Gumbo is the typically known as the official dish of Louisiana. The famous southern Cajun stew has been around since the 18th century and its popularity widened in the 70s when the Senate cafeteria added it to the menu to honor Louisiana's Senator, Allen Ellender. With the turn of the decade into the 80s, gumbo once again made a strong push to the American fore when popular chef Paul Prudhomme made sure to remind us all of gumbo's glories.
Who knows for certain all the details of its origins, other than it pulls together the collective culinary ways of a mix of cultures: French, Spanish, German, West Africa, and Choctaw. And whether it's based on traditional West African dishes or is a derivation of the French dish bouillabaisse, honestly, who can really know for sure?
What we do know though is that it's dang good eatin'. And Chef Greg Nalley wants to make sure that you aren't deprived of this cajun contribution to American culinary culture.
Then there's tofu. Not everyone is onboard with this great source of protein, we know. That may mostly be due to the fact that it hasn't been mainstreamed into our diet here in the U.S. But it is increasingly making its way into our cultural norm as alternative sources of protein become essential to a variety of dietary preferences.
So, in case you didn't know, tofu is curd made from mashed soybeans and is mainly used in Asian and vegetarian cooking. And it's not new or faddish. It's been a staple in Asia for 2,000 years. Tofu, also known as soya curd, is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling soya milk with a coagulant.
Tofu gets that rap of being "bland." Perhaps it is, by itself. But then again, I've never seen anyone bring a baggie of tofu to work to be nibbled on by itself. It's better to think of it as a staple. A protein rich staple.
Enter Chef Greg Nalley's tofu gumbo. See? Tofu isn't bland. It's a great source of protein bathed in a savory and zesty stew of deep southern cajun glory. An if you haven't had it yet, well then, you should.