Leah Chase, Carrying on in New Orleans

Leah Chase, owner and chef of Dooky Chase restaurant in New Orleans, talks about rebuilding her famous restaurant and carrying on an Easter tradition — gumbo style.

Recipe for Chase's Gumbo Z'herbes

A New Orleans tradition on Holy Thursday:

1 bunch mustard greens

1 bunch collard greens

1 bunch turnip greens

1 bunch watercress

1 bunch beet tops

1 bunch carrot tops

1/2 head of lettuce

1/2 head of cabbage

1 bunch spinach

3 cups onions, diced

1/2 cup garlic, chopped

1 1/2 gallons water

5 tablespoons flour

1 pound smoked sausage

1 pound smoked ham

1 pound hot sausage

1 pound brisket, cubed

1 pound stew meat

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

1 tablespoon file powder

 

Clean greens under cold running water, making sure to pick out bad leaves. Rinse away any soil or grit. The greens should be washed 2 to 3 times. Chop greens coarsely and place in 12-quart pot along with onions, garlic and water. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

 

Strain greens and reserve liquid. Place greens in bowl of a food processor and puree or chop in meat grinder. Pour greens into a mixing bowl, sprinkle in 5 tablespoons flour, blend and set aside.

 

Dice all meats into 1-inch pieces and place into the 12-quart pot. Return the reserve liquid to the pot and bring to a low boil, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add purDeed greens, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until meat is tender, approximately 1 hour. Add water if necessary to retain volume. Add file powder, stir well and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

 

Serves 8 to 10 over steamed rice.

 

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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