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Chris Amirault

Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3

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No roux in an okra gumbo in Vermilion parish. Don't see it much in restaurants in Cajun land. I know Don's in Lafayette has it but I can't think of anywhere else except those cheap plate lunch places like Soop's in Maurice.

So if I were making a seafood gumbo, say shrimp and andouille, sans okra, I would use a roux? Spouseperson is not fond of okra, but we all love seafood. Actually, I might add oysters and crabs too :raz:.

THW

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If anyone has Mr. Folse's new cookbook, could you look and see if he uses okra, garlic and/or tomatoes??? I'm curious as Lafayette is dead center south Louisiana.

Mr Folse isn't from Lafayette. He's in the Patterson/Donalsonville area, sort of between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, or a little south of there. He's in a swampier area than where I grew up. He's also closer to New Orleans than Lafayette.

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ok all these warnings about the roux are starting to scare me as I have 3 small children who love to fight as soon as I step in the kitchen.... :blink:

can it be made ahead of time (like when the kids are in school) and then reheated later?

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ok all these warnings about the roux are starting to scare me as I have 3 small children who love to fight as soon as I step in the kitchen.... :blink:

can it be made ahead of time (like when the kids are in school) and then reheated later?

Sure. You will have to let it completely cool to room temp (it takes a while), but it can be stored in a plastic bag, but only once completely cooled. Once it is cool/cold, it can be added to the boiling broth, a little at a time, until you get a good consistency.

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ok all these warnings about the roux are starting to scare me as I have 3 small children who love to fight as soon as I step in the kitchen.... :blink:

can it be made ahead of time (like when the kids are in school) and then reheated later?

I'm by no means an authority because I'm asking plenty of my own question, but based on ingredients, I'd hazard a guess that you could make the roux, then throw in the trinity to cool it down and let that simmer a while. From there, you are no longer temperature-critical so you're out of the woods. Somebody more knowledgeable than I will correct me if I'm wrong I hope.

THW

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I think the language has moved on.

Gumbo originated as the African word for okra, often used in the stew we now call gumbo.

Okra use dropped off and gumbo came to mean the roux based stew that most of us are familiar with.

Then the term gumbo came to be incorporated into other stew style dishes, like Gumbo Z'herbes, that may or may not contain roux.

Since I am stuck in the 60s when I learned from an elderly and very tradtional lady, to me it is not a gumbo unless it has a roux. It may be a delicious seafood stew, fricassee or whatever, but not gumbo. But that is just me.

Later in life I came to hear about, and be served some oddities (to me) like potato salad on the side. Then, just five years ago, I heard another one. A friend that grew up in Houma told me about the family and local tradition of poaching eggs in bubbling gumbo. The egg is served on a mound of rice and the gumbo spooned around. That was news to me. Goes to show you that you can learn something new every day.

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If anyone has Mr. Folse's new cookbook, could you look and see if he uses okra, garlic and/or tomatoes??? I'm curious as Lafayette is dead center south Louisiana.

Mr Folse isn't from Lafayette. He's in the Patterson/Donalsonville area, sort of between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, or a little south of there. He's in a swampier area than where I grew up. He's also closer to New Orleans than Lafayette.

Yes, but doesn't he have a resturant in Lafayette? Is he around Albita Springs??

Anyway, what does his book say???

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Dare we bring up Gumbo Z'herbes / Gumbo Zab / Gumbo Zap ?

I've seen ones that use a roux, and I have seen ones that don't.

This one uses roux, for example:

http://www.gumbopages.com/food/soups/gumboz.html

whereas the Emeril one does not:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_18701,00.html

I made gumbo z'herbes once and I probably won't try again. Unlike other gumbos, which improve overnight, my gumbo z'herbes turned into a big ole pot o' greens. NTTTAWT, but that's not what I was after.

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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.

What about smoked ham hocks? Is that available to you, torakris? It could work. As others have said before me, there's no hard and fast rule that you MUST have sausage with chicken gumbo.

Like FistFullaRoux, I'm torn between arguing for authenticity and using what's available, which is the basis of Cajun cooking. I couldn't help but cringe when one out of state friend reported his substitution of brussels sprouts for okra in his gumbo.

Because I don't have a family interested in game gumbos, I make only three: chicken and sausage (andouille or other smoked), seafood (usually shrimp, crab, oyster), and shrimp 'n okra. Of the three I make, shrimp 'n okra gumbo is the only one that includes tomatoes and/or okra.

