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Chris Amirault

Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3

557 posts in this topic

The biggest issue with combining the rice and gumbo is that the rice continues to absorb the gumbo 'juice' and therefore you get a thicker, starcher soup than your orginial gumbo. Still tastes good, though.


Stop Family Violence

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Here's what my roux looked like a few minutes before I added the trinity. It's kind of blurry because I took a one handed pic as quickly as I could while still stirring the pot.

roux.jpg

Yep, that's about the color we stopped at.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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. . . . .

one of the floor staff asked me if i knew who i was talking to - no, a really nice guy who knew some stuff about what my husband(safety engineer) did and gave me some great tips about a new cuisine for me - cajun and creole.  turns out it was justin wilson.  hated the overblown persona he projected on tv - loved the 15 minutes or so we just chatted about somethings he was passionate about.

About 15 years or more ago, I had the great good fortune to spend about two hours sitting next to Justin Wilson at dinner. I was a speaker at an industry symposium in Baton Rouge and he had been engaged to do the after dinner speech. We were seated on the dais together. Years before, when his comedy albums were selling like crawfish pies, my dad was a huge fan and bought every one that was produced. We got into a discussion about gumbo, partly because he didn't particularly care for the version we had been served. He was doing some further research on gumbo for a series of TV shows on the subject and I told him about The Gumbo Goddess. I did hear that he went and spent a day with her, she was really up in years at the time, but I don't know whatever happened about the TV shows. What a gracious gentleman he was. And he did know his gumbo. It turns out that of all of the wonderful Cajun foods he loved, gumbo was his absolutely gar-ron-teed favorite. :biggrin: So, we are in good company here.


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

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For independent benchmark reference, this is what a "pro" gumbo from dark roux looks like:

i1074.jpg

The two to the left are duck gumbo and "turtle soup" from Upperline in New Orleans. The light colored soup is their Oyster Soup, which is also really awesome.

and the Gumbo Du Jour at Commander's Palace

i1130.jpg


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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. . . . .

one of the floor staff asked me if i knew who i was talking to - no, a really nice guy who knew some stuff about what my husband(safety engineer) did and gave me some great tips about a new cuisine for me - cajun and creole.  turns out it was justin wilson.  hated the overblown persona he projected on tv - loved the 15 minutes or so we just chatted about somethings he was passionate about.

About 15 years or more ago, I had the great good fortune to spend about two hours sitting next to Justin Wilson at dinner. I was a speaker at an industry symposium in Baton Rouge and he had been engaged to do the after dinner speech. We were seated on the dais together. Years before, when his comedy albums were selling like crawfish pies, my dad was a huge fan and bought every one that was produced. We got into a discussion about gumbo, partly because he didn't particularly care for the version we had been served. He was doing some further research on gumbo for a series of TV shows on the subject and I told him about The Gumbo Goddess. I did hear that he went and spent a day with her, she was really up in years at the time, but I don't know whatever happened about the TV shows. What a gracious gentleman he was. And he did know his gumbo. I turns out that of all of the wonderful Cajun foods he loved, gumbo was his absolutely gar-ron-teed favorite. :biggrin: So, we are in good company here.

What I liked most about Justin's cooking show was that it was really, really what people cook and eat down here. Not only what we cook and eat, but also in the same pots most Cajun cooks love, which is Magnalite. However, eGullet sure is making me learn to love other pots <looks at empty pocketbook>. Sigh.


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

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I'm iin for this one. I usually make the gimbo roux with bacon fat. While the roux is cooking, I chopped the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery and bell peppers and sometimes tomatoes). It usually worked out that by the time I finished chopping the vegetables, the roux is done. I scrape out the roux, drop in some canola oil and sweat the vegetables with some sausage. At this point, I add in some thyme and oregano and a large pinch of cayenne. Put in the tomatoes if I am using them and add the roux. Stir to mix the flavors and pour in the fisk stock. Then I let it cook for a few hours and when it's ready toss in the sea food, usually a combination of oysters, shrimp, and crab meat. It may not be authentic but it has won a lot of compliments.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Thanks for posting that picture, Jason. My chicken and sausage gumbo looks like the Upperline version. I have been trying to find a link to a site I found a long time ago that has pictures of the various stages of roux. After about an hour of googling, I am afraid I am coming up nil. If anyone has any ideas, it would be a useful reference for this topic.


