$20 Challenge [Country Gumbo + Skillet Biscuits] #dcfarmkt ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 2:09 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in ,    No comments
To prove that you can eat locally grown food AND stay within your grocery budget, the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market and the City of Winston-Salem is sponsoring the $20 Challenge twice a month from now through September in 2014. I will stage a live cooking demonstration in which I will  prepare a meal for a family of four for $20 using ingredients I buy at the market that day.

This week I was joined by renowned local chef and owner of Springhouse Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, Chef Tim Grandinetti. I don't keep it a secret that Springhouse is my favorite restaurant in Winston-Salem. I'm a little biased when it comes to eating great food and receiving great service at a place. The 'House is tops for me. Along with that, I respect and revere Chef Tim. It was truly an honor to have him on the show and as my sous chef for the day. It's too bad I wasn't planning to create anything difficult. I could have REALLY put him to work! Ha!

Screenshot of the show!

Did you not make it to the market on Saturday? Watch the $20 Challenge on WSTV-13 on Time Warner Cable (Channels 74.3 and 1303) OR subscribe to the City of Winston-Salem's You Tube channel.

So what did we make this week? Country Gumbo and Skillet Biscuits

gumbo with andouille sausage

I won't reiterate it much here, but gumbo and biscuits are both very important to me. The ultimate comfort food.

Country Gumbo

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped green pepper (or yellow squash)
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups lima beans
1 cup corn kernels
1/4 lb andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced or minced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 to 4 bay leaves
6 cups water or stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Whisk in flour and continue to stir constantly—either with a whisk or a wooden spoon—until roux turns a deep, dark chocolate brown (or another shade of your liking). This should take around 30 minutes. If you sense that your roux is in danger of burning, reduce heat immediately and continue to stir.

Once roux has reached desired shade, carefully stir in onions, squash, and celery, and continue to stir about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to wilt. When the vegetables hit the roux, be careful of the cloud of steam. Add salt, cayenne, and sausage, and continue to cook about 5 minutes.
Rip and add bay leaves and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Add andouille and continue to simmer uncovered for thirty minutes to an hour. Adjust seasoning. Thin out with more stock or water if necessary. Serve with/over white rice, if desired.
Skillet biscuits
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups of self rising flour 
3/4 to 1 cup cold buttermilk

In an 8-inch cast iron skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. Meanwhile, add only enough buttermilk to the flour to form into a thick dough. 
Use a wide a spoon to drop dough into the hot skillet. Cover and reduce heat to between medium and medium low. Cover and cook until the bread browns on the bottom, then flip over and cook until browned on the other side. 

To answer a few questions I've received:

*I did not chop or slice the gumbo because the pods were already so small. I like to work smarter, not harder.

*Biscuits in a pan or a non-stick skillet will still work--they just won't get the crusty brown tops and bottoms like a cast iron skillet.

*I forgot to buy green peppers for the trinity! There was nothing I could do about it, so I just did without. That happens sometimes! Not having the peppers did not detract from the flavor.