Your mileage may vary.

HighChef, John Folse doesn't have a restaurant in Lafayette. He's got Lafitte's Landing in Donaldsonville and I'm not sure what else, but nothing here.


Edited by patti (log)

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Years ago I lived in Baton Rouge for awhile and was poor (husband in grad school at LSU) but did learn how to make chicken and sausage gumbo. Years after, former husband brought lonely Air Force man for a home-cooked meal, and I fixed chicken and sausage gumbo. After serving it, Air Force man told me he was from LA :shock:. At the end of dinner, he said it was as good as his grandma's, and she was a great cook :wub: . As my son (who was born in Baton Rouge) grew up, a traditional Christmas Eve seafood gumbo evolved which included crab and fish he caught during the summer, and at age 6 he wrote his first 'recipe'. So gumbo has a special place in my heart.

Helpful hints: Have your mis en place fer shur for this one.

WATCH the roux!!

Make the gumbo and eat it the next day for the first time.

You can add the herb mix to the sauteed vegetables and then add them to the roux. Except for the roux, this is a fairly forgiving recipe, and you have a lot of leeway in combining everything.

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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.

What about smoked ham hocks? Is that available to you, torakris? It could work. As others have said before me, there's no hard and fast rule that you MUST have sausage with chicken gumbo.

No ham hocks in Japan either...

Actually I WANT to make sausages. :biggrin:

My husband and I have been having fun with the sausage maker I got him for his birthday. I guess we could also smoke them, with the smoker I got him for our anniversary two years ago....

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Dare we bring up Gumbo Z'herbes / Gumbo Zab / Gumbo Zap ?

I've seen ones that use a roux, and I have seen ones that don't.

This one uses roux, for example:

http://www.gumbopages.com/food/soups/gumboz.html

whereas the Emeril one does not:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_18701,00.html

I made gumbo z'herbes once and I probably won't try again. Unlike other gumbos, which improve overnight, my gumbo z'herbes turned into a big ole pot o' greens. NTTTAWT, but that's not what I was after.

The kind that uses a dark roux is not just a big ole pot o' greens, though.

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No roux in an okra gumbo in Vermilion parish. Don't see it much in restaurants in Cajun land. I know Don's in Lafayette has it but I can't think of anywhere else except those cheap plate lunch places like Soop's in Maurice.

So if I were making a seafood gumbo, say shrimp and andouille, sans okra, I would use a roux? Spouseperson is not fond of okra, but we all love seafood. Actually, I might add oysters and crabs too :raz:.

THW

That sounds good. No okra but roux for a gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crab, i.e. seafood gumbo works well. Your sausage might overpower a seafood gumbo, in my experience, so go slow with that, to me.

Now, that's not New Orleans cooking. I like New Orleans cooking too. What I am talking about is Cajun cooking where they speak French, to the west of the city.

They say the bayou area around Lafourche parish is different too. Lots of regional variation, and even within regions.

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Then by all means, go for it Kristin. I have a link up-thread to a recipe but I am sure that a little googling will get you an assortment. It will be great to see someone with enough dedication to make their own sausage. A rare treat indeed. Please do smoke it and record for us here.

Heads up kiddos! I found the Mayhaw Man Gumbo Odyssey. It was in his blog HERE. It starts with a post that includes the amazing incredible magic gumbo pot. Enjoy. :biggrin:

edit to add: On rereading this thread, I just noticed that Mayhaw Man already linked to his blog. Oh well . . . It doesn't hurt to do it twice.


Edited by fifi (log)

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The kind that uses a dark roux is not just a big ole pot o' greens, though.

I used a dark roux. I'm certainly not dissing Gumbo Z'Herbes itself. I love it. I'm just disssing MY Gumbo Z'Herbes.

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That sounds good. No okra but roux for a gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crab, i.e. seafood gumbo works well. Your sausage might overpower a seafood gumbo, in my experience, so go slow with that, to me.

Well, even though I've eaten gumbo most of my life (grew up in Texas), I'm still pretty low on the learning curve when it comes to making it. Based on advice from Mayhaw Man, I get my Andouille here . It is very, very good :raz:, and I just ordered a fresh batch today. It's not as spicy as I thought I remembered from the old days when I still lived in Texas, but that's probably just one more vestige of an aging mind :biggrin:. Anyway, thanks for the help. Sounds like I should just jump in and try it. After all, if you start out with shrimp, andouille, oysters and blue crab, how far wrong can you go :raz:? Thanks again.

