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How do you Gumbo? - Page 2

post #31 of 54
I normally have no argument with using weight, Pete, particularly when baking.
However, the traditional roux is made with equal parts by volume of flour and oil.

>The "darker" the roux, the less the "thickening power",<

While this is true, it isn't a function of how much oil. The longer flour is cooked the more of its thickening power it loses. You could cook the flour dry until it turned a deep brown and it's thickening ability at that point would be no different than if you cooked it as a roux. In fact, you can buy so-called "dry roux" in jars. But that's all it is.

This is one reason okra and file' are used with gumbos. By the time the roux has turned the deep coffee color you want for color and flavor the flour has lost much of it's thickening ability. So the result is sort of a heavy soup rather than, say, sauce like. The okra or file' then thickens it a bit further. And the rice, of course, adds additional body.

ChefBillyB: Is it possible you worked at too high a temperature? Or maybe not stirred it often enough?

I've had my roux not thicken once or twice, but only when I tried rushing it with higher heat. I've been told that doing that cooks out the flour too quickly. My normal procedure is to start with one cup of flour and one cup of oil in a cast iron kettle over very low heat. When I learned this technique in the Louisiana swamps they told me if it takes less than an hour I was cooking it too fast. Usually it's more like 45 minutes or a hair more.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #32 of 54
Hi, and thanks for the response.......I cooked it on medium heat. This only happened to me twice also.......... This is the only dish I make that I make the Roux and then dump in the other ingredients............When I thicken everything else its always the other way around.........................When I started making the Roux I thought to myself that the amount of flour didn't look like it was enough........I know when I talk to people about making Gumbo they always use a bit more flour than oil..........It makes me mad when it doesn't turn out the way it should, The quality of the Roux makes the dish...Thanks for the help.............Bill
post #33 of 54
When I make dark and or very dark roux for gumbo, I work on high heat. It takes constant stirring, shaking of pan, and working; but the roux always comes out fine and does what it is supposed to do. In a restaurant setting, I can't generally justify to myself spending a hour or so making a roux when it is not necessary to do so.

Early on I used to stick to the 1/1 ratio on roux, but now days I trust my eye when making a roux because I find that flour can fluctuate with things like humidity, etc.

However, when I make a roux using the high heat method I return to the 1/1 ratio because trying to add flour doesn't work well with the speed required in moving my hands for whisking and shaking the pan, not to mention the extremely high heat of the roux at this point. If it splashes on your skin, you can see why it is referred to as Cajun napalm.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #34 of 54

Gumbo

Southern Gumbo

Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 quarts water
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup bell pepper, chopped (opt)
meat
1/8 cup celery, chopped (opt)
***to serve:***
1 cup green onion, chopped
rice
1/2 teaspoon file powder





Directions:
In large Gumbo pot, make a roux with oil and flour. You do this by cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture (roux) is a dark caramel color (be very careful here not to scorch the flour). Remove from fire and add remaining ingredients, except 1/2 cup green onions, file', and rice. Boil for about 2 hours, or until meat is tender and gumbo has thickened. In the last 15 minutes of boiling, add reserved green onions.

Remove from fire and add file'.

Cook's Notes: The recipe says this will serve 5-6 but it must mean VERY hungry people since there is plenty when I halve the recipe. Meat to use can include: chicken is good by itself or with sausage or okra, any seafood (except clams), if using shrimp don't add it until the last 20 min of cooking time. This is like a soup that you pour over rice.
Enjoy.....

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #35 of 54
KY I don't want to show you up but Pete was actually correct. Roux traditionally is equal amounts by weight not volume.
_______________________________________
Gumbo In The Pot
How To Make Incredible New Orleans Gumbo
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_______________________________________
Gumbo In The Pot
How To Make Incredible New Orleans Gumbo
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post #36 of 54
I reckon it depends on whose tradition, Eric, and how far back you want to go.

I learned to make gumbo from some Cajun fellas, out in the swamps. They used volume measurements, for their roux, as their fathers and mothers had done before them. Later I would watch folks from Lake Charles to Lafayette, Metarie to Baton Rouge make their own gumbos, and nobody ever weighed ingredients.

Gumbo has been made along the Gulf Coast for near on 300 years. Other than some upscale restuarants, nobody owned a scale. Even today, especially in the backcountry, a scale isn't high on the list of most folks' kitchen needs.

Many---perhps most---modern authorities also use volume measurements. For instance, in Edie Hand & Col. William G. Pauls Cajun and Creole Cooking, they say a roux is made by cooking equal parts flour and oil. Granted, "equal parts" could be ambiguous. But later on they say "the dimensions for making a roux are usually half flour and half oil or shortening. It may be in tablespoons or cups, depending on the size of the dish that you are preparing."

