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Cajun Food Pr0n – Gumbo

DSC_9004 (1600x1060)I always send folks to this page when they ask for a gumbo recipe.  It’s for a chicken and sausage gumbo but easily adapts to whatever meat you have on hand.  The pictured gumbo has the chicken and sausage, plus precooked shrimp and crawfish tails that were added just at the end to warm through.

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Gumbo Pr0n – Shrimp, Andouille, and Crayfish

DSC_8209 (1600x1060)Mmm… gumbo.  I’ve made this often enough that I was able to put this one together without even glancing at a recipe.  We ran across some frozen crayfish tails while were were scouting brisket prices and “we can make gumbo” was the first thing that came to mind.

The general recipe is simple enough:  Chop up up the trinity of onions, celery, and green peppers and keep them ready to go, then start a roux and take it to a color that suits you, stirring all the while.  I use peanut oil instead of butter, use equal parts flour and oil.  A large flat bottom pot and a wooden spatula with a flat tip is the best thing I’ve found for making one although you can do the roux in the oven if you have time.

When the roux is dark enough to suit, stir in the trinity .  Season with your favorite spices.  Give the veggies five minutes or so to wilt then add your stock.  This time I used lamb stock I had on hand but the usual is chicken stock, or shrimp stock.  The lamb stock worked great.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer.

You are nearly home free, now.  Add everything else in its proper time, sausage and chicken can go in early, seafoods go in late.  I put okra in this one but that’s optional.  Mine came frozen and chopped, I added it to the simmering stock early.  It’s said to be a thickener but I really couldn’t say.  Adjust your seasonings and serve it with rice.

Chicken Gumbo with Chorizo Sausage

DSC_7656 (1600x1060)This starts as a basic gumbo – cook a dark roux with flour and oil, add the Cajun trinity of diced onions, celery, and green peppers.  Let the veggies cook for a few minutes then add chicken broth.  I browned chicken thighs and fresh chorizo in a separate pan then added those to the simmering broth.  The fresh chorizo is where this veers off the normal path.  Alas, I had no more Andouille and it really wanted sausage.  The recipe uses a homemade seasoning from this recipe.  That NOLA site is a goldmine for this style of cooking and you can do worse than spending a while looking over all the recipes.

When the sausage and chicken are cooked through remove them to cool, slice the sausage and strip the chicken meat from the bones and add it all back to the pot.  This will take a couple of hours.  I did the roux atop the stove on a medium high heat and stirred it constantly lest it burn, using a flat wooden spatula to keep the bottom scraped.  That took 20 minutes or so.

Duck and Tasso Gumbo

 

We had some duck meat left over from yesterday so I looked around for something to do with it and ran across this recipe.  It looked fine and all but I didn’t use it.  Thanks for the idea though!  I went my usual route with a brown roux (made with duck fat!) and the trinity of green peppers, celery, onion, and a half a bag of frozen okra.  I did have tasso in the freezer, my last, so it went in with the diced duck meat.  I made a stock from the duck carcass and I could taste just a hint of the sweet orange glaze that still clung to the bits of skin that went into the stock pot.  Didn’t hurt a thing.  Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning flavored the dish.  At the table I added hot sauce to mine – recommended if you are more tolerant than Mrs J!

Gumbo!

I was working on this when we decided to make a run to town yesterday, I had the gumbo simmering sans the shrimp – they are added in the last minutes before the stew is ladled into the bowls for the table.  We got back and needed to eat because we were both running a little low but I hadn’t made any rice yet.  We did the Reuben sammiches and saved the gumbo for the evening meal.  This one has Andouille sausage, shrimp, and chicken, and is served over white rice.  Add hot sauce to taste.  This fellow has some great Cajun recipes, here is a very good gumbo recipe you can adapt to any sort of meat.

Mmm… spicy gumbo

A basic gumbo with tasso, chicken,  pickled pork, plenty of hot sauce and creole seasonings.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Mardi Gras!

I’m getting ready to travel again, so I’m swamped with getting everything done at work and home.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate Fat Tuesday with some New Orleans style food and drink.  Bring on your party recipes.  And next week let’s go vegetarian.

