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Susan in FL

Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etouffee, Creole...

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I am in the mood. I made a gumbo once, and it was really good, but it was back in my pre-eGullet times. I think I have the roux part down pat (but I'm always open to improvement). I would love to see discussion about your take on the differences in these dishes, your preferences, a favorite recipe, stories, etc. Do you have any recipe "secrets" you will share?

Please feel free to link any previous threads on this subject or good internet information and recipes.

My mother-in-law's favorite of all these is Shrimp Etouffee, and I would love to wow her with that the next time she comes for dinner, so I'll especially appreciate any of those recipes.

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Here is a description with photos of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. I use all dark meat in this recipe and really lean sausage, but it is pretty adaptable.

When I get home I will get the recipe into recipe gullet (I thought that I had already done that, but apparently not :angry: ) and a recipe for seafood gumbo as well. The seafood gumbo recipe is my mother's and it's really good, but you better get out your checkbook because it's not cheap. OTOH it makes alot so there will be plenty to put into the freezer.

I will also include a recipe for Jambalaya, a couple for etoufee, and the best shrimp creole recipe I have ever had.

Brooks

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I know there's a common geograhical/cultural link, but in my mind I don't really associate Jambalaya and Etouffee together. It's probably just me. I mean I'll probably see them in the same restaurants, in the same city, made by the same person, but I don't think they fit the same mood, or even often the same palate.

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You are exactly right. Jambalaya (at least the way that it's generally treated here, is kind of a replacement for casseroles in other parts of the country-once you get the methodology down, Jambo is not particularly difficult to make and is kind of an all purpose filler food. Gumbos, ettoufees, and creoles are much more delicate and take alot more practice to perfect ( I have been making Gumbo for thirty years and still do not always get results that satisfy me) the styles and nuances of the dishes.

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I will also include a recipe for Jambalaya, a couple for etoufee, and the best shrimp creole recipe I have ever had.

Hmmm...sounds like it would make a great eGCI class, dontcha think? :laugh:

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I started two months ago, I have lots of photographs and have loaded most of them into imagegullet, but have to get to work on the text. I'm working on it. I'm a busy guy this time of year. :wacko::laugh:

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Sooo... We are finally going to get Mayhaw Man to finally give up his recipes. :laugh:

I did put in my Chicken & Sausage Gumbo recipe which is a little different style than MM's. It does give some tips if you are after achieving that ridiculousy dark roux that this style represents. All styles are insanely delicious so anyone venturing into gumbo-land should be willing to experiment. I can't wait to see that seafood gumbo recipe. :wub:

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The following recipe for Seafood Gumbo (it appears in recipegullet, as well) is from My Mother's Cookbook. I have copied it verbatim, so there will be "some splainin' to do" as her directions automatically assume some that everybody reading the book learned how to cook from her and my grandmother. One of my SIL's claims that it is written in some kind of old Confederate Code that she does not have the key to. When I type this, it's funny how I hear her voice-the nice one, not the one that starts out with "Brooks!, Have you lost your mind?"

Anyway-

Brooksie's Seafood Gumbo

1 cup peanut oil

1 cup flour

8 ribs chopped celery

1 bunch green onions

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

5 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley

1 pound okra

2 tbls. peanut oil

4 quarts stock

1/2 cup worcestershire

1 tsp. Tabasco

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 16 oz can Cento plum tomatoes

2 tbls. salt

1 thick slice ham, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. rosemary

1 lb. claw meat

4 lbs. gumbo shrimp

1 pint oysters

1 lb gumbo crabs

1 tsp. brown sugar

lemon juice to taste

Make medium dark roux with oil and flour.

Add chopped vegetables to stop roux from burning

Cover tightly and cook on medium for 45 minutes (don't scorch!)

Fry sliced okra in the 2 tbls. oil until slightly brown

Add okra to veg. mixture

Add stock and all of the seasonings to the veg.

