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Home of Barb's Recipes

Mike's Cajun Gumbo
1 cup of oil
1 1/2 cups flour
2 large onions, diced
3-4 chicken breasts, boneless -cut in chunks
1 1/2 lbs. Smoked Polish Sausage, cooked and chunked
1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and cooked
3 large cans of Swanson chicken broth
1 -2 large cans chopped tomatoes
1 green pepper, chopped
1 -1 1/2 bags of frozen chopped okra or 2 cans of okra
chopped green onions
chopped parsley
cooked rice
1 1/2 tsp. file powder
1 large stalk of celery, cleaned and chopped

Make a roux by combining oil and flour in a heavy soup pot. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly for 15-20 minutes. Roux will turn a deep tan color. Add your onions, celery, and peppers to the roux and cook for another 20-30 minutes over low heat - again stirring constantly so the mixture does not stick to the pan. A little water or broth may be added as necessary. Place this mixture in your large soup pot. Add your broth to the mixture and stir until blended. Add your chicken and sausage to the pot- cover and simmer for around 2 hours or so. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, perhaps a dash of hot sauce (Frank's or cayenne pepper sauce ) or two can be added at this time. Add your file powder, green onions, and parsley in the last 10 -15 minutes of cooking time. Add your shrimp at this time also, or they will become tough.

Serve gumbo in deep bowls with cooked rice. Always have more liquid than rice. Additional file powder and hot sauce may be added to the individual servings. Serves 6-8. Freezes very well.

** If you wish a slightly spicier gumbo (we like ours spicy) you may add 1 tsp. of cajun seasoning and additional quantities of hot sauce to the mixture while cooking. Feel free to change the gumbo to your liking - it can be all seafood or all chicken. More flour in the roux will make it thicker (make sure that you constantly stir it till you acheive a nutty brown color to your flour - DO NOT LET IT BURN ! ) These measurements are just a guideline. Once you have made it and are comfortable with it, you can pretty much change it to your own liking. This is a very versatile and very tasty recipe!

This is my mother's recipe for "placek". A placek is an authentic Polish coffee -cake. These are traditionally made at Easter and Christmas time, but can be enjoyed at any time.

Grandma Virgie's Placek
6 eggs
1 1/ 2 cups sugar
1 1/ 2 tsp salt
6 cups flour
1 can evaporated milk ( Pet Milk)
1 cake yeast
1/2 cup regular whole milk
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 / 2 cup butter
1 cup crisco
1 cup raisins, soaked in hot water, and drained, then dusted with flour
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar, granulated

Beat eggs with salt. Scald  1/2 cup milk, cool till lukewarm -and mix with 2 tsp. of sugar.Crumble yeast into milk and sugar mixture. Warm canned milk and put butter and crisco into it ,stirring until melted. After yeast mixture rises,add it to the egg mixture, and put aside. Sift flour and add one cup at a time to the milk,butter, crisco mixture. Blend carefully. After you have added about 5 cups of the flour - you may add the raisins.After the sixth cup of flour, blend in your yeast, milk,sugar mixture.Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Pour into loaf pans, which have been greased and floured. Let rise again until double again in bulk. Put crumb mixture onto top of coffeecakes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes- until golden brown. Makes 3 coffeecakes.

If this recipe is difficult to read ,it is because my mother does not follow written recipes -this was all dictated to me verbatim!  I am a good cook, but I still need a recipe to work with.


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