In Cookin' Country Cajun, Bobby Potts starts his recipe for spicy Cajun brown gravy by saying, "Make a roux as follows: use equal amounts of flour and shortening. Add the flour to the hot shortening....."

Indeed, putting aside direct observation, I can't recall ever seeing directions for a roux that said to weigh the ingredients.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #37 of 54
Being from Louisiana I realize that there are 27,000 ways to make gumbo. Which also means that many people make roux different ways. However, roux has been around a lot longer than gumbo so I hardly think that a bunch of cajuns invented roux. I personally learned to make roux in 20 pound batches at a time so the easiest way to do that is to eye it up. But when I go tossing out information to people I believe it is best to give the correct information, not what T-bob and Jeanfreau from down on the river said. You should check a real cookbook like Escoffier for the recipe on roux. And if you want something a little more recent Alton Brown did a show on gumbo and his words were "a common misconception people have is that roux is made with equal parts of flour and fat by volume. When in fact it should be equal parts by weight."

"Quantities for making about One lb.-Eight oz. of clarified butter, nine oz. of best quality flour" Page 16 Escoffier Cook Book
Since this recipe is for one pound of roux I'd bet that those are weight ounces he was talking about.

That being said you can make your roux however you want. As long as the gumbo you make it for tastes good than it really doesn't matter. But I still believe Pete was right. I still am not trying to throw you under the bus, but since you took the time to quote some literature I felt the need to let you know where I get my information. Besides being a lifetime resident of New Orleans, the city where gumbo was born.

And just for fun look up roux on Wikipedia.
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Gumbo In The Pot
How To Make Incredible New Orleans Gumbo
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Gumbo In The Pot
How To Make Incredible New Orleans Gumbo
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post #38 of 54
Tomorrows roux for the chicken wild rice soup is going to be chicken fat based :lol:
post #39 of 54
Greetings. I just joined ChefTalk after reading a thread about Gumbo. I'm a fairly accomplished home cook and love the whole stovetop roux process. I even have the patience to let it darken without burning it. My question is, why doesn't it thicken my gumbo more? It's the right color...the finished product tastes great...I just think it should be thicker. It's too 'soupy'. I've had gumbo made by a national champion and I thought his was also soupy. Am I missing something? How thick should gumbo be?
post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 

Welcome Tvjimmac!

 

   I am not an authority on Gumbo, but I do love it!  All variations, all types, every pot!  

 

    The darker you make a roux, the more flavor it has...but it will thicken less.  Likewise, the lighter the roux the less flavor and more thickening power.

 

    How thick should a Gumbo be?  Well, it just depends.  It depends on what type of gumbo, who's making it, what ingredients are on hand and...

 

     ...I always say that you can tell what type of mood someone was in by how developed the roux is for their Gumbo.

 

 

Dan 

post #41 of 54
Thanks for your insight. I guess I have this idea in my head borne out of too few trips to LA that it should be thicker. Having said that, on my last trip to the Baton Rouge area too many years ago, I had gumbo at a restaurant 'famous' for its award-winning gumbo which turned out to be the consistency of a cup of coffee! Guess I need to go back!
post #42 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvjimmac View Post

Thanks for your insight. I guess I have this idea in my head borne out of too few trips to LA that it should be thicker. Having said that, on my last trip to the Baton Rouge area too many years ago, I had gumbo at a restaurant 'famous' for its award-winning gumbo which turned out to be the consistency of a cup of coffee! Guess I need to go back!


   No two bowls of Gumbo are ever the same.  You want it thick, add more roux, add less stock, add okra, use file' powder as a condiment.  Another day you may feel another way...

 

 

 

Enjoy the Gumbo!

 

Dan

 

post #43 of 54

I was just thinking the other day how a nice bowl of something warm would be nice.

I saw this thread and for some reason I couldn't remember my own recipe.  So...

I pulled it out and here's my two cents worth of a "QUICK GUMBO"  (keeping in mind that " I'm just a little Hawaiian, a home sick island gal" and have never been to Louisiana)...

 

Sauté  bell peppers, celery, onions and garlic; stir in tomatoes, chicken, sausage, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves and cayenne.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is done.  Add frozen cut okra and shrimp; simmer until shrimp is done.  Tighten up with WONDRA if necessary. 

 

Aloha Dan!!

post #44 of 54
Thread Starter 

 

 

Hi Kaneohegirlinaz!

 

    Your Gumbo sounds delicious!  I went out for lunch today and had a bowl and I'll be making my own tomorrow.  You can't go wrong with Gumbo!

 

   You mention that you're a little Hawaiian, do you have any recommendations for a huli huli sauce? 

