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Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3


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carbquick bake mix. Oy.

Italian sausage. Double oy.

Whatever floats yer boat, cuz. If you like it, more power to ya. If you don't, you can't say you don't like gumbo, because you stretched the boundaries of what could be called roux, therefore completely missing the essence of the dish.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Carbquick bake mix is a baking mix made from enzyme modified wheat flour that has only around 8 net carbs per cup, and tons of flour. It works in 90% or recipes 90% like bisquick, so I figured it was worth a shot. As for the Italian sausages, like I said before, it was what I had around.

On with the progress:

The veggies when they were cooked down:

down.jpg

I did chop fairly big, for a couple reasons: this will be served sans rice, so I wanted a decent mouthfeel, also, I suck with a knife, and I didn't want to cut myself. They cooked down pretty well, I assure you, there is plenty of bell pepper and celery in there.

Once the veggies were down I added the sausage back in, a can of chopped tomatoes, and the spice mix:

spic.jpg

Spices included cayenne pepper (the bright red stuff), garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dried basil, thyme, tarragon, mustard powder, white pepper, chili powder, and celery salt. There might also be something else in that photo I forgot. Also present, but not pictured, is about two tablespoons of fresh ground black pepper (my pepper grinder is on the fritz so I had to use my spice grinder for it).

Let this all simmer for around an hour or so, then served it up:

gumbo.jpg

My oh my, very tasty stuff. The okra and the little bit of roux made it nice and thick, but not too thick. There was no burnt taste, the veggies still had a little bith of toothiness to them, which I liked, and the okra added lots of great flavor. The spice mix was enough to make it flavorful without overpowering I think. I can be a bit heavy handed with cayenne on occasion, and I wanted to avoid that this time, which I think I accomplished. Anyway, the finished product, my roomate and I both quite enjoyed.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Dude, if it got to that state in a minute and a half, you burned it. Dump that horrible mess out and start over. Chop yo veggies up again, yankee!

Carbquick bake mix? What the hell kind of a communist tree hugger roux base is that? Flour man, Flour!

THE MADNESS! THE MADNESS!

This is amazing.

1. I don't think that I have ever made a roux in under 30 minutes. 1 1/2 minutes is Guiness BOR material.

2. "Roux Smells burnt". Yeah - It no doubt is.

3. Veggies look a little chunky - Take the easy way out - Throw them in a processor.

4. Carbquik - This is even more amazing - All you ever wanted to know can be found here

But, as someone else said "Whatever floats your boat".

Let's seriously get back to Gumbo. I have not made it for quite some time and this thread has really inspired me. It's on my agenda for the weekend.

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Dude, if it got to that state in a minute and a half, you burned it. Dump that horrible mess out and start over. Chop yo veggies up again, yankee!

Carbquick bake mix? What the hell kind of a communist tree hugger roux base is that? Flour man, Flour!

THE MADNESS! THE MADNESS!

oh my, oh dear, oh my

I fear that the reputation of gumbo is on the line. I have no idea what is in that bake mix stuff but it ain't makin' a roux.

Why worry about carbs in gumbo? If you do a dark roux you can't have much carbs left. I don't get 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

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I fear that the reputation of gumbo is on the line. I have no idea what is in that bake mix stuff but it ain't makin' a roux.

Why worry about carbs in gumbo? If you do a dark roux you can't have much carbs left. I don't get it.

Well, I'm not sure how it tastes compared to a traditional flour roux, but it tasted pretty damn good, so I'm not worried.

There was a discussion a bit back about whether or not making a dark roux actually causes a reduction in carbs or not, and I think the end result was that unless you carbonize (burn) the flour, the carbs are there, just cooked, so, they would still count. Either way, if pressed with the choice to have to not have gumbo, or to adapt the gumbo so that it fits the way I eat, I will adapt ;). When the adapted recipes actually work, so much the better.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Well, my first seafood gumbo from scratch is a done deal. I hate to brag...bullsh*t, I don't hate to brag at all :raz: ... it was wonderful. I started with the recipe from gumbopages with most of the quantities reduced by almost a factor of four (except the roux) and incorporated several suggestions and modifications from eg members. Here's what the finished product looked like...after I had eaten two generous servings (first meal of the day :biggrin:). The pot is a 5 Qt LC, just to give you an idea of the scale.