THW

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That sounds good. No okra but roux for a gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crab, i.e. seafood gumbo works well. Your sausage might overpower a seafood gumbo, in my experience, so go slow with that, to me.

Well, even though I've eaten gumbo most of my life (grew up in Texas), I'm still pretty low on the learning curve when it comes to making it. Based on advice from Mayhaw Man, I get my Andouille here . It is very, very good :raz:, and I just ordered a fresh batch today. It's not as spicy as I thought I remembered from the old days when I still lived in Texas, but that's probably just one more vestige of an aging mind :biggrin:. Anyway, thanks for the help. Sounds like I should just jump in and try it. After all, if you start out with shrimp, andouille, oysters and blue crab, how far wrong can you go :raz:? Thanks again.

THW

There's many ways to make it good! There's no one way or right way, that's for sure! Just better and less good. Come to think of it, even when I say we made it like that in Vermilion parish, our neighbors and relatives didn't make it just the same!

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Actually I WANT to make sausages. :biggrin:

My husband and I have been having fun with the sausage maker I got him for his birthday. I guess we could also smoke them, with the smoker I got him for our anniversary two years ago....

Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Make 'em! Smoke 'em! Cook 'em! Avec photos, mais oui, mon cher!

A true eGullet Recipe Cook-Off long-distance dedication to Kristin, y'all!!

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A friend that grew up in Houma told me about the family and local tradition of poaching eggs in bubbling gumbo. The egg is served on a mound of rice and the gumbo spooned around. That was news to me. Goes to show you that you can learn something new every day.

I knew that there was a way to serve gumbo for breakfast! :wub:

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Gross-out alert:
for novices, a couple of pointers. Take up the offer of the jar roux if you have young children. You cannot break up a fight or wipe up blood when you are in the middle of a roux.

Just to second, once again, that bit of advice. The stuff ain't just as hot as frying oil can get; it also bonds to whatever it hits, especially skin. It's bad news.

So, if one is inclined to find jarred roux, where would one find it? Especially in a place like southern California?

Not that I would use it but if I need that option, I want to know where I might look. I am thinking of joining this project.

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I knew that there was a way to serve gumbo for breakfast!  :wub:

That is exactly what we did. The guys were over for the weekend and we had had gumbo the day before. This was served with biscuits . . . oh my. :shock:

So, if one is inclined to find jarred roux, where would one find it? Especially in a place like southern California?

Not that I would use it but if I need that option, I want to know where I might look.  I am thinking of joining this project.

I find jarred roux on the very bottom shelf in the spice area of the grocery. I use it. It is darned handy when you aren't prepared to go whole hog with making your own and quenching veggies and such. You can still make a darned fine gumbo using it as you would any other thickener.

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Gross-out alert:
for novices, a couple of pointers. Take up the offer of the jar roux if you have young children. You cannot break up a fight or wipe up blood when you are in the middle of a roux.

Just to second, once again, that bit of advice. The stuff ain't just as hot as frying oil can get; it also bonds to whatever it hits, especially skin. It's bad news.

.

In Paul Prudhomme's kitchen, where many of my friends have worked (and enjoyed working) over the years, they call it Cajun Napalm. The stuff hurts. Really. Really bad. Takes the skin right off.

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Hmmm.... I'm a bit afraid that some people are going to bail on our gumbo cook-off because of all of this fear-mongering. Since I contributed to it greatly, I would like to say the following:

If you are on eGullet and thus, presumably, know how to use a sharp knife, how to open a pot of boiling water, how to take something out of a 500F oven, and so on, safely, you probably possess the ability to stir a pot with really hot shit in it for 30 minutes. N'cest pas?

So go for it! Just be careful, give yourself plenty of time, have your trinity meez nearby, make sure that the dog/kid/Tonka truck/ball bearings aren't underfoot, and put a Dixie on ice for the instant you're done.

Besides, if you get a burn, you'll have a wicked cool scar and can post on the "I will never again..." thread.

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A wise post indeed, chrisamirault. There are some great safety tips here and they should be recognized. But if we get so risk averse that we won't make gumbo, well . . . we should go back to our caves and gnaw on that raw haunch. :laugh: Like frying turkeys, it can be done safely as long as you know what you are dealing with.

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I'm looking forward to this one! Hot grease and flour, knives and meat... what more could a girl ask for? Won't be able to get started until this weekend though. The anticipation will only make the gumbo sweeter.

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