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.

Susan in FL

Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etouffee, Creole...

Recommended Posts

As it turned out, Brooksie's Seafood Gumbo was not the next Gumbo, but I still plan to make it. We had oysters to use and went for this Gumbo tonight, so I thought I would revive this topic. It was really, really good.

Anybody have any recent updates on Gumbo or the like?

The Chicken, Sausage, and Oyster Gumbo was delicious.  (Including Okra, Judith.  :biggrin: )  Russ did the roux, as I had a meeting early this evening.  His was darker than what I have made, which if I understand correctly, made the Gumbo not as thick.  The chicken was thigh meat, the sausage was andouille, and the oysters were almost the last of our supply.

gallery_13038_284_1101869408.jpg


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its all about the roux. I have heard of some chefs toasting the flour in the oven before making the roux to give it an extra boost of flavor. But concentrate on getting the roux right.


"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No tomato at all?

I've never put any kind of tomato in my etouffee; maybe that's more Creole style than Cajun style? What I really miss is the little tub of crawfish fat that used to accompany each pound of crawfish tails in the supermarket. What's crawfish etouffee without good crawfish fat? :sad: I rarely make etouffee anymore because the end result just isn't as good, unless I've got some leftover boiled crawfish and can glean the fat when I peel them.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mayhaw man - where's your momma's etouffee recipe?

i know you've got one you're holdin' out on us....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one is not Brooksie's, but pretty close. This is the recipe of a Delta woman, my best friend's mama, who married a New York Dr. (Joe Baum's (Windows on the World) nephew, come to think of it) in Lafayette during the war. She could cook. Lord, she could cook. She had the first commercial stove in a home kitchen that I ever saw. She knew what to do with it. Sadly, she passed a few years ago, but her recipes live on.

This one has no tomatoes. While I have some recipes that do, this is pretty close to the traditional deal, I think. (and yes, it's got a can of mushroom soup in it, and I use it, but if you just hate cans and can't deal with it make a white roux (beurre blanc) with 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup flour -but the soups easier and better)

Bess's Ettouffee-

2 lbs. cleaned shrimp

1/2 lb. butter

2 tbls. ap flour

3 large yellow onions

1 medium bell pepper (you pick the color, although green would be the normal)

3 ribs celery

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups shrimp stock (or any other you have around, but shrimp is best)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

good dash of cayenne

paprika (hot kind if you have it)

1/2 cup green onion tops

Season shrimp to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne

Melt butter and add flour, cook until incorporated, not dark

and add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic

Cook til wilted

Add can of soup

Mix well and simmer few minutes until smooth

Add shrimp and 1 1/2 cups stock and simmer 30 min or so

Add the rest of the stock just before serving and stir til smooth

Season with more salt and and pepper and add the paprika for color

Add onion tops to top of ettoufee after it is placed over good white rice

I highly reccomend some good rice for this. While certainly Konriko or something woud be traditional, a nicely flavored rice like Jasmine or Texmati adds much to the dish.

Serve with salad and warm, crusty bread


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

okay now i'm hungry!

i think i'll be making soem etouffee soemtime soon. thanks for the recipe brooks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great, Brooks, and I've got several containers of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer, as well as nice Gulf shrimp, just waiting to be cooked up. Maybe for Friday or Saturday night supper.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:hmmm: Don't know what it is about this thread, but it's not the first time there have been new posts here and I didn't get the email notification. Anyway, as always, I am happy to see the posts, and especially the long awaited shrimp etouffee recipe!! Thanks, Brooks!!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's time! I am reviving this thread because my mother-in-law is now in Florida for her annual visit, and she and my sister-in-law are coming next weekend for the long-awaited shrimp etouffee dinner. Any last minute suggestions for me? I'll take all the help I can get; I want to keep up the reputation with my husband's family as a good cook.

I am undecided about the can of soup in the Delta woman's recipe. I've distained cooking with canned cream-of soups for a long time, and I've had success with making roux... but if it tastes best with that in it... ??? I just don't know.

I'm undecided about tomatoes, too.

I think I'll go with good Jasmine rice, and I'll serve salad and crusty bread. Is there anything else that will round this out as a traditional meal?

All advice is welcomed!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Potato salad. In my locale, potato salad is served as an accompaniment to gumbo and etouffee. Yes, it seems unneccessary, but that's the tradition!


