A hardwood fire is an essential part of the gumbo process

The pig tails were beautiful at Zuppardo’s Supermarket this morning. They were even more beautiful with the morning sun glinting off them as they went on the antique Weber smoker in our 9th Ward backyard.

We have a couple dozen gumbo recipes in our repertoire but most of them are day in day out versions with smoked chicken and link sausage we pick up from Terranova Superette or Quicky’s. And we keep a quart jar filled with handmade roux in the fridge so we can bang out a gumbo on a Tuesday night without breaking a sweat. Continue Reading

You’re a dyed in the wool old school cook who makes scratch stocks at least once a week. You would never consider using mere tap water for any of your gumbos, soups or stews but are you making master stock?

Once you do you will never use plain old stock again.

Our master stock turned two years old a couple days ago, and it’s richer and more nuanced than ever. Of course many households and restaurants in China hold master stocks that are over a hundred years old.

Master stock vs regular stock