gallery_11476_774_414.jpg

I used 1/3 cup each of AP flour and peanut oil and cooked the roux for 30 minutes or so, and suspect it was darker than the original recipe called for. It was what I'd call a little darker than peanut butter. Although the recipe calls for less, that is certainly not too much roux IMHO, and a bit more might not have hurt either. Then I pitched in the mise and it cooled down very quickly. From there on in, it was pretty much standard. Add tomatoes and a little tomato purée: simmer; add seasonings: simmer; then the okra (yum) for another 10 minutes, then the homemade shrimp stock and let the whole thing simmer for 30 minutes while I made the white rice. Shrimp in for last 10 minutes, then oysters for last 5, then lump crab just long enough to heat through. By this time the whole kitchen smelled like I had died and gone to heaven :biggrin:. Ate one serving, and it tasted so good I decided to have another :biggrin:. The picture above is the leftovers. It was sooo good, I'm debating now whether I'll make it again this week or not. When my wife got home, I gave her a taste and she said "That's really good." That was the trial by fire, because she is much more picky about seafood than I, so that was the crowning glory :raz:. All in all, a really great day in my culinary life, and my thanks to all for the great suggestions.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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That picture is shoving me toward getting some shrimp and crab to pair with the andouille I bought. My gosh that looks good. I really like the roux color. Thanks for reporting on the roux proportions. It is always a good thing to have one's suspicions confirmed.

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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I love reading all the varieties. Beautiful Hwilson. (great pot! :wink: ) I also appreciate the recipe link.

So tomatoes are optional. Would oven roasted canned tomatoes work if you happen to live in a place where fresh ones taste like sneakers this time of the year? Do the tomatoes and okra belong together or can I use one without the other?

(I'm not dissing okra by the way, just can't find it any way other than breaded and frozen here in the winter.)

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Cusina . . . Just do what floats your boat. :biggrin:

Tomatoes are always optional. They are a natural pairing with okra. I am not crazy about okra so I will leave that out. I have seen bags of it in the frozen food section, though. I like seafood gumbo both with and without tomatoes. I just think that this time around I am in the mood for the tomato. I almost always use canned tomato products. Unless someone gives me some out of their garden, I am not inclined to do all of that skinning and deseeding. If you are starting with mediocre store tomatoes it is a lot of work for an end result that is inferior to a decent canned product, IMHO.

Here is something I have never thought about . . . I normally add tomatoes after I add the stock. Now I am wondering what will happen if I add drained diced tomatoes along with the trinity to quench the roux. Will that add some "toastiness" to the tomatoes? My roux for this gumbo won't be the really dark stuff. I will be aiming for a color about like hwilson41's so it won't be quite as hot as the really dark stuff I use for chicken and sausage but I think it will still be pretty hot.

Oddly enough, surveying recipes in my admittedly paltry book collection, I can't find one with tomato. :blink: It has been a while since I used tomato and I probably just added until it "looked right." Any suggestions out there how much "petite diced" tomato would be about right for a 2:1:1 (in cups) trinity? I really can't tell from the linked recipe.

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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That picture is shoving me toward getting some shrimp and crab to pair with the andouille I bought. My gosh that looks good. I really like the roux color. Thanks for reporting on the roux proportions. It is always a good thing to have one's suspicions confirmed.

Your suspicions were spot on, and thanks for confirming them for me. I thought the proportions in the original recipe looked a little skimpy too. I still don't think 1/2 cup of oil and flour would be too much, even in a reduced recipe. The gumbo was fairly thick, given the okra and the roux, but no thicker than some of the other stews I make.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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linda-

the actual phrasing a la po-town is "oh dear, oh my, oh gollygosh."

cusina-

can you get pickled okra? it is my favorite. (especially when the okra is gone i drink the pickling brine :rolleyes: - hangs head). you can add them to the gumbo but remember to hold some out for garnishing.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Tomatoes are always optional. They are a natural pairing with okra....

I almost always use canned tomato products. Unless someone gives me some out of their garden, I am not inclined to do all of that skinning and deseeding. If you are starting with mediocre store tomatoes it is a lot of work for an end result that is inferior to a decent canned product, IMHO.

Ditto from me. Our store tomatoes this time of year are pink cardboard, so I bought a can of Furmano's diced tomatoes (sans Italian spices) and a can of their tomato purée. Both are quite good, and far better than Hunt's or any other of the usual store brands I've tried.

