Today is Fat Tuesday –– Carnival, otherwise known as the day of indulgence before lent. As revellers throughout the world take to the streets in celebration, I refrained from my annual Fat Tuesday, prune-filled paczki and came up with a little spin on gumbo instead.
Breakfast: Simple and sweet.
BROILED GRAPEFRUIT + BANANA WITH ALMOND BUTTER
This doesn’t need a recipe, but if you want to make your own almond butter, here is how I do it:
For the Almond Butter:
2 cups almonds
Preparation: Process the almonds in a high-speed blender or food processor until a smooth nut butter forms. This can take up to 20 minutes, so be patient, give your blender/food processor some intermittent rests so that the motor doesn’t overheat and be sure to scrape down the sides every so often. The natural oils in the nuts will release, making it smooth and all natural. Store in a lidded glass jar and enjoy.
Aren’t these sardines sweet… literally. I saw these French milk chocolates shaped like sardines stacked on the checkout counter at Hooked and had to buy a “tin” for my Valentine!
Dinner: This is my spin on a Southern-style gumbo, however, it does have a hint of Spain, especially with the smoky chorizo.
CHORIZO AND OKRA GUMBO
extra virgin olive oil
1 package frozen okra
1 handful green beans, cut into 3-inch segments
1 can of Italian San Marzano tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Portuguese chorizo sausages (hot), sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
parsley, to taste
Preparation: Heat a glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and fry the okra until golden on all sides. Remove the okra and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Return the skillet to medium heat and fry the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sliced chorizo and tomatoes and cook over low heat until the tomatoes break down and become sauce-y about 15-20 minutes. Add the okra and green beans to the tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper and cook until the green beans soften, but still hold their green hue, 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.