Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ki Ngombo = Okra

In honor of Mardi Gras, I searched for traditional recipes for gumbo...only to discover that there is no canonical recipe for gumbo. It seems there are as many recipes for gumbo as there are cooks!  The only two constants in a gumbo: variety and okra.

The term 'gumbo' likely comes from an African dialect whose word for okra is ki ngombo.  Gumbos can have meat, seafood, just about anything.  In Mark Huntsman's "The History of Gumbo" he refers to written mentions of using muskrat and owl in gumbo recipes. 

I embraced the unlimited potential of ingredients and opted for a combination of fish, chicken, pancetta, oysters, mussels, octopus, shrimp, and squid...and lots of okra!

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