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patti, I have also run into the tradition of serving potato salad with gumbo. You must be from way south Louisiana. :biggrin: At least that is where I ran into it. I think that it may have something to do with the fact that the gumbo is commonly pretty spicy and the creamy potato salad is a charming cooling counterpoint.

Susan, I would trust a recipe from Brooks. I have run into a few recipes where canned soup works just fine. In some cases, don't try it without it. I think it has its place. It is just too bad that using it in everything crappy in the past has given it a bad rap.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just follow the recipe. It's not hard. You will love the stuff.

Also, not everything that comes out of a can is bad. Sometimes you just need to tough it out and follow the recipe. IF you are concerned that your culinary minded friends might see you with a can of something in your shopping cart, you can always drive to another town and buy it. Just make sure you check the parking lot for cars that you recognize, as your friends might be out looking for some useful, but embarrassing, inredients.

There should be some kind of twelve step group for this kind of problem. Can Users Anonymous. "Hello, my name is Brooks and I am a canaholic-and I use cans by choice. Not all of the time, mind you-just some of the time. I can't help myself. I came here to get some help from others who have overcome this terrible affliction."


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly I have issues here. I am struggling with this. And what's worse, I have to make a decision about the canned-cream-of-soup before I can find my way to a meeting. I'll sleep on it. But what if I can't sleep because of the conflictual emotions I'm feeling? ...oh my, it looks like canned cream of mushroom soup leads to Ambien dependency.

:smile: Patti, thanks for the potato salad tip. That's the sort of thing I wondered about.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patti, I have also run into the tradition of serving potato salad with gumbo. You must be from way south Louisiana.  :biggrin:  At least that is where I ran into it. I think that it may have something to do with the fact that the gumbo is commonly pretty spicy and the creamy potato salad is a charming cooling counterpoint.

I'm in Lafayette, which isn't as south as you can get in Louisiana, but it's south of I-10! (Anything above that is practically the far North) :raz:

Clearly I have issues here. I am struggling with this. And what's worse, I have to make a decision about the canned-cream-of-soup before I can find my way to a meeting. I'll sleep on it. But what if I can't sleep because of the conflictual emotions I'm feeling? ...oh my, it looks like canned cream of mushroom soup leads to Ambien dependency.

I love your logic. :laugh:

:smile: Patti, thanks for the potato salad tip.  That's the sort of thing I wondered about.

I aim to please, ma'am.

I can't wait to hear what you finally decide to do and how it all comes out. Keep us posted!


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. . . . .

I'm in Lafayette, which isn't as south as you can get in Louisiana, but it's south of I-10! (Anything above that is practically the far North)  :raz:

. . . . .

Heh heh . . . In my recipe for the very dark gumbo, I call it "South of I-10 Style." I learned about gumbos at the side of a dear lady in LaPlace many years ago, when I-10 was being built, and that is what she called it. She cooked just about every style but favored the dark.

I got the potato salad concept from a friend that was raised in Houma. Another odd tradition, his mother gets the really dark gumbo bubbling and poaches eggs in it!


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, is there some prerequisite for the "chunkiness" of gumbo? Just the other day I reaped all leftovers from the freezer and made a batch with andouille sausage, duck, shrimp, and crawfish. But it was nowhere near as chunky as the bowls of gumbo pictured upthread. It was, however, delicious. Was it a proper gumbo?!


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, is there some prerequisite for the "chunkiness" of gumbo?  Just the other day I reaped all leftovers from the freezer and made a batch with andouille sausage, duck, shrimp, and crawfish.  But it was nowhere near as chunky as the bowls of gumbo pictured upthread.  It was, however, delicious.  Was it a proper gumbo?!

Uh . . . I'm not sure that there is such a thing as a "proper" gumbo. The whole reason for gumbo is to make something delicious out of what you have. If it is tasty and you like it, it is a success. :biggrin:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it not Okra that makes a gumbo a gumbo??

steve


Cook To Live; Live To Cook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, while the word "gumbo" used to refer to the pod known as okra, the language has moved on. Okra is certainly a part of some gumbos but not all by any means.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what is the diference then between an etouffee and Gumbo, do both have a Roux base???; if a gumbo does not have okra is it then thickened with file or is it called sasafras(sp)??? or are they the same??

thanks steve


Cook To Live; Live To Cook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So what is the diference then between an etouffee  and Gumbo, do both have a Roux base???; if a gumbo does not have okra is it then thickened with file or is it called sasafras(sp)??? or are they the same??

thanks steve

This is complicated, and I do not even pretend to be expert in all matters pertaining to this, but I could probably get away with playing a gumbo expert on TV-so I'll give it a shot.

