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Gumbo -- Cook-Off 3


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highcef and fistfulla - i was sent home from work as being "contagious"(head cold).

i have been sucking down theraflu and zicam so don't want anything but some grapefruit juice and seltzer.

to "stir the pot" so to speak. in cooking light they talk about toasting the flour in the oven - minus any fat- for an hour at 300 degrees or so. any thoughts

ducks from incoming southern missles

(hey guys my southerly credentials are one year in hooks, tx - and working in texarkana public liberry :wink: )

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I will share with you what I learned about the term "Creole" when I read Robb Walsh's Are You Really Going to Eat That? about a year ago. The "Creole Country" chapter was really an eye opener. It gets really complicated but there are really two kinds of "Creole." To simplify, there is the New Orleans definition of sophisticated city food . . .

--essentially classical French cooking adapted to New World and Spanish ingredients by African cooks. Heavy on the seafood, gumbos with tomato, rich, elegant quasi-European stuff.

Then there is a different group of free folks of color, French speaking, that gathered in New Orleans and in the bayou country. Their cuisine is more rustic but I take it that the gumbo might have tomato as well.

Then there is another group . . . Oh rats! I am getting a headache. The whole thing is a lot more complicated than I thought all of these years. Get the book. It is worth it for that chapter alone. (Although the rest of it is pretty darned entertaining and informative as well.)

So, that settles it. I am going to put tomato in this batch and I will call it "Fifi's Creole Seafood Gumbo" and I will let the anthropologists figure out which Creole I mean. Then when they find out that it was developed by a Texan of Germanic heritage their heads will explode. :raz:

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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Waiul....

I'm going for it. I'm making chicken and andouille gumbo. Using the last of the freezer stash of andouille.

Please note a couple of things. 1) My wife has somehow misplaced our digital camera. rrrr. I'll be working with a disposable thingy. Pictures should be available by tomorrow. 2) I'm not up to waiting for a roux. So I'm cheating. Tony Chacerie's instant. It'll have to do.

Pics and report to follow.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Suzi..........Suzi. Suzi.

That's a dry roux, but remember if you're follow low carb, you'd rather have the fat!..then you wouldn't have a roux at all! Which is pretty much what you don't have with a dry 'roux' anyway.

sore throat, cough, fever. theraflu sounds good to me too.

not following low carb(since i used rendered duck fat for my roux). just interested in what others thought and why and how this might have been developed.

poor baby - i only have a slight fever, sneezing and a ticklish throat(probably post nasal drip). time for a whiskey and tea!!

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Wow! This is amazing stuff! I'm so impressed with just about everyone's gumbo. (Yeah, I gotta say, italian sausage and low-carb "flour" roux doesn't float my boat.) A few thoughts:

Isn't the aroma amazing? I think that nearly everyone has mentioned this. In the favorite smells thread, I listed the trinity hitting the roux as mine. Now I think some of you gumbo newbies know what I mean!

New question . . . I think it may have been mentioned up-thread but I have to ask, have you ever used fish or been served gumbo with fish in it?

Thanks Fifi; I'm wondering this myself. I brought fish up in the initial post of this thread. I can't get decent crab meat here and I won't use bad crab meat -- the first time I had dungeness crab in Newport, Oregon the scales were lifted -- so I like to add a meaty fish like monkfish to my shrimp gumbo. (My partner won't eat oysters, and, yes, I have seriously considered a shellfish reeducation program as a condition of continued cohabitation....)

So, what do y'all think?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Regarding fish - I haven't, and I wouldn't. Once again, I'm speaking for myself. Oysters, crab, and shrimp - absolutely.

And I also take back everything I said about instant roux. If you handle it right, it's pretty good. Not quite like the traditional, but darn fine stuff. At least it's another method added to the proceedings.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I've had gumbo in restaurants which included catfish. It was o.k. but the fish seemed a little dry and less flavorful compared to a chicken and sausage gumbo. I guess, not that I'm an expert by any means, you would need to do some tinkering to get the texture and flavor right.

And yes, the aroma is awesome. I had a house full of painters the afternoon I made it and they all commented. Even the next day the house still smelled delicious.

Edited by Cusina (log)

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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Regarding fish - I haven't, and I wouldn't. Once again, I'm speaking for myself. Oysters, crab, and shrimp - absolutely.

Hmmm.... One advantage to good crabmeat (again, rare in these parts) is that it doesn't really dry out the way that fish can if you're not careful. Is that the reason you're so adamant, FFR, or another, or do you just feel like fish is a bastardization?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I made my gumbo and it turned out friggin fantastic,post pics over the week-end as i to used an instant,here is my recipe

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo(Tourist Edition ) :raz:

1 1/2 lb. Cooked and Lg. Dice Chicken(i used breasts)

13 oz.Andouille Sausage,slice 1/2 in thick

1 1/2 spanish onion,lg. dice

3 ribs celery,lg.dice

1 lg. green pepper,lg. dice

1 lb. okra sliced 1/2 in.

