Dyana's Cajun Gumbo

This may be the first "real dish" I ever learned to cook. My friend Dyana had "whipped it up" for dinner, and the moment I tried it all my attention was focused on this bowl of fiery soup. Dyana makes it pretty damned hot (she gets a little vial of super-red-hot pepper from her Louisiana relatives that should probably have an EPA warning on it!) but I just endured the tears and beads of sweat as I made it to the bottom of the bowl, and then seconds, and then thirds... On more than one occasion my own guests have had that reaction. Conversation starts and they just plow through the Gumbo as though under some sort of spell.


The "+" symbol means you can increase the amount to taste at your discretion. The only hard ingredient to find is File Powder (pronounced fee'-lay) but it is worth the search. (It's actually ground Sassafras leaves!) Go to your local gourmet store if you can find it at the supermarket. It's not that hard to track down, and one bottle will last you a lifetime.