Quick Weeknight Sole and Sausage Gumbo

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Once upon a time we made Gulf seafood gumbo for four on a twilit beach in Corpus Christi with only a butane burner and cookware borrowed from a rental kitchen. Grey-blue crests and frothy white caps crashing behind us, visibility at that time of night zero save a flashlight and the dome light of our truck bed, crude sand walls built to prevent the struggling, wind-whipped flames from going out.

The inexplicably successful bowls of steaming hot gumbo were well-earned (and quickly finished) — at that moment, seriously superior to every other gumbo, anywhere, anytime. Forevermore, it will be a meal that instantly transports us back to that night on that beach.

Mardi Gras — or Fat Tuesday, if you prefer — falls on the last day of February this year. Because it’s a weeknight, I’m sharing a quick-fix version of our New Orleans classic that goes from cutting board to table in just about 30 minutes.

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Kitchen Scraps to Homemade Stock

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Happy 2017!

At the start of every new year, I make it a goal to refresh the kitchen. Refrigerator, freezer, pantry — no drawer or door is left unopened. It’s cathartic to give everything a good cleaning, all the while taking inventory of what needs to be replaced or replenished.

Always at the top of my list, though I make it many times throughout the year, is a big pot of rich homemade stock. Not only is this liquid gold cheaper and better tasting that store-bought, it feeds into another of my goals, to reduce food waste.

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Spicy Calamari Stew with Garlicky Croutons

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Our first taste of the autumn chill has arrived. The days break foggy and crisp, and though the afternoon sun is still quite warm, bracing morning and evening winds prompt yearnings for warm, soul-satisfying foods.

This recipe for a tomato-based calamari stew with chillies and herbs more than satisfies. Sometimes ladled over a small mound of grains, I served these bowls with cubes of homemade ciabatta bread tossed with olive oil and garlic and baked briefly until crisp and golden.

A simple yet elegant meal that feels like one foot in summer, one foot in autumn, and an arm in winter.

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Spiked Chorizo and Black Bean Chilli with Chipotle, Roasted Garlic and Plantain

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Cooked low and slow, this spicy twist on classic bean and meat chilli — with a shot of bourbon for good measure — is guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of eaters on the coldest of days. A perfect stick-with-you meal that fills your home and your belly with delicious warmth.

The recipe I’m sharing today features sweet roasted garlic, zucchini and summer squash, plantain, smoky chipotles in adobo, banana peppers and, for depth, two types of tomatoes — fire-roasted and sun-dried. To suit your taste and availability, you can vary these with in-season winter squash, dark leafy greens and sprouts, or root veg like parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potato and beets. Dried oregano, nutmeg and cinnamon add to the complex layering of classic Mexican flavors, and a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves cool and refresh as the finishing touch.

We used lean pork ground at home and seasoned in the style of chorizo, but you can use meat from fresh chorizo sausages purchased from a butcher. To make it vegetarian, omit the chorizo and stick with the black beans (canned or home-cooked from dry), or pump up the protein with additional beans, cooked lentils, or pan-seared tempeh or tofu crumbles.

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