store. Go ahead and watch my cheap$kate video review and see how a five-count box for 99.99 cents rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best.

Chocolate Covered Cherries - VIDEO

After a ravenous night, you will need a replenishing morning meal. And the Don Juan Gourmand's palate-pleasing Fried Egg on Breadcrumbs with Asparagus will satiate any food lover.

It looks good on the plate, but be sure to make plenty, as your sweetheart will ask for seconds!

Another morning after meal is my French-style Omelet. It's a labor of love that you may want to practice making a couple of times to get right. Like lovemaking, the more you do it the better you get! And I have all the right moves a click away.

Here are a few more romantic entrees you can try (just click on any name): Chef Zakk's Tuscan Primavera - Cajun StyleChicken Stroganoff, Julia Child's Crepes SuzetteBaked Chicken with GrapesShepherd's PiePortabella Crab RockefellerCoconut Crusted Fish & Mango SalsaPork BourguignonVegas Eggs BenedictFrench CassouletStuffed Poblano Chiles, and Roasted Mint Chicken.

My go-to confections purveyor is right down the street and it's old school to the max, See's Candies. And they hand out free samples...Wow!

Finally, it's 99 Shades of Cheap! Allow me to leave you with my most outrageous Valentine Day photo story called:

All items cost 99 cents.

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