1/2 cup green onion,green part only

2 cloves garlic,minced

1/2 cup peanut oil

1/2 cup A.P. Flour

3 pints chicken stock

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Method----------------------------------

cook chicken,dice and set aside

saute sausage till nicely browned,remove

add oil to pot,add flour and be prepared to stir,it took mine exactly 27 minutes to reach the "chocolate" stage

add onions,bell peppers, celery garlic, okra,add cayenne,stir constantly for 7 minutes till onions turn opaque

add chicken stock,bring to a boil,drop to a simmer

add chicken,sausage and green onions,simmer for 15 minutes,season to taste with salt and pepper,serve over rice,the consistency of this gumbo was between a soup and a stew,perfect in my opinion

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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I think dry roux evolved through the low fat craze...kinda like we got that low carb roux mentioned above.

Fish in gumbo..well I'll put it in Sauce Picante, and I'll smother it, and I've had fish stew. I don't think it's used too much in gumbo though because it has too much of a fishy flavor. I know that doesn't make sense, but it's another class of seafood. If I did fish in a gumbo, it'd be a bullaiabise (I know, my spelling sucks). The crab meat and shrimp don't compete with each other, nor oysters. Fish would kind of give it a whole other flavor, but with out a roux in there it'd probably be great.

Edited by highchef (log)
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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.

I, of course, have all the guts I need. Cajun Napalm is now my preferred method. It works great. Just make sure that you have the veg ready to go in at the instant it gets dark enough and be prepared to blow it and burn the stuff up every once in a while. Other than that, I love it.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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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.

I, of course, have all the guts I need. Cajun Napalm is now my preferred method. It works great. Just make sure that you have the veg ready to go in at the instant it gets dark enough and be prepared to blow it and burn the stuff up every once in a while. Other than that, I love it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . And you wield your okra sword high. :raz::laugh::laugh:

OK . . . One of these days I will try it.

In the mean time . . .

As to the fish question, keep in mind that both times I have done it and eaten it I was dealing with very fresh (or fresh processed), firm fleshed cubes of fish. I am really leary of anything like catfish that may break up. I suppose the same could be said of speckled trout and redfish. I don't know about snapper. Perhaps one of those big 30 pounders that I liked to boat could be coaxed into service but I never tried it.

I am not an oyster fan, of any sort. It is just one of those things.

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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Regarding fish - I haven't, and I wouldn't. Once again, I'm speaking for myself. Oysters, crab, and shrimp - absolutely.

Hmmm.... One advantage to good crabmeat (again, rare in these parts) is that it doesn't really dry out the way that fish can if you're not careful. Is that the reason you're so adamant, FFR, or another, or do you just feel like fish is a bastardization?

I grew up on the stuff, had it at least once a week during the winter, and often during the summer. I've never had it with fish, and I can't think of a way that it would make a better gumbo than traditional ingredients. That's not to say that fish has never been added to gumbo. Same with crawfish. I think the delicate flavors of most fish, other than crab, shrimp, and oysters is wasted. It wouldn't reheat well. I think that the flaky texture of cooked fish takes away from the dish, and makes it easier to screw up. Crawfish is too strong of a flavor, and does not play well with roux.

It's back to what I said before about not being sure about authenticity vs. the sprit of the dish. I know what I grew up with. I also realize that not many people grew up that way. It's like if you are from Italy and visiting America, then someone takes you to Olive Garden. If you order something there, you'll get the Americanized version of it, certainly not the way Mama made it.

My way, learned it at my grandmother's knee, is without fish, and I'll try to steer people away from it. But, yet again, whatever floats yer boat...

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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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.

I, of course, have all the guts I need. Cajun Napalm is now my preferred method. It works great. Just make sure that you have the veg ready to go in at the instant it gets dark enough and be prepared to blow it and burn the stuff up every once in a while. Other than that, I love it.

I agree. This is the way that I've done it since I started making gumbo from Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. It's one of those methods that absolutely demands perfect meez prep, but it's a thrill to have it all come together so quickly. Having said that, it's also nice to do it slowly and watch that color and flavor come ease on through....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Second go

thank you cusina for your help on posting shots, here we go

gallery_24371_776_169319.jpg

all the ingredients, I used the smoked chorizo sausage, which went nicely, not too much paprika, I simmered the chicken for about half an hour , and I used the cooking liguid as stock for the gumbo

gallery_24371_776_167876.jpg

making the roux, looks like everyone bring out their LC when making gumbo, mine is 7 1/4 Q, about to put in the trinity

gallery_24371_776_495847.jpg

trinity in, stir like mad,

gallery_24371_776_174944.jpg

meanwhile in the fry pan , brown the sausage note the coarse texture (and okra, not shown)a trick I learnt from Brooks,

gallery_24371_776_203574.jpg

finished product, sorry about the lighting, those damn rangehood light makes everything looks yellow.

gallery_24371_776_210034.jpg

ready to eat, serve in the style a la Brooks :laugh:

gallery_24371_776_229956.jpg

one in the natural outdoor Australian light.

