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Susan in FL

Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etouffee, Creole...

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Oh, yeah! I remember one of the things I wanted to say!

I wanted to ask your opinions about store bought roux. Early in my marriage (a lonnnng time ago), I tried making my own roux, and it just didn't come out right. I saved the day with some Savoie's dark roux, and have been using it ever since. Even my mother and grandmother were eventually won over by the convenience of having roux on hand at all times, without the time consuming and tedious effort of making a roux. Granted, my kitchen doesn't smell as good as Mom's did when she was standing over that black iron skillet, stirring and stirring and stirring, but the end result is still delicious gumbo.

What do y'all think? Is it a sacrilege to use roux that is not homemade?

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I don't use it, but that's not to say that you shouldn't. There are a couple of places in New Orleans, renowned for their gumbo, that are using a canned medium dark roux product.

When I worked for Mike Anderson's we made it in huge batches that would last for several days (blond, medium, and dark)(all the soups, for all of the restaurants, are made in the Chef's kitchen in BR and shipped daily-very efficient and great for consistancy and food cost). I never could tell the difference (except for the reheat on the dark, you had to be very careful to keep from burning the stuff).

SUSAN! That gumbo looks great. Where did you get the canards? Wild out of the freezer or farm raised? Nice work!

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SUSAN! That gumbo looks great. Where did you get the canards? Wild out of the freezer or farm raised? Nice work!
Thank you! I was very pleased. They were wild, frozen. Making such dishes surely is gratifying, a fun labor of love. And we ate until we were stuffed.

Welcome, SmrtAss. :smile: I would agree... it's not a sacrilege if it tastes good to you. For me, in this instance, all the chopping and stirring and simmering and tasting, etc. was as much part of what I was in the mood for, as the eating.

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Welcome, SmrtAss.

Thank you for the welcome, Susan. I have to agree with Mayhaw Man, your duck gumbo looks awesome! If it tasted as good as the picture, it must've been wonderful. The 'bam' photo is too funny. :)

That cornbread also looks scrumptious, but it doesn't look ordinary. Care to share info about it?


Edited by SmrtAss (log)

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I wanted to ask your opinions about store bought roux. Early in my marriage (a lonnnng time ago), I tried making my own roux, and it just didn't come out right. I saved the day with some Savoie's dark roux, and have been using it ever since. Even my mother and grandmother were eventually won over by the convenience of having roux on hand at all times, without the time consuming and tedious effort of making a roux. Granted, my kitchen doesn't smell as good as Mom's did when she was standing over that black iron skillet, stirring and stirring and stirring, but the end result is still delicious gumbo.

Not at all. Actually, it can be quite good. I keep a jar of dark roux in the fridge for when I want to add some of that flavor to a soup or stew but I am not up to making it. What I haven't found are jars of medium or light roux. Does Savoie make that?

However, for a big pot of dark gumbo, I am not sure you would get the same thing. As some of us have indicated, we stop the roux cooking by dumping in the trinity. I continue to delude myself that the veggies hitting the heat like that makes a flavor difference. I worry that I wouldn't be able to get the pre-made roux hot enough without burning it.

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However, for a big pot of dark gumbo, I am not sure you would get the same thing.

I tend to prefer dark gumbos and have made big pots of it for years. Most of the gumbos have been very tasty, although a few were subpar, but what're you gonna do?

As some of us have indicated, we stop the roux cooking by dumping in the trinity. I continue to delude myself that the veggies hitting the heat like that makes a flavor difference. I worry that I wouldn't be able to get the pre-made roux hot enough without burning it.

The method is different with the roux from a jar, which I add to a pot of boiling water, so yes, there will be a little bit of taste difference, as the chopped vegetable meet the heat in a different way. I add them into the simmering pot after the roux has been on the fire for about thirty minutes.

I have no doubt that your way is absolutely delicious. After all, that's the original way of gumbo making. The only thing to do would be a taste comparison, but since every pot of gumbo is a little different because of so many variables, how could it be done objectively? Maybe some day I'll make two pots of gumbo at the same time, using homemade roux in one pot, and roux from a jar in the other. (But probably not.) :wink:

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That cornbread... Care to share info about it?

Sure! This is the recipe I use. It's based on a recipe from an old Bon Appetit.

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

1 seeded and finely minced jalapeno, or to taste

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 425 F. Butter 8 inch square baking dish. Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients in another bowl to blend. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Add sour cream mixture and stir just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared dish. Bake until cornbread is golden brown and begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into 9 squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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So I guess Jiffy is out of the question?

