Kentucky Gumbo?

This morning while reading an article in the April 2008 issue of Food & Wine, about the Kendall-Jackson winery, I came upon a recipe for Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo. It’s a favorite of vintner Jess Jackson when he visits his horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Yes, they’re serving Gumbo in Kentucky!

Since it’s a cold and rainy morning in Central Indiana I thought I’d give it a try (actually turned out to be a nice day!). What kind of gumbo can you actually get in the Bluegrass State? We’re going to find out!

One of the main ingredients that makes this a gumbo (vs. a soup or stew) is andouille sausage (a little difficult to find in Indiana). It took me a while but I finally found what I was looking for at a local chain store & headed home to give it a shot.

I took a few pictures with my Treo 700wx but they didn’t turn out very well (note to self, break out the Nikon when taking pictures for the Blog). I pulled out my favorite Le Creuset dutch oven and got to work.

The basic steps of the recipe are:

  1. Brown Chicken & set aside (remove the skin after browning)
  2. Brown sausage & set aside
  3. Cook vegetables & add some flour
  4. Deglaze with chicken stock & add diced tomatoes
  5. Return everything to the pot for a 30-40 minute simmer
  6. Shred the chicken, slice the sausage & add some cooked rice
  7. Enjoy!

Overall it’s a pretty easy recipe only requiring a few ingredients. While not true Gumbo it’s pretty darn close.

About 30 minutes later it was time to pull the chicken from the vat of boiling goodness & shred it up (easier said than done with a mass of protein that’s been in 200-degree liquid for half an hour…

The article recommended a side of Cream Biscuits with Dill (these were AWESOME) as well as a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay (nice wine!). Might as well go for the full effect! The wine was easy enough to locate at my neighborhood chain grocery store but it was almost double the estimated price in the magazine article…

The dish was a big hit with the family & we even had enough left over for lunch the next day (it reheats very well). If you’re looking for something a little different, give this recipe a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

South Side Soda Shop and Diner – Goshen, Indiana

Located in a neighborhood setting south of the Goshen courthouse, the South Side Soda Shop and Diner was my destination for lunch this rainy Thursday.  Because of the location parking is at a premium, but I lucked out and found a close spot.

Made famous to non-locals by the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network, this place seems to be a destination for locals and foodies.  As a case in point, I overheard an older couple in the booth next to be going on and on about the real lemon zest in their lemon meringue pie (only foodies do that).  Naturally I had to order a slice to validate their claim, but we’ll cover that later.

When I was waiting to be seated, a gentleman paying his bill commented on how good the “real grilled tenderloin” was.  Looking for a light lunch, once seated I opted to go the pork route.  The “grilled” pork tenderloin sandwich ($4.80) is actually done on a flat top grill, not over an open flame as I was assuming.  It comes with Lettuce, tomato and mayo. Making the order a “Basket” ($1.25) added a nice portion of shoestring fries and a small cup of coleslaw.  Knowing I was probably going to have to verify the zesty claim I opted for a diet soda ($1.40) like it matters at this point.

I’ll have agree with the gentleman I mentioned earlier, it was a really good sandwich.  The fries were nice and crisp and the coleslaw had a nice tang.  Now that I’ve devoured the sandwich and sides it was time for desert.

I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I had to taste this lemon zest for myself (that’s my story).  The lemon meringue pie ($2.25) was a pretty decent sized slice with a nice pile of chewy browned meringue on the top.  How did it taste you ask?  VERY lemony & quite delicious (good call grandpa)!

Total bill for this visit was $12.48 ($10.48 + $2.00 Tip).

The South Side Soda Shop and Diner is located at 1122 South Main Street.  They are open Tue-Sat from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

My Favorite RSS Feeds

I’m an information junkie. I’ve found the best way for me to keep up with all of my interests is to utilize RSS feeds.

I’m currently using Google Reader to manage 106 feeds ranging from current events to entertainment and food to computers. Of course I also have a ton of GTD feeds I follow.  I like using a hosted RSS reader as it allows me to access my feeds from any PC (or PDA) & it keeps all of my feeds in sync.

Here are some of my top RSS picks:

Hope you find something interesting in the list above.  What are some of your favorite feeds?  Post your list in the comment section.