Here is something I have never thought about . . . I normally add tomatoes after I add the stock. Now I am wondering what will happen if I add drained diced tomatoes along with the trinity to quench the roux. Will that add some "toastiness" to the tomatoes? My roux for this gumbo won't be the really dark stuff. I will be aiming for a color about like hwilson41's so it won't be as quite as hot as the really dark stuff I use for chicken and sausage but I think it will still be pretty hot.

Oddly enough, surveying recipes in my admittedly paltry book collection, I can't find one with tomato. :blink: It has been a while since I used tomato and I probably just added until it "looked right." Any suggestions out there how much "petite diced" tomato would be about right for a 2:1:1 (in cups) trinity? I really can't tell from the linked recipe.

The recipe suggests quenching the roux with the trinity, then simmering until the onions are soft, then adding the tomatoes. Then simmer again, then add okra, simmer again, etc. How important that sequence is, I haven't a clue :wacko:.

Re amount of tomatoes, I just went with a SWAG, figuring that 4 seeded and diced tomatoes should make about 1 1/2 cups, so I put about 1/2 cup of tomatoes in and added purée until it looked right to me :blink:. Since I've not done it the other way around with seafood, I have no idea what reversing the order would be. For comparison, I went with the 2:1:1 proportion you suggested on the trinity (same proportions I've used for years in jambalaya), and that started with 3/4 cup or so of onion, etc. So bottom line, probably a shade less of tomato than onion, but not by much.

And thanks to all for the kind words. It was fun making the gumbo, and really fun eating it :raz:.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Your suspicions were spot on, and thanks for confirming them for me.  I thought the proportions in the original recipe looked a little skimpy too.  I still don't think 1/2 cup of oil and flour would be too much, even in a reduced recipe.  The gumbo was fairly thick, given the okra and the roux, but no thicker than some of the other stews I make.

THW

I am trying to figure out porportions here myself. I am going to have to make a roux since there is no jarred roux in any store here in southern CA. It must be a regional thang. :wink:

I am thinking of making Fifi's recipe, but I don't think I need to make the full amount, as it is just me, and I have NO freezer space. Do you think it would be safe to make only half the roux amount and halve the other ingredients?

And to the posters above who were commenting about making the roux really fast: Paul Prudhomme does a really fast roux, over very high heat. It is usually made within a very few minutes. I did it myself many years ago, when I first got his book,and it goes incredibly quickly, almost too quickly.

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Tonight i will be making a chicken and sausage gumbo as follows loosely based on Eula Mae,s recipe from Cajun Kitchen,although her,s is a sausage and shrimp and for a serving of 8 she only calls for 2TBL oil and flour(sounds like to little to me)the ingredient list

Peanut Oil

A.P. Flour

Spanish Onion

Green Bell Pepper

Celery

garlic

Andouille

Chicken

Chicken Stock

Okra

salt and pepper

cayenne

green onion

bay leave

and rice for accompaniment

Will report later

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Regarding tomatoes in gumbo. It's not usually done in the Cajun tradition, but it is sometimes done in Nawlins.

Actually, if you added more tomatoes, some peas, and got really aggressive with the spices, you really have a sauce piquant. Which is a different thread. Tasty, but different. It's served more like a gravy over rice. Before anyone gets any bright ideas, ahem - There is no okra in sauce piquante. Repeat. No okra in sauce piquant. It's not an option, and I've never ever ever seen it done. Anywhwere.

The roux rules. Versatile stuff, this.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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You can always halve a recipe like gumbo. It is very flexible.

I have never had the guts to try Prudhomme's fast roux technique. I guess I just like the process and smelling the nuttiness develop.

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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And I just reminded myself of something. You can make roux in a microwave. It takes between 6-8 minutes, more or less, depending on your nuker. If you don't walk away, and stir it every minute or so, you can have a decent roux. Just a warning for those wanting to try this. It goes from light brown to burnt in about 30 seconds. You have to watch closely. Use a pyrex dish, and have the mise ready just like the other version. Again, the only thing that will stop the cooking process of the roux is the addition of lots of liquid.

Today, I am sick as a dog, and gumbo sounds like it would hit the spot, but I can't stand over a pot for 30 minutes. I may try the microwave version.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Artisan, I cut Fifi's recipe roughly in half. 1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup oil worked very well in a 5 qt. pan. The larger pan and the steep sides kept things from splashing while I was stirring.

