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Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3

Cookoff

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552 replies to this topic

#541 Katie Meadow

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:34 AM

Sold. But just out of curiosity, if the roux continues to darken after it is off the heat, and if overcooking or burning is such an obvious danger, why not take the roux off the heat before it reaches the stage you desire, and let it finish itself off? Maybe I will find out the answer when I cook my first real roux. Thanks for the sensible responses!

#542 MikeHartnett

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

Well, depending on the type of gumbo you're cooking, the color you want the roux changes. For chicken and andouille, you generally want it (or I do, anyway) the darkest you can get without burning it. It's pretty difficult to guess how long it might "coast" after you kill the heat, but also, you REALLY need to be stirring it the whole time it's cooking, or you'll get burnt spots, which ruins the whole roux and forces you to start over. Give it a try the traditional way, and I think you ='ll see why people keeps doing it that way... And good luck!

Edited by MikeHartnett, 21 November 2011 - 08:22 AM.


#543 BrooksNYC

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:15 PM

John Besh adds just the onions to the roux first and cooks it another ten minutes, then adds the celery and green pepper after that when the next bunch of ingredients is added. Is there some flavor advantage to doing this?


NOLA cooking instructor Poppy Tooker is another fan of the "onions first" method. According to Ms. Tooker, the caramelizing of the onions helps the roux attain the proper shade of dark brown. Only after the roux is dark brown does she adds the peppers and celery. Apparently the high water content of these vegetables prevents the roux from browning further.

Somewhere on YouTube, there's a video of Ms. Tooker making roux. She adds the onions to the roux when it's the color of milk chocolate, at which point the roux darkens -- pretty quickly -- to the color of bittersweet chocolate. Then in go the other vegetables.

I've never tried this, Katie. Report back if you give it a shot. Happy Thanksgiving!

Edited by BrooksNYC, 21 November 2011 - 07:20 PM.


#544 Hassouni

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:12 PM

Late hello gumboteers,

First ever attempt here. I've only had real gumbo once, so I wasn't sure what I was aiming for, but damn did it come out to my liking:

in the pot
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in the bowl, atop rice and filé
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It's andouille (not the best, I had to give it extra smoke on my WSM), shrimp, and crab. I didn't follow a single recipe, but I was heavily inspired by my favorite YouTube chef, 007bondjb (http://www.youtube.c...eos?query=gumbo), who happens to have posted in this thread (http://forums.egulle...42#entry1291142).

I used about 3/4 cup AP flour to 3/4 cup olive pomace oil, it went to a a very dark toffee color or light hot chocolate color in about 15 minutes or so - faster than I expected. Added one big onion, a normal-sized green pepper, and two celery stalks, and stirred quite a bit. The trinity never really cooked down too much, even after about 10 minutes of this. At this point I added the andouille, some thyme, basil, oregano, chile powder, and a good shake of Todd's Bayou Dirt creole seasoning (where JB would use Slap Ya Mama, which is unavailable in these parts). Stirred around some more, and incrementally added cold water and one of JB's secrets, Zatarain's Crab and Shrimp Boil concentrate, as well as a can of diced tomatoes and a bunch of chopped spring onions. I simmered this for about 5 hours - the vegetables didn't totally dissolve, but got soft enough that they didn't stand out. Ten minutes before serving, I added 2 lbs of shrimp, chopped parsley, and cans of crab meat right before serving. Served over basmati rice (because it was that or Koshihikari) with filé powder sprinkled atop. Delicious!

Big question - while simmering, it developed a sort of unpleasant "skin" that i repeatedly skimmed off. It would form pretty fast after stirring the pot, requiring many removals. Also, a lot of oil was extracted (not sure if from the sausage or the roux - the sausage was bought already cooked plus I smoked it some more), much of which I skimmed off too. Is this normal?

#545 HungryC

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:12 AM

Yes, the skin and fat on top are typical, especially if you cooked it for five hours...that's a loooong time. I just stir the skinback into the gumbo. The fat is coming from the sausages and the roux. Some skim every bit of the oil off, other like a little bit of oil atop each serving. I was with you until you put tomatoes in it!

I'd cook the roux, veg, and water for a While, then put in some of the crabmeat for a while (maybe an hour), then add the rest of the seafood and cook for a half hour or so. Shrimp and crab in gumbos aren't al dente and perfect....they're well cooked and integrated into the gumbo. Restaurant technique calls for making a long cooked base then adding seafood near the time of service, but home style gumbos in south LA feature long cooked seafood.

Here's a seafood and okra gumbo from The bayou Lafourche area...note the slight sheen of oil, the shreds of long cooked crabmeat, and the thin, souplike consistency, all indicative of the locale's typical seafood gumbo style.
image.jpg

Edited by HungryC, 17 November 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#546 Hassouni

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

Interesting. What causes the skin? It looks really quite icky, which is why I skimmed it off. Also, I didn't get a sheen of oil, I got big pools of it....Could that have anything to do with the roux not being that dark?

#547 HungryC

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:22 PM

It's more a factor of your equal parts oil and flour roux. You can make a roux with a smaller proportion of oil, but it requires careful attention as it is easier to burn (try the microwave method for a drier roux). Also, I find that olive oil rouxs separate more easily than a roux made with part rendered bacon fat or lard or rendered chicken fat. I generally use peanut oil, it separates pretty readily as well. This shoe thread is making me crave a chicken, oyster, and sausage gumbo.

ETA: medium grain, slightly sticky rice is the rural Cajun preference, or long grain cooked on the soft side. Definitely NOT the typical nasty converted style separate grains....it should hold together in a mass when scooped into a bowl, not fall apart like pilaf.

Edited by HungryC, 17 November 2012 - 02:25 PM.


#548 Jason Perlow

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:42 PM

Shrimp, Okra & Sausage Gumbo made with shrimp stock

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image.jpg
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#549 Steve Irby

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:22 PM

Here's few of shots of some gumbo prep.  I like to start with a good base and add the meats prior to serving to maintain texture.  I also make 12 qts. of base and freeze in multiple containers. The base stock itself is usually leftovers of smoked or roasted meat  that are full of flavor   The roux is 1:1 flour and high smoke point oil.  I use 3/4 cup of each which is combined with stock to yield about 10-12 qts.   I make garbage can gumbo which means I add to the base a variety of stuff that I have on hand.  If i'm using seafood I take the shrimp shells, heads, and crabs to a portion of the base to extract those flavors.  That is returned to the base and and brought to temp.   I then add my other ingredients and adjust the timing prior to serving that the components are cooked but not stringy.  

 

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#550 Hassouni

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:10 PM

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey gumbo, with so-called andouille (not really), tasso, and okra. 1:1 roux more or less - gonna increase the ratio of flour next time. Stock was the turkey bones and scraps slow simmered. 

 

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#551 boudin noir

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:56 AM

How does roux made in the oven compare to traditional stirred roux?

#552 HungryC

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:09 AM

How does roux made in the oven compare to traditional stirred roux?

Indistinguishable.  It's browned flour in fat; the degree of browning determines the flavor...it tastes the same when made in the microwave, too.



#553 MikeHartnett

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:33 AM

How does roux made in the oven compare to traditional stirred roux?

Indistinguishable.  It's browned flour in fat; the degree of browning determines the flavor...it tastes the same when made in the microwave, too.


I still maintain that roux should be stirred stove-top, if only for the beer it allows you to drink.
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