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

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Thanks for posting that picture, Jason. My chicken and sausage gumbo looks like the Upperline version. I have been trying to find a link to a site I found a long time ago that has pictures of the various stages of roux. After about an hour of googling, I am afraid I am coming up nil. If anyone has any ideas, it would be a useful reference for this topic.

There's a picture sequence here referenced in a guide to Making a Roux. Do the colors look about right to you?

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There's a picture sequence here referenced in a guide to Making a Roux. Do the colors look about right to you?

We are getting there but I am not sure I would agree that the final picture is a true "blonde" roux. I call it "peanut butter" and is what I would use in a seafood gumbo for instance. To me, blonde is just slightly toasted and what I would use in a rather delicate etouffe. That is why I was looking for an example that would picture the entire range so we could all be on the same page. Also, the sequence doesn't go all the way to dark. The one I remember had five or more examples.


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

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well since everyone has already made it.... :angry:

you can help me! :laugh:

The most difficult part for me is the sausage, as they have nothing like that here in Japan, so I am thinking about making my own.

Fifi, you mentioned not to use fresh sausage, is there a reason behind that? If I made my own it would probably be fresh...

I was thinking about making the spicy Louisiana poultry sausage from Bruce Aidell's Complete Sausage Book because I have a 2kg block of thighs in my freezer and won't be able to make it to Costco in the next week or two to get a big block of pork....

Is there a traditional sausage for gumbo?


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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The sausage really needs to be smoked, but you can make a fine gumbo without sausage of any kind. Plain chicken or chicken and shrimp or seafood are all delicious. The smoked sausage gives a deep smoky flavor, but is equally as good without it - just different.

There is a broad range of 'traditional' in cajun food. If your gumbo starts with a good stock, and you season it well, it will be awesome.

No one has mentioned that gumbo is even better the next day. All those flavors have a chance to marry.


Stop Family Violence

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Are you saying that you chickened out on the dark roux. :laugh: Actually that looks really pretty, especially with the red bell pepper. I like to use it when I don't have to give up a body part to get one.

edit to add: I forgot to add. I have an andouille warning. Richard Kilgore was taking a learning run using that recipe and I asked him to critique it. I had to add "smoked not fresh" to the andouille description. I would not have thought to do that because, by definition from all the sites that sell it, andouille is smoked sausage. However, some "high toned" grocery stores are apparantly selling something called andouille that is a fresh sausage. 

hi I am glad someone started this gumbo thread,I live in Melbourne, Australia, Although I never been to Louisiana but I have been making gumbo for years. On the subject of sausages, the only type of andouille I know of and can get hold of is the fresh one made of chitterling or tripe and its texture is soft and loose, somehow that to me sounds very different from what I read, I never used it in my gumbo, my common sense tells me not to. what sausages I used offen depends on what the deli offers, I could never get the same sausages twice. Does anyone one know of a good substitute. What does the louisiana andouille taste like?

My gumbo recipe is a bit simular to Fifi's, But I carry my roux in much shorter time, and also darker, very very dark brown almost on the verge of turning black, I never find any problem of getting burnt. I just keep stirring and regulate the heat, I find that I can get there in 20 minutes (I used peaunt oil), the reason why I do this is because I find it give a better overall background flavour. I also add okra to my trinity (well, it is no longer trinity :wink:) and green pepper only no red, I find red impart a slight sweet and mellow taste that I find not agree with. I use a whole chicken simmers in court-bouillon for about 40 minutes, and I use the stock for my gumbo, and add the shredded chicken in the end of the whole cooking proccess, sometimes I boil a little bit of prawn shells and add a bit of this too( only a little bit, it is rather strong). I add tomatoes too.

I read somewhere that one can either use okra(in the beginning of the cooking proccess) or file powder( at the very end , to sprinkle on top), but never the 2 together, is that the case ?