I wanted to do gumbo, but didn’t have time to recipe test anything this week, except a death-by-chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, and I find my own gumbo recipes lacking. Luckily when it comes to gumbo, JeffreyW runs circles around me.  Here’s his take on a shrimp gumbo:

I was rummaging about in the big freezer and turned up a stick of Andouille sausage.  That put me of a mind to make a pot of gumbo.  I noticed that Alton Brown was touting a method of making a brown roux in the oven that seemed to be foolproof, and didn’t require one to stand over the stove stirring for a half hour and more:

Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.

Seemed to work pretty well:

This was after 90 minutes.  It could have spent a little longer and been a bit more brown but I went with it as you see it.  More or less following Alton’s recipe, I put it over a medium flame on the cooktop and stirred in diced celery, green peppers, and onion.  The roux turned right away into thick mud but I kept stirring it until the veggies softened a bit, about ten minutes.  Next was several cups (4-5?) of the stock the chicken I used was cooked in, fortified with some Creole seasoning, along with the canned tomato bits I used in lieu of fresh.  I did have fresh thyme and even grow my own bay leaves now.  That simmered for a half hour before I added the cooked chicken, thawed pre-cooked shrimp, and the sliced and browned Andouille sausage.

Serve over rice, and be sure to have a bottle of hot sauce on the table lest you be taunted.

Hit the comments with your own Mardi Gras recipes and I’ll see you next week!  – TaMara

Cross-posted at Balloon-Juice.

Chicken Gumbo

Sorry about the light posting, we’ve had some work in the kitchen done – some new countertops along with a new sink.  That didn’t take too long, and didn’t cause me any pain or suffering.  Taking the old countertop to the basement and installing it in a corner down there did take some time and effort.  Noticing the lighting was poor hit me when I was weak and feeling handy.  Gah.  Nothing for it but to replace a dozen cheap shop light fixtures with more cheap fixtures.  But hey!  They have electronic instant on gizmos!

Now I wait for the new single bowl sink to fit into the hole the old one came out of so Mrs J can have a nice dog wash/deskunking station.  It’s near where a clothes washer was installed so the drain and water hook ups are close by and pose no particular problem for this old plumber.  Now then, where was I?  Ah –Just a basic gumbo, this one with chicken, Andouille sausage, and tasso.

Gumbo Nights

I was rummaging about in the big freezer and turned up a stick of Andouille sausage.  That put me of a mind to make a pot of gumbo.  I noticed that Alton Brown was touting a method of making a brown roux in the oven that seemed to be foolproof, and didn’t require one to stand over the stove stirring for a half hour and more:

Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.

Seemed to work pretty well:

This was after 90 minutes.  It could have spent a little longer and been a bit more brown but I went with it as you see it.  More or less following Alton’s recipe, I put it over a medium flame on the cooktop and stirred in diced celery, green peppers, and onion.  The roux turned right away into thick mud but I kept stirring it until the veggies softened a bit, about ten minutes.  Next was several cups (4-5?) of the stock the chicken I used was cooked in, fortified with some Creole seasoning, along with the canned tomato bits I used in lieu of fresh.  I did have fresh thyme and even grow my own bay leaves now.  That simmered for a half hour before I added the cooked chicken, thawed pre-cooked shrimp, and the sliced and browned Andouille sausage.

Serve over rice, and be sure to have a bottle of hot sauce on the table lest you be taunted.

Mmm…gumbo

I bought some roux in a jar with the last order from that Cajun grocer and decided to give it a spin today.  Disaster!  It was awful tasting.  I dumped the whole pot into a colander to drain the offending sauce away.  Seriously thought about rinsing every last bit away but figured that would be overkill.

I made another roux in a clean pot-not the dark roux I was really wanting but it was fairly brown, about a milk chocolate.  I dumped the remainders from the colander back into this new roux and gave it a brief stir before I added another quart and a half of chicken stock.

It turned out pretty good on the second try.

Enjoy!

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