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So I guess Jiffy is out of the question?

LOL, hell no! But just make sure you use the Jiffy on a night you use the Savoie. :biggrin:

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Fast, easy, and spicy. No, it's not me (well, maybe), but it is the etouffee recipe that I use:

• 1 pound fresh or frozen peeled crawfish tails or shrimp

• 2 large onions, chopped

• 1 cup chopped celery

• 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup cooking butter (or oil/margarine, if you must)

• 2 tablespoons butter or crawfish fat (once again, oil/margarine, if you must)

• 4 teaspoons cornstarch

• 1 cup water

• 1/2 cup tomato sauce

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

• Hot cooked rice

In a heavy saucepan cook onions, celery, green sweet pepper, and garlic, covered, in butter about 10 minutes or until tender. Add butter, or crawfish fat, stirring until melted. Stir in cornstarch. Stir in crawfish or shrimp, water, tomato sauce, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Bring mixture to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until crawfish are tender or shrimp turn opaque. Serve with hot cooked rice.

I usually put out some nice crusty bread and butter to sop up what's left in the bowl.

I usually have to double or triple this recipe because it's so damn fast and simple that I can serve it whenever we have a crowd. It says it yields 4 servings, but those are some skimpy servings. Plus, the leftovers are tasty.


Edited by lesfen (log)

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I'm in Louisiana and I'm certainly not above using Savoie's roux in a jar if I'm in a bind. However, the dark one tastes 'off' to me, and I use the light one, but then I have to add Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce to adjust the color. It's not the same IMHO as a traditional hour-long roux, which is kindof a nutty taste in the gumbo, but it's pretty good.

Sometimes when I have nothing to do I'll make a roux for no reason at all but to put in a masopn jar in the fridge. Saute the trinity, and put that in another mason jar. Those 2 simple things, plus frozen stocks in your freezer, will make homemade dinners a breeze to make, and they taste great to boot :biggrin:

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I'm in Louisiana and I'm certainly not above using Savoie's roux in a jar if I'm in a bind. However, the dark one tastes 'off' to me, and I use the light one, but then I have to add Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce to adjust the color. It's not the same IMHO as a traditional hour-long roux, which is kindof a nutty taste in the gumbo, but it's pretty good.

I have to agree with you that the dark in the jar is ok, but not the same. How light is the light one? I haven't seen it in the groceries here in Houston but we do have a Cajun Market locally and I might be tempted to look for it. When you say light, do you mean peanut butter color?

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I haven't seen a light roux in a jar here, either. (Beaumont) However, Savoie's makes a great dirty rice base - found in the freezer section. Follow the directions, adding green onions. It's really good.

My shrimp creole does start with a roux, but is a completely different animal than a gumbo or an etouffee.

Susan, your gumbo looks great!!! Aren't you proud?

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I have to admit that I haven't done a lot of shrimp creole in the last few years. We should explore that more. I am not remembering a roux but that is quite possibly a failure of memory. Any suggestions/recipes out there?

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My Shrimp Creole starts with a dark 1/4c. flour and 1/4c. veg. oil roux. Add onions, celery, green bell peppers, green onions and garlic and saute till soft. Add 1 6oz can tomato paste and "fry" in the roux till mixed in well. Add 1 16 oz can tomatoes with juice, and a can of tomato sauce and a tomato sauce can of water. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Throw in a couple of bay leaves, and a little (1t) sugar if it's too acidic. (If you fried the tomato paste well, it probably won't need the sugar) I also like to add some thyme and maybe some worstershire sauce. Simmer that for an hour. Add 3 or 4 lbs of shrimp and a handful of of parlsey, cook another 5 - 10 minutes and serve over rice.

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My Shrimp Creole starts with a dark 1/4c. flour and 1/4c. veg. oil roux. Add onions, celery, green bell peppers, green onions and garlic and saute till soft. Add 1 6oz can tomato paste and "fry" in the roux till mixed in well. Add 1 16 oz can tomatoes with juice, and a can of tomato sauce and a tomato sauce can of water. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Throw in a couple of bay leaves, and a little (1t) sugar if it's too acidic. (If you fried the tomato paste well, it probably won't need the sugar) I also like to add some thyme and maybe some worstershire sauce. Simmer that for an hour. Add 3 or 4 lbs of shrimp and a handful of of parlsey, cook another 5 - 10 minutes and serve over rice.

