Gumbo Z'herbes (Green Gumbo)

Course : Cajun
Serves: 8
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10 ounces fresh spinach or
1 package frozen leaf spinach -- (10 ounces)
10 ounces fresh mustard greens or
1 package frozen mustard greens -- (10 ounces)
10 ounces fresh turnip greens or
1 package frozen turnip greens -- (10 ounces)
10 ounces fresh collard greens or
1 package frozen collard greens -- (10 ounces)
1/2 medium cabbage -- shredded
2 pieces bay leaves -- minced
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
4 quarts good chicken stock
1 pound lean boneless pork
1 pound smoked ham
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions -- chopped
4 large celery stalks -- chopped
1 large green bell pepper -- chop
4 large garlic cloves -- chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
24 medium shucked oysters with liquor*
12 medium green onions -- thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley -- minced
3 1/2 tablespoons file powder -- (approximately)
5 cups hot cooked rice
---seasoning mix:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preparation / Directions:

*24 oysters equals about 2 pints. Wash fresh greens; tear into small pieces. Remove large stalks and ribs. (If using frozen greens, thaw and drain before proceeding). Place cleaned or thawed greens, cabbage, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg into a large soup pot. Add stock and enough water to cover greens by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer while preparing remaining ingredients. Prepare Seasoning Mix. Cut pork and ham into bite-size pieces. Add meats to Seasoning Mix. Shake to coat lightly. Set seasoned meat aside while oil heats. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot, add seasoned meat; stir until brown on all sides. Remove browned meat with a slotted spoon; add to simmering greens. Reduce heat to medium; add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet. Cook until vegetables are wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon; add to simmering greens. Stir in sugar; simmer, uncovered for one hour. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cover; simmer 2 hours. About 10 minutes before serving, GENTLY stir in oysters with their liquor, green onions, and parsley. Cook until edges of oysters curl. Spoon about 1/2 cup rice into each soup bowl. Spoon gumbo over rice; top with a pinch of file powder. Makes 8-10 good-sized servings. To prepare Seasoning Mix: Place all ingredients in a large plastic bag and shake to combine.

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