Colorful words like roux, boudin, filé, cuchon, ya ya and z’herbes add intrigue and flavor to gumbo. But usually Gumbo Ya Ya doesn’t apply to a recipe for gumbo. In New Orleans culture, it means everyone talks at the same time. However, at Mr. B’s Bistro on Royal Street in the French Quarter they serve bowls of a signature dish, Gumbo Ya Ya. It’s a rich chicken and sausage gumbo made from a dark, mahogany roux. Here are three versions of the recipe – large, medium and small. I’m making the large tomorrow for Christmas Eve. Choose your quantity and cook along: Restaurant size makes 6 quarts; the medium serves 8-10 and the small serves four.
And Z, the end, is for Z’Herbes
On New Year’s Day, I make Gumbo Z’Herbes (pronounced zab). I included my favorite recipe for the meatless version in V is for Vegetarian post. However, the addition of ham hocks or pork really adds flavor to the greens in green gumbo. In this video, John Besh describes making the non-vegetarian version of Gumbo Z’Herbes. And in this clip, Emeril Lagasse makes his version of Gumbo Z’Herbes for a Martha Stewart show. Listen for their different pronunciations of the gumbo. If you’re wondering why, remember John Besh was born in Louisiana and Emeril moved to Louisiana. Somehow the local-talk seems to flavor the gumbo better.
I hoped you’ve enjoyed my Christmas gift of A to Z gumbo recipes as much as I’ve enjoyed compiling them. I’m off to chop some celery for tomorrow’s gumbo. Merry Christmas.