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Each week, Jennifer Chandler shares recipes, menu ideas, and tips on eating local – anything food-related is on the menu!Tuesdays7:49 a.m.8:49 a.m.4:48 p.m.6:48 p.m.

National Gumbo Day

Jim's Place Grill

Since National Gumbo Day is Oct. 12, I thought now is the perfect time to talk about this iconic Louisiana stew that can be made with anything from seafood to chicken to sausage to duck.

Wondering if gumbo is Cajun or Creole? Gumbo is perhaps the signature dish of both cuisines. Creole gumbo has a tomato base and is more of a soup, while Cajun gumbo has a roux base and is more of a stew.

Jim’s Place Grille in Collierville, TN has one of my favorite Cajun versions. Their seafood gumbo is rich and delicious thanks to its dark and flavorful roux.

Jim’s Place owner James Taras says the Seafood Gumbo has been a signature item on the menu for decades.

He shared a few tips for making a gumbo at home.

The Roux

The number one tip for making a great gumbo is a consistent roux. James says they use flour, salted butter, and the all-important ingredient of ground sassafras leaves. For the sassafras leaves, he loves the balance and mildness of Zatarain’s Gumbo File.

A Key Vegetable

James says cut okra is a must for a great batch of gumbo. Don’t not use it.

A Medley of Seafood

A sweet and savory medley of shellfish - including crab claw meat, crawfish, bay scallops, shrimp and oysters – are the main players in Jim’s Place’s famous gumbo.

How to serve it?

Ladle the gumbo into the bowl and top with a scoop of white rice for a tasty meal.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

For more information on Jim’s Place Grille, visit jimsplacegrille.com.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.