Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
BrooksNYC

Favorite vegetable oil for gumbo roux?

Recommended Posts

Most gumbo recipes start with a roux made with flour and "vegetable oil". Given that the kind of vegetable oil is never specified, is it safe to assume that any oil (corn, peanut, canola, safflower, etc.) will do?

Am guessing olive oil won't work, as it has too low a burning point. This will be my first whack at gumbo, so any input would be appreciated.

Thanks. . .Hattip.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most olive oils will also be too strongly flavored. You want a neutral oil. I usually use peanut oil, since it has a high smoke point, and enhances the "toasty" taste of the roux, or corn oil. I guess you could use canola, but I've had problems with the "fishy odor syndrome" from it, so I avoid it for high heat applications, which roux certainly qualifies for.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a great chart of smoke points.

I've been using grapeseed oil, but as Pierogi mentioned, refined peanut oil has an even higher smoke point.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grapeseed oil is good, but pretty expensive. As others have said, I like peanut oil for roux - it adds a nice nuttiness, as well as being stable at temps high enough to get a nice dark roux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much, everyone.

Will definitely try grapeseed oil some day when I'm not counting every sad penny. For now, peanut it is.

Alex, thanks for the link to the smoke point chart. There are some interesting follow-up comments as well.

Much obliged to all!


Edited by BrooksNYC (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most often, I use peanut oil, as I keep it on hand for frying. But olive oil will work just fine, as long as you're not trying to make an ultra-dark roux. Never had it burn on me for a "peanut-butter" colored roux, which is the shade I use most often. The best, though, is bacon grease: nutty, smoky, and packed with flavor. It is esp good when making a poultry gumbo to bump up the richness. Bonus: it's the free byproduct of eating bacon. Reuse/recycle....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience it doesn't really matter. I don't really care for using olive oil but any other source of fat is fair game. I use duck fat for my duck and oyster gumbo, peanut oil for chicken and sausage and either peanut oil or butter for seafood gumbo.


Edited by Twyst (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff, all. Thanks.

While we're on the subject, Poppy Tooker has an interesting tip for making dark roux that I never see in a gumbo recipes. She makes a peanut-butter-colored roux and adds the trinity in stages, beginning with onions only. As the onions caramelize, the roux continues to darken. Only after. the roux reaches the desired shade of darkness does she add the celery and green pepper.

She argues that adding the trinity in one swell foop releases too much liquid for the onions to caramelize, and that caramelized onions add depth of flavor.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff, all. Thanks.

While we're on the subject, Poppy Tooker has an interesting tip for making dark roux that I never see in a gumbo recipes. She makes a peanut-butter-colored roux and adds the trinity in stages, beginning with onions only. As the onions caramelize, the roux continues to darken. Only after. the roux reaches the desired shade of darkness does she add the celery and green pepper.

She argues that adding the trinity in one swell foop releases too much liquid for the onions to caramelize, and that caramelized onions add depth of flavor.

.

Yes, what Poppy says is SOP in Acadiana. You add the onions first to slow down the roux's cooking, wait for the onions to brown, (and I mean brown, not just soften), then add the bell pepper & celery. These instructions are found in beaucoup community cookbook gumbo recipes, so you know it's a fairly widespread practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes such good sense. Somehow, I'd never seen this tip (or maybe I had, and it didn't sink in) until I stumbled across a YouTube vid of Ms. Tooker doing a roux.

Community cookbooks are great. Someone should do a thread on community and Junior League cookbooks. A hundred years ago (well....the 1970s) I had a couple of spiral-bound Louisiana community cookbooks — one from Baton Rouge (with a name I've forgotten) and the other called Jambalaya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes such good sense. Somehow, I'd never seen this tip (or maybe I had, and it didn't sink in) until I stumbled across a YouTube vid of Ms. Tooker doing a roux.

Community cookbooks are great. Someone should do a thread on community and Junior League cookbooks. A hundred years ago (well....the 1970s) I had a couple of spiral-bound Louisiana community cookbooks — one from Baton Rouge (with a name I've forgotten) and the other called Jambalaya.

The Baton Rouge book is River Road Recipes, which has multiple spin-offs (I, II, III, IV). More than 1.9 million copies in print, it's the best selling community cookbook series in the nation. If you're into community cookbooks, check out the Tabasco Community Cookbook hall of fame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right you are. It was the River Road Cookbook. Now in four volumes......wow!

And thanks for the Community Cookbook Awards link. Just downloaded their list of winners.

Thanks kindly for your help.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff, all. Thanks.

While we're on the subject, Poppy Tooker has an interesting tip for making dark roux that I never see in a gumbo recipes. She makes a peanut-butter-colored roux and adds the trinity in stages, beginning with onions only. As the onions caramelize, the roux continues to darken. Only after. the roux reaches the desired shade of darkness does she add the celery and green pepper.

She argues that adding the trinity in one swell foop releases too much liquid for the onions to caramelize, and that caramelized onions add depth of flavor.

.

That's John Besh's technique in his "My New Orleans" cookbook. I'd not heard of it either, and tried it when I made his gumbo recipe the first time. It's a great tip, makes the flavor even deeper and more layered.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pierogi, do you like the Besh book? I enjoyed the sample pages I read on Amazon, and the book looks beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pierogi, do you like the Besh book? I enjoyed the sample pages I read on Amazon, and the book looks beautiful.

Hey Brooks,

Yes. It's worthwhile for sure. Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen" is still my Bible for that cuisine, but Besh's book is visually stunning and has some recipes I've fallen in love with. It's very different from Prudhomme's, but I'm still very glad I have it.

That said, there are a lot, a *LOT* of recipes in it that are very "restaurant-y"....lots of steps and involved preparation that I look at and think..."yeah, I'd eat that at 'August' but not gunna make it at home". There are also a lot of recipes that are made with local, southern Louisiana ingredients that aren't available elsewhere....mayhaws and quinces and buster crabs and fresh, live crawfish. Prudhomme offers alternatives where he can, Besh is more like, find the authentic stuff. Which I appreciate, but can't necessarily accomplish.

For a basic, introduction to the cuisine, I'd recommend "Louisiana Kitchen" hands down, and it would be one of the 3 or 4 books I'd rescue if the house burnt down. For the next level, Besh is a winner, but look at it as "fine cuisine" New Orleans, and not the basics. Besh's gumbo, red beans and rice and brown butter fig tart, though, have become standards in my kitchen. His jambalaya is also good, and though I haven't tried his etoufee, I'm planning on it.

Hope this helps....


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very helpful, Pierogi.

For someone like me who loves reading cookbooks but is not, in all honesty, an experienced cook, it sounds like Louisiana Kitchen might be a better way to learn the ropes.

So.....Chef Paul it is! Again, thanks.


Edited by BrooksNYC (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...