And it was yummy, it wasn't bitter at all despite the dark colour of the roux, I think I made a bit too much, there is still some in the freezer for those lazy night when I don't feel like cooking. :wink:

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All gone. No troubles.

That's a great looking pot of gumbo. And those shrimp! I live here in shrimp land and I would be pretty happy with those devils. If you don't mind my asking, what would those go for (I am kinda guessing that they are roughly 16-20's, but they might be a bit larger)?

Nice work!

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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All gone. No troubles.

That's a great looking pot of gumbo. And those shrimp! I live here in shrimp land and I would be pretty happy with those devils. If you don't mind my asking, what would those go for (I am kinda guessing that they are roughly 16-20's, but they might be a bit larger)?

Nice work!

thanks,

I supposed your "16-20's" means the size of shrimp, am I right ? we don't have a strict grading here, and we refer to it as prawn, shrimp often refers to smaller veriaty.(despite what Paul Hogan said in the film Crocodile Dundee :laugh: )

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That's 16 to 20 shrimp per POUND. Not one of those crazy metric things that nobody understands. :raz::laugh:

I believe that would work out to something like 35.3 - 44 per kilo. What a crazy way to measure stuff. How did they ever come up with that? Sheesh. :laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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HIgh fives to Dim Sim.

*happy dance*

Totally amazing. Spreading the gumbo love around the globe. That roux and the shot after adding the trinity is a feast for the eyes. As you were there, you know what a treat it was for the nose. It is an unforgettable aroma. Wowser.

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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HIgh fives to Dim Sim.

*happy dance*

Totally amazing. Spreading the gumbo love around the globe. That roux and the shot after adding the trinity is a feast for the eyes. As you were there, you know what a treat it was for the nose. It is an unforgettable aroma. Wowser.

Thanks Fifi, the smell was amazing, it just keep building up, than in go the trinity, that is my favourite moment when making gumbo(I think someone else mentioned it too,Chrisamirault ?) , all the steam and the smell, it is unmistakely gumbo, I was wondering if you guys/gals in the US get good Cajun food outside Louisana ? city far far away like NY or Chicago etc..........

Brooks, I am not too sure if this help..........there is 1/2 kilogram /1 lb of prawns in that bowl. I can't remember roughly how many were in it. .........sorry.

Edited by Dim Sim (log)
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I was wondering if you guys/gals in the US get good Cajun food outside Louisana ?  city far far away like NY or Chicago etc..........

Beautiful, beautiful job on the gumbo Dim Sim :biggrin:. Re getting real Cajun or Nawlins food outside Louisiana, I'm an expat Texan and now live about 20 miles outside DC, and you can buy just about anything you can pay for around here, probably second only to NYC area. There is a lot of stuff being sold that is called andouille, but it doesn't resemble very closely the sausage I get from Jacob's in LaPlace. Some of it isn't even smoked, and I doubt the folks making it ever tasted the real thing. Brooks put me on to Jacob's, and it is very, very good, and very coarsely ground. I have a shipment of andouille and tasso due in from them today, and I'm going to post a picture of the andouille uncased to answer a question that came up earlier in this thread. So I guess the short answer is "no", at least not around here. I'm guessing you probably can get the real thing in NYC, but don't really know. Again, great job on the gumbo (but I'll leave the happy dance to Fifi :raz:).

THW

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

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Gorgeous Dim Sim, I'm glad you perservered with the pictures. :smile:

We polished off our leftovers last night and they did indeed taste delicious after melding for a few days.

No good cajun around here (North Eastern Wisconsin). There used to be one spot with good stuff. Unfortunately, the lead chef was a notorious drunk. It did well for a while but it finally folded. I was sad about it. Good cajun food is a great thing to warm up a cold 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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Jacob's andouille (that's where I order mine too) doesn't really have a "ground" texture.  It's more like little chunks of ham, cut into small pieces and slammed together in the beef casing.  Very, very good IMHO, and Mayhaw assured me that it is the "real" thing.

OK, the shipment from Jacob's arrived. Here are two pics of what their andouille looks like. First, the whole enchilada (one of five).

gallery_11476_774_58108.jpg

For reference, that ruler is 15" long. The sausage smells even better than it looks. Here's a shot of a few slices.

gallery_11476_774_46913.jpg

This one's a little fuzzy, but hopefully you can see that these are made up of quite large pieces of meat. Not much fat, as sausage goes, but very, very flavorful. One pound of this will disappear in tonight's shrimp and sausage jambalaya :laugh:. Speaking of which, I need to go buy some shrimp.

THW

Note to Rachel: The andouille's in the mail. Be sure to watch for the postman :raz:.

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

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Looks really good hwilson!!!i used Aidells in mine and to be honest it was only just ok,not at all extraordinary like that looks,could you show a pic of the Tasso??thanks

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Re "cajun seasoning" The "Gumbo Goddess" recipe above just says add your favorite, but i've never played with any, so what are some good mixes that aren't so hot they'll kill me? (think 2 star in the Thai range)

I don't want my epitaph to read "gunned down by Gumbo" :raz: but I do want it to taste good...

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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