My Beloved Osito,
It’s week 6, but this week is not like any other on the The U’s schedule because this week we play Florida State University (FSU). Every year when the schedule is released, this is the game that every player, fan, coach and alumni circles. I believe, for some, we could lose every game on our schedule, but if we beat FSU it was a good year. In my admittedly biased opinion, this is the greatest rivalry in college football, but when many of the games are instant classics, and historically the winner is competing for a title, and you add that many of the players were (and will become) football legends in college and in the NFL, you can understand my bias. As with any rivalry, the gloves come off, everything is fai
r game and honestly things can get a little petty. Speaking of petty, this leads me to the game meal. The FSU Seminoles’ mascot is Osceola (one of the Florida Seminole leaders)
and Renegade (an Appaloosa horse which is known for their spotted coats), but this meal has nothing to do with the rich Native American culture. This meal is inspired by an incident that occurred in 2014 involving their Heisman winning (award for best player) and #1 overall NFL pick QB. In summary, he was cited for ‘shoplifting’ crab legs from a grocery store, but according to him, the guy at the store “hooked him up” (http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/jameis-winston-claims-he-got-hooked-up-with-stolen-crab-legs/). Be careful with the “hook up” because unless they’re the rightful owner of the store or item, it’s stealing.
With crab legs, I, with the Creole influences ever present in Houston, decided to do a Seafood Gumbo. Seafood Gumbo has three main parts, the broth, the meat and vegetables and the roux, and ironically this game came down, in my opinion, to three main plays. The broth is a simple concept and if poorly executed you can recover from it. The U’s in-zone interception at the start of the third quarter flipped the momentum of the game, but it was salvageable. The meat and vegetables in your gumbo is critical. It is the game changer. The game changer in this game occurred in the fourth quarter when a holding penalty negated a go ahead TD run. The last critical part of gumbo is the roux which is all about technique. This leads me to the blocked extra point which would have tied the game with 1:38 left. The technique was not executed properly and made for a bad kick (could have easily been my roux, but I could just start over). Overall, it was a hard fought game and with classics like “wide-right I, II and II” and “wide-left” it’s not unimaginable that this game came down to the kicking game. Unfortunately with a 20-19 loss we were on the wrong side of history this time. However, the Seafood Gumbo was my best to date with a rating of 9.5 of 10. Next week we have the North Carolina Tar Heels.
- Fill a pot up with w
ater and add the shells of shrimp (I had 1.5 lbs
but the more the merrier)
- Then add whole carrots and the tops of celery (I had a bag of each)
- Add some creole seasoning and boil until the shrimp peels turn pink
- Strain the liquid into a larger pot saving the carrots and leave on the stove on medium heat
*I say Seafood Gumbo, but there is more than seafood. More life a Surf and Turf Gumbo
- Crab Legs: Take your crab leg clusters (I had 2 snow crab clusters, but again the more the merrier) and rinse them and break them at the joints and add them to your broth
- Andouille Sausage: Take a pack of sausage and place them on the grill (it’s still game day so the grill is involved) until done and then cut into pieces and set aside
- Chicken Thighs: (I used 4) take your seasoned thighs and place them on the grill for about 10 minutes each side (don’t cook through)
- After you take them off the grill place a cup of water and some Italian dressing into a pressure pot and finish the chicken until you can shred it with a fork (about 14 minutes on high) and set aside
- Using the boiled carrots from the broth, slice into pieces
- Chop/slice the following: celery, pack of mushrooms (do not pay extra for the pre-sliced mushrooms, do it yourself), dice a whole onion.
- Take the celery, onion and mushrooms and wrap them in foil adding some crushed garlic and olive oil and place them on the grill for about 10-12 minutes (you can sauté them on the stove)
- Take a whole bell pepper and roast it on the grill and then slice into pieces
- Take equal parts vegetable oil and all-purpose flour (I used 1.5 cups because I needed extra to make it thicker since I used too much
- Place the oil in a pan and let it heat up and then add the flour
- Using a wooden spoon make sure you are continuously stirring (this is the same way you make gravy. Honestly I don’t know the difference)
- For your gumbo you want a dark brown roux so you will need to cook/stir for about 15-20 minutes depending on your stove
- Add the veggies to the roux and season using Adobo and creole seasoning to taste
- Take the roux and veggie mixture and add it to the broth and stir until mixed
- Add the sausage and shredded grilled chicken and stir until mixed
- Shrimp: take the seasoned raw shrimp and add it to the completed gumbo and let them cook
- Add bay leaves and parsley flakes and simmer for at least an hour. I finished this one around 2:30 pm and since The U didn’t play until 7 pm all the flavors had plenty of time to combine
- Serve with rice. Your mom used her usual Dominican magic to make amazing white rice to compliment the gumbo.
Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”