OMG that sounds good. I will be off in the search of shrimp this weekend. What I am seeing in your recipe is that the ratio of roux to the rest of the dish is less than, for instance, a gumbo. That is what I am remembering. Thank you for your guidance. :biggrin:

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I'm in Louisiana and I'm certainly not above using Savoie's roux in a jar if I'm in a bind.  However, the dark one tastes 'off' to me, and I use the light one, but then I have to add Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce to adjust the color.  It's not the same IMHO as a traditional hour-long roux, which is kindof a nutty taste in the gumbo, but it's pretty good.

I have to agree with you that the dark in the jar is ok, but not the same. How light is the light one? I haven't seen it in the groceries here in Houston but we do have a Cajun Market locally and I might be tempted to look for it. When you say light, do you mean peanut butter color?

Savoie's Roux Options

Yes, it's peanut-colored (the one on the far left). I haven't tasted their oil-less roux, which is really just browned flour (far right).


Edited by Rhonda Graham (log)

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Oiless roux has to be an abominization of civilization. For shame.

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Here's my jambalaya recipe:

2 Chicken Breasts

2 Links of Andouille Sausage

1 Red Bell Pepper

2-3 Stalks of Celery

1 Cup of White Long-grain Rice

1-2 Cloves of Garlic

2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

Thyme

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Flat Leaf Parsley

Salt

Pepper

Tabasco

1 Cup of Dry White Wine

1 Cup of Homemade Chicken Stock

1 Cup of Water

Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and season with salt and pepper. Sautee in melted butter in a large dutch oven until just barely brown. Meanwhile, heat wine, stock, and water in a sauce pan until just barely boiling.

Add rice, chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, minced garlic, crushed red pepper to the dutch oven and stir to cover rice w/ chicken drippings. Add stock mixture and reduce heat to medium low. Add Thyme liberally and parsely and tabasco to taste. Top with chopped Andouille. Cooked covered until liquid is absorbed about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and peper to taste.

Sometimes for variation, I add fresh shrimp at the end, or I'll add a few hot peppers (I like spicy) or use a cut up whole chicken. I know, no onions, a sin.

Not your traditional New Orleans recipe, but I love it.

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Fifi, yes, oil-less roux is not for anyone.

Here's my recipe for gumbo:

CHICKEN & ANDOUILLE GUMBO

Actually, I prepare gumbo in 2 nights. The first night is shopping and making the roux and chicken stock. Many people have reduced the old-fashioned method for roux and can make a quick roux in about 10 or 15 minutes. It’s a fact – verified it with local cooking friends, but the traditional hour-long method works for me. Do it however you want. How dark depends on how dark you like it. A chocolate-brown roux IMHO is too dark and one that is peanut-butter colored (like an old copper penny) is preferred.

Roux

-----1 cup oil (typically use half bacon drippings and half peanut oil)

-----1-1/2 cups flour

Vegetable Seasonings (Don't chop them too small; large dice is fine.)

----- 2 large yellow onions, chopped

----- 1 bell pepper, chopped (green bell peppers are traditionally used)

----- 4 ribs celery

----- (If you want to add garlic, you can.)

Other Ingredients

----- 3 quarts of rich chicken stock ??? (just add until it's your desired consistency)

----- 2 or 3 bay leaves

----- a few tablespoons kosher salt

----- red and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste

----- dried thyme to taste

----- garlic powder and onion powder, or whatever other seasonings you want to add

----- hot sauce

----- Worcestershire sauce

----- meat from 1 cooked chicken (remove skin and bones) – add it at the end so it’s not stringy

----- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into about 1/4" rounds and browned slowly in skillet on both sides

----- 1/2 cup of tasso, julienned, if desired

----- 1 bunch parsley leaves, chopped

----- 1 bunch green onion tops, chopped

----- file'

Serve over white rice

Bring a stool into the kitchen if you don’t want to be standing too long. Heat oil over medium heat and add flour slowly. Whisk mixture with a wire whisk (a flat-bottomed one works best) in a heavy skillet; cast iron is preferred. Keep whisking until bubbles subside, then switch to a flat-bottom wooden spatula. Reduce heat to low. It takes about an hour. Do not let the roux burn (if you quit stirring it will burn). If you burn it, just dispose of it and begin again. You CANNOT repair a burnt roux. Don’t answer the phone while you're cooking this and don’t leave the stove. Just stir. About the time you are ready to give up, it will start coloring. Just keep stirring constantly until the roux is the color desired, about the color of an old copper penny.