Simmer for 2 1/2 hours

Add chicken, shrimp, crabmeat, ham and simmer for 30 more minutes

If using oysters add them 10 minutes before end of simmer

Add brown sugar and lemon juice

Serve in bowls with rice and sprinkle with Filet

This takes alot of time, but it makes plenty and can be frozen in different size containers to pull out when you don't want to cook. Good on a cold winter's day when you have lots of time and money. It's not cheap. Good to cook the chicken for the stock (if you don't have stock in the freezer) and put it in the fridge overnight so the fat can be skimmed off the next day before use.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems like an awful lot of roux, but that what she uses and I have made this countless times and it works. This is actually better (as are many soups) the next day. The flavors come together overnight in the fridge. If you are doing a day ahead (I highly reccomend it-don't put the oysters in until the reheat). You can skip the 1/4'd gumbo crabs, but I love 'em.

Enjoy. This is a very, very satisfying thing to make.

Brooks

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brooks,

it might be cheaper/easier for me to drop by your place the next time you make this. of course, only if that's okay with you.

mongo

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Brooks, I appreciated the PM. I haven't been getting notifications of replies to topics, including this one, so thanks for alerting me to these replies.

Thanks to everybody so far. It's interesting about the difference between jambalaya and the others. I went to a festival earlier this year called Jambalaya Jam, and all the dishes tasted basically the same, except for the okra in the gumbo.

I am not yet sure when, but I will be making Brooksie's Seafood Gumbo!

Do any of them authentically/traditionally have rice mixed in?

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I do wish you'd added the Jambalaya recipe earlier. A couple days ago, I discovered a couple of bags of opened rice in my cupboard, plus I had a couple of cups of sliced Andouille sausage, a couple of cups of sliced onions and a few roasted peppers left over from a cooking class at the store. While at the store, I saw some shrimp on sale and I thought, "I'll make jambalaya. I'm sure I have a recipe." (I have made it before -- a long time ago. I was pretty sure I had the spices necessary, and figured I could make do with what I had). Went to look in all the appropriate seeming cookbooks, and found nothing.

So, I thought, I'm sure there's something in eGullet. But no! Then my computer crashed, so I couldn't check any other websites.

So I winged it. I sauteed onion and green pepper, added the roasted red pepper, some garlic, and the sausage. Added a healthy amount of cayenne, black and white pepper and some thyme, then stirred in some rice. Poured in some chicken stock and basically cooked it like paella, except covered. Meanwhile I sauteed the shrimp and added them when the rice was done.

Is that anything like real jambalaya, or did I just make weird paella?

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Gumbo is traditionally served over white rice. (Mayhaw Man got all high falutin' in his presentation. :raz: Looks pretty, though.)

The same can be said for etouffe. But I have had it served "neat", more like a thick bisque. I like the rice because a typical etouffe is pretty rich.

Jambalaya has the rice cooked as a part of the dish. Where was this Jambalaya Jam? If it all tasted the same, those folks have no imagination. Hell... I have never made it twice in my own kitchen where it tasted the same. :laugh:

The rice is typically long grain white rice. Both in Louisiana and here in Texas I have always used Mahatma. I think MM has a brand that he gets in Louisiana that he likes but I don't remember it. Some Basmati and Texmati is slipping in and it is good but I tend to stay with the traditional plain rice.

You might also want to check out some of the threads in the Louisiana Forum.

GUMBO

Jambalaya

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Konriko is th long grain of choice in Acadiana. I love it. I highly reccomend a stop by the mill if you get a chance. I was going to take Jason and Rachel there on our little drive, but lunch and some wooden chairs got in the way. Maybe next time.

Here are the Crowley Rice Girls. The Rice Museum is in Crowley and is a pretty interesting spot as far as learning about the history of the Western Prairie and Acadiana (the Western Prairie is a name that is still used, held over from the days when Acadiana WAS the Western part of the Louisiana Purchase-before all of those pesky Texicans got into the act).

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I went to a festival earlier this year called Jambalaya Jam, and all the dishes tasted basically the same, except for the okra in the gumbo.

Uh... that doesn't sound like a very good festival then.

I'm sure the dishes including a roux should have SIMILAR flavor profiles, but they should hardly taste identical.

And heck... I've had gumbos which didn't taste much like other gumbos in the same restaurant, much less their etouffees.