 

Thanks,

  Dan

post #45 of 54

Aloha Dan!

Why yes, yes I am Hawaiian

As for a recipe recommendation for Huli Huli Chicken, why don't post a new (seperate) thread?

Please join me there

post #46 of 54

525

 

I cooked this as business main course at work...Thai gumbo - prawns and mussels cooked in coconut broth (coconut milk, carrot, celery, mango, ginger, chilli). And served it with staranise rice, which I cooked with squid ink. Really tasty thing.

post #47 of 54

That looks lovely!

I can’t eat mussels (allergic), but those Prawns look amazing!! 

I’m not so sure that I would be adventurous enough to try the rice with the squid ink, but anything is possible.

post #48 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Oliver View Post

525

 

I cooked this as business main course at work...Thai gumbo - prawns and mussels cooked in coconut broth (coconut milk, carrot, celery, mango, ginger, chilli). And served it with staranise rice, which I cooked with squid ink. Really tasty thing.


Mmmmmm...looks great Chef Oliver!

 

post #49 of 54

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/52406/how-do-you-gumbo/30#post_377555
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

That looks lovely!

I can’t eat mussels (allergic), but those Prawns look amazing!! 

I’m not so sure that I would be adventurous enough to try the rice with the squid ink, but anything is possible.


Thank you, I have cellphone with quite shitty camera, so pics are not the best, but thank you very much, anyway..:)....Squid ink is almost flavourless, so when I used staranise to infuse rice, you would never feel any squid flavour in it :)

 

post #50 of 54

Thank you :)

post #51 of 54

Heh,you're doing better than me, my cell takes the pix but can't download!!

post #52 of 54

I'm from the NOLA area and my ancestors from the bayous. I'm an old purist and as gumbo is the african word for okra, no "gumbo" in the pot = not gumbo

 

Post Thanksgiving turkey gumbo is nirvana.

 

I have to do a low fat version and make a dry baked whole wheat flour, about the color of a cashew, whisked into stock as a roux thickener. Granted not a true roux but works.

 

Below is the boilerplate recipe. Little more of this, little more of that etc.

 

Second only to gumbo is a roux thicked stew called Sauce Piquante. There was a bar that served Sauce Piquante on Thursday nights out of a huge kettle. Pure spicy delight. Fans of cajun food should try S/P if you have never had it.

 

                                  TURKEY GUMBO
  Serving Size : 2
  Keywords     :                                                     
                                                                     
 
  Qty       Measurement      Preparation           Ingredient
  ---       -----------      -----------           ----------
    1       1.5 liter pyrex bowl       roasted, chopped      turkey

    1       pound                                          turkey or chicken sausage
    2       pounds           cut                   okra
    2       cups             chopped               celery
   1.5      cups            chopped               green bell pepper
    2.5     cups               chopped               onion
   1.5      bunches      chopped               green onion
    6       cloves           chopped               garlic
    5       Tbs                                    Roux flour
    3       16 oz cans                             diced tomatoes
    9       cups                                   turkey stock
    2       Tbs                                    parsley flakes
    1       tsp each         cumin, thyme, salt    creole seasoning
  3/4+      Tbs                                    Cayenne pepper
    1       tsp                                    Poultry magic
    2       large                                  bay leaves
 
  Chop up everything, mix in the roux flour with the stock, thaw the okra
  out and get started.
 
  Sautee sausage until browned  and remove from the pot. Dump in the onions, bell pepper, and celery

  in the same pot and add a little oil if needed for about 5-10 minutes. Dump in the garlic and tomatoes with their liquid and
  stir it up. When that gets percolating pour and stir in the stock,
  seasonings and turkey. Simmer about 10 minutes then dump in the okra and
  parsley. Stir it up and simmer this for about another 15 minutes. Toss in
  the green onions and stir through for 5 minutes. Add a bunch of file' to
  thicken it and eat.
 
  Notes: This stuff seems to improve with age so it is
  better in the subsequent days. Chopping the turkey finely helps improve
  the blending of flavors. The roux amount and file are very approximate, the
  goal is to thicken it to the proper consistency. That is up to the
  individual.
 
  Yields about double+ of the amount of stock used.

 

Jim

post #53 of 54

Turkey?

That sounds REALLY good!

And cumin... the last pot I made (the other day) I was thinking that as I stood in front of my spice cabinet.

Note to self, please remember to pencil that in the margin of your recipe for GUMBO!!!

post #54 of 54

Cumin is real potent so start with a little and work it up. That is a boilerplate and the actual sheet is stained and has various scribbles of changes on it.

 

I don't have my seafood gumbo recipe in electronic form right now.

 

Will post once I do but I do not put cumin in a seafood gumbo as it would overpower the seafood.

 

Jim

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