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I'm in for this one. I found kosher andouille at Zabar's the other week. It's sitting in the freezer waiting to be used.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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The best word I can come up with to describe LA andouille is intense. It is highly seasoned with black and cayenne peppers, garlic and has a deep smoked flavor.

We seldom use file, although I do add okra fairly often. (I make a gumbo once a month at least). File cannot be heated, it then gives gumbo a ropey texture. File is on the table of any restaurant that serves gumbo in this part of TX and all of LA.


Stop Family Violence

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When it comes to sausages, just about any smoked type will be good. Andouille is the typical in Louisiana and it is described here. Before it was readily available here, I just used whatever I could get my hands on. I made some over the holidays at my son's place in Chicago and we found some all beef that resembled andouille. He has Jewish friends that don't eat pork. I wouldn't go to the trouble to make sausage just to make gumbo. After all, gumbo is all about using what you have around to make something delicious. I have had some Asian sausages that I think would go quite well in a gumbo. Once you get past the roux and trinity business (and even the trinity can vary) just about anything goes. Think of it more as a technique than a "recipe." Some of the best I have had started with "I have this that and the other. Hey! That might make a good gumbo."

Dim Sim, you don't see file and okra together. In fact, I don't see much gumbo with okra in the restaurants in south Louisiana. If they do have it, they usually call it "Okra Gumbo." On the roux, if I had a decent burner I could probably get to that dark color sooner but your typical home stove here just doesn't have the BTUs. I have done it in 30 minutes at a friend's house where they had a "high capacity" burner but it still wasn't a 15,000 BTU one like you might have on a Viking or such.


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

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OK, so torakris can't get smoked sausage. If she can get some sort of regular sausage and really smoky bacon, would that work?

When I make it, I will get the smoked country sausages from a local meat market. They are somewhat spicy, and nicely smoked. And, better than any andouille I can source easily.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Can I play?

I had two kinds of gumbo tonight at a parade party on Napoleon Ave in New Orleans. It was a fun deal. The game was on a big screen tv set up on the porch of this really nice house on the avenue. So...we ate gumbo (seafood, and chicken and sausage), jambalaya, oysters rockefeller, oysters on the half, boiled shrimp-while we watched the game and then would turn around as the floats from The Krewe of Bacchus went by and catch valuable trinkets. All Superbowls should be held during parades. :wink:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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Brooks, I'd perused your gumbo making photos sometime in the recent past, and I was compelled to race over to eBay and search for a drip drop baster roasting pan. I didn't find the exact one up for auction at the time, but I'm still looking (and halfway hoping I never find one, because I don't *need* one). I lust after your pot!


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

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Were I a betting man I would say that one was purchased in Cass County Texas sometime during Woodrow Wilson's term in office. While there are some around, and they aren't overly expensive, the oval ones are really hard to find. I love that pot.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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Oh goody. Brooks has come out to play. :laugh: Actually, I kinda figured he was too busy playing elsewhere. Bacchus, Superbowl and gumbo. Life is really hard.

Torakris . . . I would go with whatever sausage you can get. I just remembered some Asian sausages that I buy at the Asian grocery. They are cured to the point that they are not even refrigerated. That would be different but really good. Let's not get too hung up on trying to be "authentic." It is all good. Snowangel makes a good point. If you really crave the smoky component and you have something similar to bacon fat, you can add some of that to the roux, even if you have to supplement it with oil. Keep in mind that there are lots of gumbos that don't have a smoked anything in them. In fact, you have access to excellent seafood so you could just go that way and quit worrying about sausage.

Somebody needs to post a basic recipe for seafood gumbo. I don't have one since I don't do it that often.


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

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BTW, with the real Louisiana sausage in it, the only spices we added to it was the little bit of salt and cayenne we added to the Trinity, plus a shot of CAJUN POWER garlic hot sauce. The sausage imparted a lot of spicyness to the gumbo without any added Cajun seasoning.

My favorite cajun hot sauce. They also make Garlic juice which is handy to throw in your gumbo.


Never trust a skinny chef

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My favorite way to add okra to gumbo is:

1 to 2 cups sliced okra

approximately 2 tablespoons corn oil or rendered duck or sausage fat.

