An Ode to Joys: Mark Normand, Joy the Baker and a Gumbo Recipe
Mark Normand

A product of De La Salle High School and UNO, New Orleans-born funnyman Mark Normand will blow in from New York to bring his singular brand of comedy to the Joy Theatre on Nov. 26. I know Normand’s mama, Liz Williams, author of Nana’s Creole Italian Table and founder of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, so I am pretty sure this performance coincides with a craving for her amazing Turkey Bone Gumbo that she serves with scoops of oyster and cornbread dressing instead of rice or potato salad. I have fed Mark before. I know how he rolls. He will show up for good grub.

Normand’s YouTube special has 11 million views and he is a regular on shows with Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Fallon. He is side-splittingly hilarious, and it always feels good to support successful home-grown talent, especially when you get to learn all about New Orleans’ own Ennis the Penis. Check out tickets here.

An Ode to Joys: Mark Normand, Joy the Baker and a Gumbo Recipe
Pretzel Collection, Provided by Joy the Baker and Delicacies
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New Orleans-based baking sensation Joy the Baker, continues to enjoy a very hot run as an internet’s favorite baking instructor and author. Though I do not much like to bake, Joy makes everything look so effortless and fun it almost makes me want to try my hand at puff pastry or some other life-consuming baking project with an assuredly high rate of failure. Almost. That she is trim and looks like a million bucks while constantly sampling her own decadent handiwork could drive me to dislike her if she did not seem so nice. To underscore this trait, Joy has again teamed up with Delicacies, a food-oriented jewelry company dedicated to fighting hunger, to debut a curvaceous pretzel necklace that makes a perfect gift any snack or baking enthusiast of any age. The necklace is available in sterling silver ($85), rose gold plate ($85), and yellow gold plate ($85). At Joy’s request Delicacies will donate $10 from every purchase to Second Harvest New Orleans. One $10 donation translates to forty meals for people in need. Additionally, everyone who buys Joy the Baker’s pretzel necklace will receive a copy of her recipe for homemade pretzels, which, let’s admit, are pretty friggin’ delicious.  

An Ode to Joys: Mark Normand, Joy the Baker and a Gumbo Recipe
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Turkey Bone Gumbo with Dressing (a la rice or potato salad)

Shared by Liz Williams

How many this serves depends on how much turkey you have. You will need to adjust your other ingredients (except oil, flour, and vegetables) based on the volume of turkey, roasted, fried, or otherwise. It is hard to mess this up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leftover turkey carcass
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, bacon fat, or duck fat
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, green and white parts chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • Garlic, minced, at least 3 cloves
  • Smoked sausage (andouille or otherwise), at least a 1 to 1 ratio with the leftover pulled turkey, more if you want more
  • Gravy from Thanksgiving turkey, including any vegetables in the gravy
  • Water, turkey, or chicken broth
  • Bay leaf or two
  • Dried thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bunch of parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • Meat or seafood-based dressing of choice, warmed for serving
  • Filé and hot sauce for the table

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Pick as much meat as possible from the turkey carcass. Discard the skin. Cut the meat into bite-sized cubes. Set the meat aside.
  3. Put the carcass on a baking sheet. Bake until the carcass has turned mahogany in color, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven (how large will depend on how large that carcass is), preferably cast iron, set over medium heat, make a roux with the oil or fat and flour, whisking constantly until a milk chocolate-colored roux is achieved, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped onions and scallions. Increase the heat to medium-high, stir well, and allow the onions to begin to caramelize, 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add celery and bell peppers. Stir. Add the garlic. When the vegetables are soft, add the sausage. After browning the sausage, add the leftover gravy. Add enough water or stock (some leftover white wine is fine, too) to cover everything in the pot.
  7. Add the turkey carcass and the reserved turkey meat. Add the bay leaves and the thyme. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Return to a simmer. Cover with a lose-fitting lid (kind of cock the lid to the side so the pot is vented) and simmer at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid, if necessary, until flavors have married. Taste and adjust seasonings – especially salt and pepper. Add the chopped parsley. Remove the carcass before serving.
  8. Serve the gumbo with scoops of dressing plopped in the bowl. Liz makes cornbread and oyster dressing (she has no recipe, just “throws it together”). Pass hot sauce and filé at the table.

Enjoy while watching Mark Normand on YouTube.