Suzi, I've never looked for pickled okra. I'll have to keep my eyes open for it. Not sure about drinking the juice though :laugh:

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Artisan, I cut Fifi's recipe roughly in half.  1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup oil worked very well in a 5 qt. pan.  The larger pan and the steep sides kept things from splashing while I was stirring.

Suzi, I've never looked for pickled okra.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for it.  Not sure about drinking the juice though :laugh:

And gumbo freezes well, especially the sausage and chicken.

Fistfularoux...I'm sick too, flu. (that's funny...too much cough medicine!)

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Regarding tomatoes in gumbo. It's not usually done in the Cajun tradition, but it is sometimes done in Nawlins.

Fist, that's my opinion, too, that tomatoes are more of a Creole tradition than a Cajun tradition, with the exception of shrimp and okra gumbo. Do you have tomatoes in that one?

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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I have made both the 'fast' roux and a traditional one, and I like the whole stirring and waiting process (not to mention the beer part :shock: ), so I usually go for the traditional, longer process. I can detect no taste difference.

I add one 16 oz. can of tomatoes for a medium pot (1 cup each flour and oil) of roux, and I use the petite dice. Why should I cut up canned tomatoes if someone else will??? I have never added any other type of tomato product. To me, that would make it more like a Creole, or a sauce piquant or tomato soup. Not Gumbo. But that's just me.

The smallest amount of roux for gumbo I've made is 1/2 c. each oil and flour, and I've never had a problem. The way I look at it, if I'm going to spend the time to cut up the trinity, make roux, debone chicken, and all the other steps that go into gumbo, I'm surely going to make it worth my while, and make enough for several meals, or to give away.

Stop Family Violence

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Here is something I have never thought about . . . I normally add tomatoes after I add the stock. Now I am wondering what will happen if I add drained diced tomatoes along with the trinity to quench the roux. Will that add some "toastiness" to the tomatoes?

I don't think I would add them with the trinity. You're adding the trinity to cool the roux down but to also cook/soften the veggies, something you don't really need to do to tomatoes unless you're looking to make ketchup.

Talk about cosmic timing...on today's "Essence of Emeril" he made Crawfish Etoufee. He also called it "gumbo" since it was started with a roux. He added his tomatoes when the stock was added. The final dish didn't look very thick even though he had added a slurry to the pot.

Is gumbo soup-like in consistency or stew-like?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Dim Sim, did you figure out the ImageGullet thing for your pictures?  Just click the ImageGullet thing at the top of the page and download... you can even download more than one picture at a time to your album.  Then, copy the tag.  Hit the IMG button in your reply and paste the tag into that box.

Hi Cusina, thanks for the tips, I manage to get halfway there, the photos is in my album , that is as far as I got, I have problem attaching to my post, I don't understand what tag is , and how it works, until I work it out, you will have to go to my album to have a look. you gumbo looks delicious.

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Here is something I have never thought about . . . I normally add tomatoes after I add the stock. Now I am wondering what will happen if I add drained diced tomatoes along with the trinity to quench the roux. Will that add some "toastiness" to the tomatoes?

I don't think I would add them with the trinity. You're adding the trinity to cool the roux down but to also cook/soften the veggies, something you don't really need to do to tomatoes unless you're looking to make ketchup.

Talk about cosmic timing...on today's "Essence of Emeril" he made Crawfish Etoufee. He also called it "gumbo" since it was started with a roux. He added his tomatoes when the stock was added. The final dish didn't look very thick even though he had added a slurry to the pot.

Is gumbo soup-like in consistency or stew-like?

soup. etouffee is stew like, so is (my) creole.

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      A few things that we can discuss, photograph, and share include:
      -- the spice mixture: If you've never toasted your own spices, then you have a world of aromatic wonder ahead. I'm sure many people can share their ingredients, ratios, and toasting tips for curry powders that will blow away the garbage in your grocery's "spice" aisle. We can also have the ground vs. whole debate, if there are takers!
      -- the paste: many curry dishes involve frying a blended paste of onion, garlic, and/or ginger, along with the spices, in oil or ghee (clarified butter). I found that learning how to cook that paste -- which requires the same sort of patience demanded by roux -- was the key to making a deep, rich curry.
      -- accompaniments: rice dishes or bread (I have a pretty good naan recipe that I'd be glad to try out again).
      Here are a couple of related eGullet threads:
      lamb kangari
      a lamb and goat thread
      If anyone finds more, post 'em!
      So: find yourself a leg of lamb to bone, sharpen your knives, and get ready to update your spice drawer!
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