this recipe is one of those "meant-to-makes" that i had great intentions of testing for veganomicon. for whatever reason - probably because i thought no soup/stew would ever top isa's corn chowder - i never got around to it. well, the mercury is dropping here in the northern wilds of manhattan and i felt like i needed something strong and hearty to get me through the night. since i couldn't find a willing dude on such short notice, i thought i'd cook instead. HA. (sorry. it won't happen again.)
much as i love isa (not in that way, much to her chagrin), i am slowly but surely realizing that terry and i are culinary soulmates. her caesar salad kind of tipped me off to it, the pumpkin ziti made it impossible to ignore, and i made a batch of her gumbo tonight that has me fighting back the urge to send her email love poems. for real, if you were one of my taste buds, you would have a picture of terry with puffy hearts drawn all around it hanging in your gym locker. i mean, i guess if you were one of my taste buds when they were in high school. not now. now you'd have tiled terrys as your desktop wallpaper.
now, i'm not big on cooked peppers, in general. i find them overpowering more often than not and am only ever SURE i'll like them when i have them in thai food. even more so, i'm not that fond of roasted peppers. the sweet brawniness of cooked peppers becomes a curbstomp when they're roasted. so i was going to forego the roasted reds the recipe called for. i try to put my faith in someone's recipe, though, at least the first time i make it, so i went all out. i roasted a couple peppers on my crotchety old stove, popped them in a paper sack to steam, and hoped for the best.
well, i wasn't disappointed. everything comes together just perfectly in this gumbo and none of its characters are "too." it's got just the right amounts of smokiness, heat (with cayenne added to taste), and acidity. it leaves nothing to want, really, and it turned out to be the perfect counterbalance to the bitter cold outside.
also, i'm kind of a sucker for anything that is meant to be served either on top of or topped with rice. really warms my cockles.