Caribe Fun


This is the coveted recipe for Gumbo as served in Mick’s Caribbean Deli in Key West, Florida.

One thing to remember about Gumbo, it’s only as good as the ingredients you use. The most important of these is LOVE… that being said……

First you make a roux:
1 cup cooking oil (or grease)
      1 cup white flour
Take a cast iron skillet (very important) and heat the oil until it begins to smoke, then very carefully and slowly add the flour a bit at a time… constantly stirring being careful not to burn the flour. We are looking for a milk chocolate brown color, which should take about 30 minutes. Take off stove and set aside.  DO NOT HURRY this part of the process.
Next you’ll need:

  • ½ lb butter
  • 8  large tomatoes (rough chop)
  • 6  jalapeno peppers (seeded and minced)
  • 8 – 10 celery ribs (medium chop)
  • 6  large onions (rough chop)
  • 4  green bell peppers (rough chop)
  • 2  red bell peppers (rough chop)
  • 2 lbs fresh  okra (can use frozen-fresh is better)
  • 6  fresh zucchini (cut length wise and into ½” slices)
  • 8 – 10 Mick’s Original Key West Caribe Beans – chopped
  • 4 lbs Andouille sausage (cut length wise then into ½” slices)
  • 1 lb Chorizo sausage OR hot Italian sausage (cut into ½” slices)
  • 1 gallon chicken stock (using 1 med chicken and saving the meat for the Gumbo)
  • 2 lbs chicken (approx.) chopped
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Black and white Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Bay Leaves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 1 5oz bottle of Datil Pepper Hot Sauce (or your personal favorite)
  • File Powder (pronounced Fee-Lay). Hold this ingredient until after Gumbo is removed from heat.

1.  Be certain to wash all your fresh ingredients thoroughly.
2.  Saute onions and celery in butter (about 10 minutes or until soft)
3.  Add all the meats (including the rendered chicken) and the bell peppers. Simmer another 10 minutes.
4.  Add tomatoes, seasonings (except File Powder), stock, vegetables, and the Roux from step 1.
5. Bring Gumbo to a low boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

** Note **  The Gumbo is thickened by the Roux but also by the File Powder. File Powder is made from ground sassafras leaves and it must be stirred into the Gumbo after it is removed from the heat. Over cooking of the File will make the powder tough and stringy.   Serve over cooked white rice.

MAKES 20 – 30 SERVINGS so call the neighbors, gather the family and your friends (or people you want to be your friends).  Serve with “Bean-Tini’s” and enjoy!!!!!


Traditional Olive Salad

This recipe for this Traditional Olive Salad is the same one used by Mick at his Caribbean Deli and he used a LOT of it! Every self-respecting New Orleans resident will have a jar of this flavorful mixture in their fridge. This recipe makes a large amount and we’re confident you’ll find many uses for this wonderful stuff!

1  gallon large pimento stuffed olives…slightly crushed and drained well
1  16 oz jar Mick’s Original Caribe Beans (rough chop)
1  quart jar pickled cauliflower…drained and sliced
1  8 oz jar capers, drained
1  whole stalk celery, sliced diagonally
4  large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1  small jar (2 oz) celery seed
1  small jar (3 oz) oregano
1  large head fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1  tsp fresh ground black pepper
1  jar (16 oz) pepperoncini, drained and sliced
1  jar cocktail olives, drained
Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil
Red Wine Vinegar


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (or pot) and mix well.
  2. Place in large jar (or multiple jars).
  3. Cover with 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 vegetable oil, and 1/3 red wine vinegar.
Allow to marinate 24 hours before using. 
Be forewarned, it wont stay around long!


Muffoletta Sandwich

Pronounced MOO-FOO-LET-TA, this culinary wonder was originally created by Signor Lupo Salvadore who owned and operated the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1906 for one of his favored customers. One thing to remember on a trip to New Orleans: given the poor quality, or complete non-existence of airline food these days….stashing one of these delectable delights in your carry-on luggage is an absolute must. As the aroma of the Olive Salad fills the entire plane, it totally pisses off your fellow passengers that you were smart enough to think of this ahead of time…which makes it even more fun!!!!!

  • 1  Round Italian Bread
¼ lb Mortadella, thinly sliced
¼ lb Ham, thinly sliced
¼ lb Hard Genoa Salami, thinly sliced
  • ¼ lb Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
¼ lb Sliced Provolone Cheese
1 C  Olive Salad with oil (see recipe above)
  1. Split loaf inhalf horizontally, spreading each with equal parts Olive Salad and Oil.
  2. Place meats and cheeses evenly on the bottom half, cover with top portion.
Cut into desired size pieces.

The Muffoletta cut in ¼’s will feed four timid people on a diet, two hearty New Orleanians, or one incredible “couchon!!!!!”