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My 2 cents: MM's seafood gumbo sound pretty similar in quantity of roux and basic prep as the ones I make. That pot should serve 10-15. Make sure you've got a big enough pot. It's a real hassle to transfer hot gumbo. And you MUST use the crabs, even if you don't eat them with your gumbo, although I can't imagine why you wouldn't. The crab adds so much to the overall flavor, and simply can't be omitted.

In SE TX, we prefer a locally grown rice called Doguets (doe-gays) (wonder where they're from? :rolleyes: )

All the jambalyas I've eaten contained some sort of sausage, and nearly all, some sort of ground meat--kind of a catch-all for any meat you might have leftover.

A friend of ours from Kaplan, LA served us okra gumbo with no meat at all, before a delicious dinner of pot roast. She says when times were hard, and they always were, a gumbo helped fill up all the kids, so the little meat available went farther. Makes sense to me.

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A friend of ours from Kaplan, LA served us okra gumbo with no meat at all, before a delicious dinner of pot roast. She says when times were hard, and they always were, a gumbo helped fill up all the kids, so the little meat available went farther. Makes sense to me.

That would be gumbo z'herbe (some people call it Green Gumbo-both for the color and the content). I love that stuff. We make it at least once a month during the winter. Perfect with a big hunk of buttered cornbread.

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I guess it would be an overstatement to say the dishes tasted identical at this Jambalaya Jam Festival in Melbourne, FL. We could tell they were different from each other, and had some variation in ingredients, but they were far from each being distinctive. They all tasted of basically the some flavorings/spices. I must say, they tasted good, though, and that was one of the events that fueled my interest in learning more about all this. This was when I found out my mother-in-law likes Shrimp Etouffee the most. We all ordered something different at one point, and tasted each other's, and she wouldn't share much of hers. :raz:

I have lots of questions! Here are some of them...

What are these gumbo crabs that you warn not to omit, and what is the difference between gumbo shrimp and other shrimp?

I will also include a recipe for Jambalaya, a couple for etoufee, and the best shrimp creole recipe I have ever had.
I do wish you'd added the Jambalaya recipe earlier.
...Are these recipes in the FoodBlog thread where the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is, which I haven't read entirely yet, or RecipeGullet?

You mentioned freezing what's left of Brooksie's Seafood Gumbo. Is it almost as good after frozen as fresh? You did mention that it's better the next day, so would you suggest if I were going to make this for a bunch of company that I make it the day before, and just hold off on the oysters until reheating?

Thanks for the links. In one of them I found Duck Gumbo and printed out that part. We grill ducks a lot (including last night) and that sounds wonderful. I also saw a mention of Turkey Gumbo. I've got several turkey thighs in the freezer that were on sale and I'm thinking about that.

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Gumbo shrimp are just small shrimp. You wouldn't want shrimp bigger than the bowl on a spoon. The crabs we use are blue crabs.

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Good, we have available plenty of fresh shrimp of all sizes and blue crabs. Are the crabs steamed first or thrown in raw, and would that be when putting in the crabmeat, shrimp and ham? The recipe also listed chicken at that point. Did I miss something or maybe that would be "chicken of the sea." :smile:

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I put mine in raw(or frozen) and let them cook a long time.

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No chicken. My mistake. List of ingredients is correct. I made an error when retyping instructions.

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How important is it to use bell-peppers? The celery/bell pepper/onion combination seems common to most gumbo recipes, but if I had no bell peppers on hand, but instead some various chiles and poblanos, would those work instead? Or would I be better off to just go buy some bell peppers?

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You could do it, but it would be particularly spicy I would think, and that is not the point. THe idea, if it is done right, is balance. You should taste the stock and the vegetables and the seafood and the okra and the pork (incidentally, I often make this with pork stock) in a neat, pleasing balance.

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MM is right, especially ir you're looking to be authentic. I think most of us associate the flavor of poblano with southwestern food, and that does not belong in gumbo. The green pepper flavor does not stand out, but the combo of the three strikes a balance of taste.

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Interesting, and while we are talking about the basics: Is the Roux simply a thickening agent, or does the browning process add appreciable taste to the finished product? Are there Roux-less gumbos, or gumbos with Roux made from things other than oil and wheat flour?

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