Etouffee and gumbo are not the same thing.

Etouffee is, essentially, a gravy (for lack of an easier to understand description). It is thick and designed to be served over rice. It is usually, but not always, a relatively spicy dish as things go here. Also, there will be lots of meat (whatever kind) in it, making it even thicker.

Gumbo, on the other hand, is roux based soup. It will always have roux of some degree of darkness, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and then, well, that's where the fights start.

For example, the darkness and thickness of the soup is not the determining factor-Prejean's in Lafayette has what I consider to be the finest commercially made gumbo in the World. Thick as quicksand, loaded with stuff, black as the back of a well digger's pants. It's basically awesome and worth a very long drive from anywhere. People driving down I-10 who don't stop are just misguided souls lost in the darkness and deserve to eat at Waffle House (not that there is anything wrong with Waffle House-but it's not Prejean's).

On the other end of the spectrum is the seafood gumbo at Black's Oyster Bar in Abbeville. It is not thick, but it is very black. It is much more about the stock than the meat and stuff. It is pretty much equally delicious as Prejeans, but completely different. You can actually SEE what is in it, without having to pick it out.

Okra, file, etc. are all additions. If you are making shrimp and okra gumbo you might use all three. On the other hand, if you are making andouille and duck gumbo, you might not use any Okra or File at all. The roux darkness might vary and the thickness is usually determined by the personal taste of the cook, not by some hard and fast rule that demands a viscometer to determine proper thickness.

You should either be enlightened or confused right about now. Let us know which. :wink:

Edited to add:

Since I just challenged you to stop at Prejean's next time you are driving across South Louisiana, I would highly reccomend that you get a bowl of their Artichoke and Shrimp Bisque. It's pretty otherworldly. Thick, buttery, but with an actual flavoring of artichokes ( as opposed to some washed out canned hearts being thrown in) and loaded with shrimp. You'll be glad you did.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the overview on the difference between gumbo and etouffee.

The saga about my struggle with the recipe decision is over. I went shopping today, and included on my list was a can of cream of mushroom soup! I decided to make authentic Mayhaw Man etouffee tomorrow.

In seriousness, no matter how much fun I've made on the subject of using canned cream-of soups, if it makes the dish taste good, that's what's important. However, I couldn't help but think of you Brooks when I was getting ready to grab it off the shelf and looked around to see if there was anyone I know within sight.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Etouffee = smothered.

Gumbo is really more of a thickened soup.

Personally I don't do okra in my gumbo, but I was taught by friends from the Lafayette area.

My friends from New Orleans say "it ain't gumbo without okra"


Never trust a skinny chef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upthread stovetop asked about filé for thickening. I consider roux the thickening agent for most of the gumbo I make. I don't ever add filé to the pot; if the gumbo needs extra thickening, filé can be added to individual servings. The only time I put okra in gumbo is when I'm making shrimp 'n okra gumbo. Otherwise, no (and I love okra).


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks All

Yes it does clear things up

The one thing though is with a gumbo, it does seem like there is a lot of variance in people’s interpretation of this classic dish.

Now I have an even harder question:

“How does the Cajun and Creole parts play on both these dishes, or are both classically Cajun??"

steve


Cook To Live; Live To Cook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By markovitch
      A while ago, to learn the ins and outs of Horseradish, I began making my own mustard. I have managed some really really good varieties, (one with black mustard seeds, rice-wine vinegar, horseradish and Kabocha squash) and some really god awful ones too. I recall that my grandmother used to make her own ketchup too. it wasn't all that good.
      has anyone made their own condiments before?
      care to share experiences?
    • By Lisa Shock
      The basic formula for these cakes was developed by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman in an effort to help him out. I did a bit of research, and have found many variations. Early variants generally involve using less cocoa, which I cannot recommend. Later variants involve using cold water instead of boiling, adding salt, and additional leaveners. I personally do not feel that any additional salt is needed, as mayonnaise and that famous, tangy brand of salad dressing (sometimes the label just says 'Dressing') both contain a fair amount of salt. If you are using homemade mayonnaise or a low sodium product, an eighth teaspoon of salt may boost the flavor a bit. And, of course, somewhere along the way fans who prefer a certain salad dressing over mayonnaise started using it to make this cake. Nowadays, the Hellman's website has a different formula -one with added eggs and baking powder. I have not tried this newer formulation.
       