Toss okra with oil and spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Cook in slow oven (325 to 350) until the okra becomes slightly caramelized. Stir from time to time. Add to gumbo after broth is added. This additional process adds another layer of flavor and texture.

I am in London this week. Stopped in at the "Big Easy", a pub/restaurant on Kings Road to check out menu. No gumbo and no Mardi Gras party on the agenda. What a waste of a good name!

Great meal at Club Gascon on Saturday night. The amuse was a duo of shrimp. Chopped shrimp tartare?/seviche? on a spoon and a shot of spicy shrimp broth with foam. Intense flavors - possiblly the first paragragh of :cool: a deconconstructed gumbo?

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Ah, so this is why Jason wanted me to make gumbo yesterday! I don't think we chickened out on the roux too bad. Looking at Brook's pics from his blog, we got it to a pretty dark red-brown. I suppose it could have gone another minute or so, but not much more than that. So let's see, what did we use...

  • 1/3 cup corn oil
    1/3 cup flour
    1 onion
    2 stalks celery
    1/2 a red bell pepper with some green still on it
    3 Bay Leaves
    salt & cayenne pepper
    another T of flour - when you get a roux that dark there's no thickening power left in it, so I like to add a little bit more flour when I put in the veg, is this wrong?
    1 link aligator & pork sausage (~3 oz)
    1/2 andouille (8 oz)
    1 link chourice (8 oz)
    The aligator & pork was raw, so I took that out of the casing and browned it in a skillet, then added the other sausages, peeled and diced. After the meat was added to the veg (sweated 10 min), I deglazed the skillet with stock.
    8 cups chicken stock
    Simmer for 1+ hour.
    Meat from 2 Chicken legs - picked after about 1 hour into stock making
    ~2 cups white rice
    3 Green onions, sliced
    Black pepper, didn't need any more salt
    Simmer about 5 more minutes. Done. Eat some, put 6 servings in containers.

Fifi, yes, usually I would serve the rice on the side. But this seemed to be the best method for having it ready to eat from the freezer. We debated putting some rice on the bottom of the containers the ladling the gumbo on top, but figured that would just get all mixed up anyway. I'm thinking of putting a bit of file into little condiment containers in his lunch bag, but adding the rice already thickened it up quite a bit (it was very liquid before the rice, even with the extra flour).

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At this point, I add in some thyme and oregano and a large pinch of cayenne.

Yeah, I add thyme, too -- does anyone else? Or are we just utterly inauthentic??


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My favorite way to add okra to gumbo is:

1 to 2 cups sliced okra

approximately 2 tablespoons corn oil or rendered duck or sausage fat.

 

Toss okra with oil and spread in a single layer on baking sheet.  Cook in slow oven (325 to 350) until the okra becomes slightly caramelized.  Stir from time to time.  Add to gumbo after broth is added.  This additional process adds another layer of flavor and texture.

I do a similar thing: toss the sliced okra in corn flour, corn meal, white flour, that sort of thing, salt and pepper and cayenne, and then fry it in a good bit of oil to brown it and crunch it up. They're great tossed on top and mixed in for texture, as you say.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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      (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index).

      According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, summer squash, (also known in some circles as Italian marrow), are tender, warm-season vegetables that can be grown anytime during the warm, frost-free season. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash, (like pumpkins, acorn and butternut squash), because it is harvested before the outer rind hardens. Some of the most popular summer squash are the Green and Yellow Zucchini, Scallop, Patty Pan, Globe, Butter Blossom and Yellow Crookneck.

      My personal favorite summer squash is the versatile zucchini. Slow-cooked with sliced onion and ham hock, zucchini is perfectly comfortable nestled on a plate next to juicy, fried pork chops and creamy macaroni and cheese. But the chi-chi haute crowd isn't forgotten when it comes to zucchini, or, as the sniffy French call it, the "courgette." Tiny, spring courgette blossoms stuffed with herbs and ricotta cheese then dipped in tempura batter and gently fried are a delicacy found on Michelin-Star menus across the globe.

      Won't you please join me in crafting some delicious masterpieces that showcase the culinary possibilities of delicious summer squash.
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