Immediately add your vegetable seasonings. They will stop the browning process. Add bay leaves, too. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes or so. Transfer roux mixture to a stock pot (needs to hold about 2-gallons) and place back on medium heat. Slowly add warm stock, stirring in and incorporating each ladle as you go. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Season well to taste using all of the spices, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Now, just simmer away for about an hour or so for the roux to develop. (Note: Even though it’s against the rules, I also add just a teaspoon or so of file’ at this point, as well as letting the diner add just a bit to his individual bowl after the gumbo is served.)

After gumbo has cooked about an hour (you could probably go 30 to 45 minutes if you want), add your sausage and simmer about another half-hour. Skim oil from top, then add your chicken, parsley and onion tops during the last 5 minutes of simmering the gumbo. Serve over white rice. Let the guest add file (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) to his bowl when served, if desired. Also put the hot sauce on the table in case individuals want a little more heat.

Serve with French bread or garlic bread. The traditional drink is beer.

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

P.S. Gumbo tastes better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to come together. If you make it a day early, be sure to stir in the parsley and green onions just before serving.

P.S.S. Lots of people add okra, and I like it added. However, if you’re cooking for a group of people and you don’t know preferences, I would just leave it out. If you do add it, add the frozen WHOLE okra (makes it easier for people to remove if they don’t like it) during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking. If you cook it too long, it starts to come apart, and a lot of people don’t like that.

Bon Appetit!

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I just happily discovered some additional posts on this thread. I'm not getting all the email notifications for posts on topics that I'm tracking, so some have been slipping past me.

Thanks, folks, for sharing recipes! I was hoping for that. It's getting real close to time for a shrimp creole or etouffee!

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Mais, damn. First, how could I have missed this thread for the last 3 weeks?

Second, there's now 2 more people with ties to Vermilion Parish, another one from Lafayette, plus another USL alumni crawling on the boards (backwards, no less :biggrin: )... This place is starting to look like home :cool:

And people can argue over the ingredients, cooking times, roux color for hours and days, and hate each other forever when talking about gumbo. Me, I like most of it. Except for the okra.

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Here's my crawfish etoufee recipe.

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup flour

Mix flour and oil in large skillet over med heat to make a roux.  Once the roux is formed, turn heat to low and cook about 40 minutes, until the roux is a peanut butter color.

Then add:

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped med. fine

1 large greem bell pepper, chopped med. fine

3 stalks celery, sliced fine

1 good handful parsley, chopped fine

2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped

one bay leaf

Sweat about 20 minutes over med-low heat, until onions are translucent and the flavors blend well.  This also allows any remaining floury taste to cook out of the roux.

Add the following:

1 bottle clam juice or 20 oz. shrimp, fish, or crawfish stock

1 cup white wine

Frank's Red Hot Sauce to taste*

Simmer about 30 minutes, until the etoufee has the right consistency.  You may want to let it go longer if it's too thin or add some more wine if it needs thinning.

Add:

2lbs crawfish tails

Turn heat to med-high, stirring fairly regularly, about 15 minutes until crawfish is heated through.

Serve over long-grain white rice and garnish with chopped parsley and more Frank's Red Hot Sauce.*

* You may substitute your favorite hot sauce.  I like Frank's because it has as much of a vinegar note as it has heat.  My personal feeling is that if your hot sauce is too firey, it drowns out the other more subtle flavors.

I made shrimp etouffee tonight, and Mark I used your crawfish etouffee recipe as a "guide." Very good!

I'm thinking gumbo of whatever type is more my preference than etouffee... It seems more full of different flavors to me. In the recipes I've seen and made and from what I've read on this thread, there are more ingredients in gumbos.

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No tomato this time. Since Mark's etouffee recipe didn't have any, I decided not. Next time I will include tomatoes in some form. Chopped fresh tomatoes, sauce, paste... any recommendation? There will be a next time. My husband said he wants me to make it again and work on perfecting "my" shrimp etouffee recipe. I want to practice up before I serve it to my mother-in-law. It's one of her favorite dishes, and I have never made it for her.

Brooks, did you ever post your shrimp etouffee recipe and I've missed it?

When I made gumbo, there was nothing left to be desired. :wub: I still haven't made Brooksie's Seafood Gumbo, but I think that will be the next gumbo.

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