For the goldfish gumbo, I adapted a recipe from the NYTime's Mark Bittman (he's a favorite of mine). Here's his recipe:
1/4 cup olive oilTo make it vegetarian/vegan friendly, I subbed in 1 can of drained cannellini beans for the scallops. I also upped it to two bell peppers and added two sliced carrots, to increase the volume and add an additional texture. You can of course sub out the butter as well. I did use canned tomatoes, and I recommend them when tomatoes aren't in season, and used 1.5 cubes veggie bouillon and water for the stock.
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and black pepper
2 to 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, or water
2 cups chopped tomatoes with their juice (canned are fine)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
Cayenne to taste
1 pound scallops
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish.
Here are his instructions:
1. Put oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add flour and cook, stirring almost constantly, until roux darkens and becomes fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes; as it cooks, adjust heat as necessary to keep mixture from burning. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and raise heat to medium. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened, about 10 more minutes.
2. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and cayenne. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat so soup bubbles steadily. Cook for about 20 minutes or until flavors meld. Add scallops and cook until they are no longer translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve, garnished with parsley.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.Definitely start in a bigger pot than you think you'll need, this expands rapidly! If you're using carrots, you'll need to add them earlier than the other veggies to ensure they cook through. I recommend adding the carrots and the onion first, cooking for 5-10 minutes, then the celery, garlic, and green peppers. You really need to stir the roux constantly, so make sure you do this part when you're free from other distractions. I let it cook to a caramel color, but you can go darker for more intense flavor. After I added the vegetables, I struggled with the roux becoming very sticky and the whole mix hard to stir, so I added a little bit of the water at this point to thin everything out. I added the beans at the same time as he adds the scallops, so no change there.
For the wacky wild rice:
2 cups wild rice blend (I used a wild rice mix combined with some plain brown rice)
about 4 cups water
2 Tbs oil or butter
1 cube vegetable bouillon
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup dried currants
1/3 cup chopped nuts (cashews or almonds)
Combine rice, water, oil/butter, and bouillon. Cook rice according to package directions (or how you normally do it). When there is still water on the surface but rice is almost done cooking, add lemon, currants, and nuts. Continue cooking until all water is gone, test if rice is done. If not, add more water and continue cooking.
Serve gumbo in large soup bowls, with a scoop of rice in the middle or on the side. Sprinkle with goldfish (or oyster crackers).