      Some versions of this recipe specify sifted cake flour. This will result in a very light cake with virtually no structural integrity, due to the paucity of eggs in this recipe compared to a regular cake. Cupcakes made this way give beautifully light results. However, every time I try to make a traditional 8" double layer cake with cake flour, I experience collapse. I recommend AP flour or at least a mix of cake and pastry flour.
       
      I have never made this with a gluten-free flour replacer. This recipe does not have very much structural integrity and as such does not make a good candidate for a gluten-free cake.
       
      I have made this cake many times, the type of sandwich spread you choose will affect the outcome. Made with mayonnaise, the cake has a good chocolate flavor and moistness. Made with that famous, tangy, off-white salad dressing that gets used as a sandwich spread, the cake has a subtle bit of extra brightness to the flavor. If one chooses to use a vegan mayonnaise, the result is tasty but lacking a little in structure; I would bake this in a square pan and frost and serve from the pan.
       
      The cocoa you use will also affect the flavor.  For a classic, homey flavor use a supermarket brand of cocoa. To add a little sophistication, use better, artisan type cocoa and use chocolate extract instead of the vanilla extract.
       
      Supposedly, the traditional frosting for this cake should have a caramel flavor. Look for one where you actually caramelize some sugar first. Modern recipes for the icing seem like weak imitations to me; using brown sugar as the main flavor instead of true caramel.
       
      Chocolate Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Cake
      makes enough for two 8" round pans, or a 9" square (about 7 cups of batter)
       
      2 ounces/56g unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa
      1 cup/236g boiling water
      1 teaspoon/4g regular strength vanilla extract
      3/4 cup/162g mayonnaise, vegan mayonnaise, or salad dressing (the tangy, off-white, sandwich spread type dressing)
      10.5ounces/300g all-purpose flour
      7 ounces/200g sugar
      0.35ounce/10g baking soda
       
      Preheat your oven to 350°.
      Grease or spray two 8" round pans or an equivalent volume square or rectangle.
      Place the cocoa in a medium (4-5 cup) bowl. Add the hot water and stir with a fork to break up any clumps. Allow to cool down a little,  then add the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise or salad dressing spread. Beat well to eliminate lumps. In the bowl of an electric mixer or larger regular bowl if making by hand, sift in the flour and add the sugar and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture. Mix until the batter has an even color. Pour immediately into the pans. If making two 8" rounds, weigh them to ensure they contain equal amounts.
      Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center of the top springs back when touched lightly. (The toothpick test does NOT work well on this moist cake!) Allow the cake to cool a little and shrink from the sides of the pan before removing. Removal is easier while still a little warm.
      Good with or without frosting.
      Good beginner cake for kids to make.
       
       
       
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
    • By sartoric
      I make this a lot. Traditionally served with dosa, but great with all kinds of Indian food, even just scooped up with bread or pappads for a snack. Although it's slightly different every time, depending on the tomatoes and chillies used, plus the strength of the tamarind, it's easy, quick to make and always delicious.
       
      In a blender - half a medium red onion chopped, 7 dried red chillies broken up a bit, 2 ripe tomatoes chopped, 1 tsp of sea salt, 3 tsp tamarind paste.

       
      Whizz until purée like about 2 minutes.

       
      In a sauté pan over medium heat add 60 ml sesame oil (gingelly), when it's hot but not smoking add 1 tsp black mustard seeds.   

       
      Quickly cover the pan to prevent escape and sizzle for a minute.

       
      Add 1 tsp of urad dal (black lentils, skinned and split they are light grey).

       
      Fry until golden, another minute or so.

       
      Throw in about 20 curry leaves. These splatter so cover the pan again. 

       
      Lower the heat and add the  blender contents.

       
      Simmer, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until you get a runny jam consistency.
       
      Ta da !

    • By HoneyMustard
      Pennstation's Honey Mustard taste so good, but they don't sell it in stores like Big Boy Frisch's sells their tartar sauce.

      I am assuming they buy it in bulk from a certain name brand. Does anyone know what that brand is or at least a similar Honey Mustard recipe?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...