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Comfort Foods - Chef Lynn's Cooking Diary

Archive for the ‘Comfort Foods’ Category

Making Gumbo From Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

If you are anything like me then you are tired of eating Thanksgiving turkey by Saturday. Here is a simple recipe that I extracted from Nola Eats for you to make turkey gumbo.

Turkey Gumbo

“Make a stock with the leftover turkey carcass and save any leftover bits of roasted turkey for the gumbo. The vegetables for the gumbo are cooked in two stages to create layers of taste and texture.”

Frank Brigtsen’s Thanksgiving Gumbo
Makes 12 bowl-sized portions, 14-1/2 cups

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into half-rounds 1/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons mild olive oil (pomace olive oil preferred)

4 cups diced yellow onions

3 cups diced celery

2 cups diced green bell peppers

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon whole-leaf dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons gumbo file powder

12 cups turkey stock, made from roasted turkey carcass

14 tablespoons vegetable oil (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)

1 cup all-purpose white flour

4 cups leftover roasted turkey, in bite-size pieces

Hot cooked rice for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced andouille sausage on a shallow baking pan and bake until the edges turn brown, 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add 3 cups onion, 2 cups celery, 1-1/2 cups  bell pepper and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn brown, 12-15 minutes.Add the remaining vegetables: 1 cup onion, 1 cup celery, and 1/2 cup bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium, Cook, stirring occasionally, until the second stage of onions  are soft and clear, 2-3 minutes.

The Perfect Sunday Brunch

One of my favorite brunch to prepare when I have weekend guests is my New Orleans style shrimp and grits. Recently I’ve been making my grits in a slow cooker which tends to make them much more creamier without a lot of work on my part.

Here is my brunch recipe. Try it and let me know your thoughts below. I bet you will love this dish as much as I do.

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits


  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth or Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Yellow Grits
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or 2 Teaspoons Fresh Chopped Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Cup Light Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Ounces Light Cream Cheese
  • 2 Pounds Raw Shrimp
  • 3 Tbls of Olive Oil and 3 Tbls of Butter to saute Shrimp and to use for topping on grits
  • 2-3 Scallions (Green Onions)
  • Scallions, or Thyme and Extra Cheese for garnish


  1. Combine chicken broth and grits in slow cooker
  2. Add all other ingredients except shrimp, cheddar cheese, and green onions and cook on low for 3 Hours.
  3. Stir periodically to prevent lumps (If grits have absorbed all the liquid, add some more broth. It will depend on your slow cooker.)
  4. Add cheddar cheese toward the end of cooking.
  5. Saute scallions and shrimp in butter and oil for 5 minutes until done and use for topping on plated grits.
  6. Garnish with extra cheese and/or green onions and thyme


Yummy Seafood Gumbo During National Seafood Month

Seafood Gumbo by Chef Lynn

This is my favorite time of year when fall begins and the weather starts to change. I absolutely love to prepare comfort foods, which includes for me:  gumbos, soups, and stews during the fall and winter months. I want to share with you one of my favorite winter recipes: Seafood Gumbo. I get so many requests to make a pot of gumbo that I often prepare a very, very large pot so that I will have plenty to share with family and friends.
Gumbo is a wonderful means of using leftovers, but historically the two main varieties include Creole or Cajun Gumbo. Creole gumbo most often consists of seafood, tomatoes, and filé, used as a thickener; whereas Cajun gumbo is usually identified by its dark roux, cooked until it is a color of peanut butter. The roux is used with okra as a thickener. Seafood is also popular in Cajun gumbo, but chicken or duck, and sausage are sometimes used too.


Don’t be afraid to try this recipe. It is fairly simple to prepare and to quote one of my favorite Cajun chefs, Justin Wilson…I Guar-Ron-Tee you would love, love, love it!

 Seafood and Andouille Gumbo Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 pound of large deveined shrimp
  • 3-4 blue crabs (shells removed, cleaned and split in half)
Cleaned/Shelled Crabs and Shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning* (such as Tony Chachere’s® Creole Seasoning).
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 cups chopped okra, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, (stem, ribs and seeds removed), finely diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound andouille (or other smoked sausage), sliced crosswise into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or seafood stock (boil shrimp and/or crab shells and strain)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ -2 tablespoons Filé (optional)

Zatarains' GumboFile'


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot and add the flour
  2. Cook, stirring constantly to make a medium brown roux (the color of peanut putter) being careful not to burn. If there is the slightest indication of over-browning, dispose of the roux and start over. Even a slightly burned roux will ruin the dish.
  3. Add the okra, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and celery and cook until softened.
  4. Add tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, pepper, hot sauce, and broth or stock.
  5. Bring to boil and then reduce heat.
  6. Add crabs and sausage and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add shrimp (and other optional seafood like oysters, mussels, crayfish tails, etc) and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in enough file power to thicken. Do not boil the gumbo after adding the file power. 
  9. Serve the gumbo in warmed soup bowls over a spoonful of hot cooked rice.  

 Tips and Techniques

  • Gumbo is even better made one day in advance, as the flavor intensifies. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Remove the congealed fat before reheating. If you would like to freeze the gumbo, cool completely then store, tightly covered, in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Other seafood, such as peeled crawfish tails, lobsters and clams may be added to the gumbo.
  • Cooked seafood may be used too but the finished gumbo will not have the richness of flavor given by the crab cooked in it but will still be delicious. Just heat cooked seafood through in the finished gumbo.

Chef Lynn Ware


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