Food And Football – Serve Up Some Gumbo While The Seahawks Battle The Saints

This week the Seattle Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. I’m sure when the game was originally scheduled, long before the season started, it looked like a better primetime matchup. But now that the Seahawks and the Saints are struggling, I’m sure the NFL wishes it could flex a more competitive game into that timeslot.

The Seahawks are in a situation where losing Russell Wilson to injury for several weeks has definitely not made them a better team and has probably made them worse. Note: they weren’t exactly lights out with Wilson in the game this year.

The Saints are in a situation where losing Drew Brees to retirement has almost certainly made them a worse team. Sure, the first game of the season when the Saints under Jameis Winston made the Aaron Rodger’s led Green Bay Packers look like a JV squad was causing people to think differently, but they have since sunk back down to the terra firma where we all expected them to be.

Now, if you put aside all of the expectations, injuries, and retirements, Monday night should be a very competitive game between two teams and two quarterbacks with very little to lose and much to gain. Wilson’s backup Geno Smith needs to show us that he can string together four quarters of solid play. Jameis Winston, with losses to the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers under his belt, has a similar agenda.

Though Seattle is hosting, New Orleans is by far the superior eating city. And though the list of New Orleans dishes is as long as the Mississippi River, it is soup season, so let’s tackle the dish that many are afraid to make at home, though they shouldn’t be.

Gumbo. The name says it all. The dish serves as a metonymic shorthand for the place itself. 

Since our custom is to provide a visual accompaniment to the recipe steps, this video will set you up nicely for making it at home. Here are our own personal guidelines and recommendations:

  • Cook your roux long and slow. Go by color and aroma. You want that deep chestnut that is just this side of burnt
  • Don’t make it too thick! The real gumbo in New Orleans is much thinner than some versions of it that you find elsewhere might suggest. Remember, there should be a scoop of white rice in it to provide the necessary starch
  • Don’t be afraid to pull out the seasonings like Worcestershire sauce or your favorite Louisiana hot sauce. Not everybody’s gumbo tastes like it was made by a New Orleans chef. There’s no reason to suffer through a bland bowl of soup when you can easily doctor it up
  • Aside from that, you can put a variety of meats, seafoods and vegetables into your gumbo. Really the common denominator is the rich and dark broth, which comes from the roux more than anywhere else

Since getting home from work in time to start the Seahawks game on Monday night doesn’t sound like the best time to make gumbo, you might want to shop for and cook this dish on Sunday evening. That way, when you wake up Monday morning, your house will smell like gumbo, and you will remember that even though it’s a Monday, there’s an alluring escape into food and football awaiting you when you get home.

About Paul Redman 119 Articles
Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.

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