Notes from the Island Fishmonger: July

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Gumbo love, it’s driving me mad …

By Scott Dolan

Man, do I enjoy soup and stews. Especially seafood-style.

Clam chowder, lobster bisque, cream of corn and crab, and gumbo are some mainstays that you can find in seafood restaurants. I have noticed that there are not enough people making gumbo consistently on Siesta Key but I’m going to make an attempt to change that by putting a great gumbo on the Big Water Fish menu.

We presently are known for our tomato-based, vegetable and fish Jack’s Fish Stew. Loaded with fresh local veggies and several chunks and types of local fish, it is a favorite at the restaurant and easy to make at home.

Chef “Rasta Sammy” Coleman with his shrimp gazpacho. (submitted photo)

Also look for chef Rasta Sammy’s shrimp gazpacho all summer long.

But this column emphasizes gumbo. Many of you have had my gumbo and love it, while some of you laugh and say “That’s not gumbo, that’s stew with okra.”

Well, it is true that my gumbo is unconventional but I never claimed it to be New Orleans-style, because It’s not.

True story: I once was sent to NOLA for a gumbo cooking class by a renowned chef at the restaurant. When he learned that I don’t make a roux and I use potatoes instead to thicken the Gumbo, the chef was so upset he kicked me out of class and he banned me from his restaurant for life.

Good thing there are plenty of good places to eat in NOLA. Since then, I have renamed my masterpiece Irish gumbo because not only do I add potatoes but sausage. Supposedly it’s a sin to mix meat and seafood together in gumbo. Not if you’re Irish, I say.

Well, my new chefs will be introducing a new true New Orleans seafood gumbo recipe in the month of July. Led by chefs “Rasta Sammy” and “Dean the Gumbo Machine,” we will be making a batch every Wednesday and will serve it as a special through the weekend, or until it’s gone. Come check it out. Anyone who wants a special pot of Irish gumbo, you can still request it made by Scott as a special order.

Scott Dolan
Author: Scott Dolan

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