Gumbo Basics

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by foamheart, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry I missed this thread for so long. I love the info. Thanks, Foamheart. I love gumbo, I hate to admit it but I make my roux in the oven. I get a nice copper colour and don't have to worry about it burning. Does that make me a heretic? I will try your method and compare.

    Disco
     
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Only guessing here but Andouille is not sausage, andouille is a cured meat (like tasso) made to be hung and smoked for preservation. It also has an abundance of black pepper. So during the winter months when travels were slowed you had your salt, pepper, and dryed/cured meat to season and enhance whatever you cooked. BTW andouille sausage is a realitively new term, but correct since now the mass produced andouille is in a standard sausage cassing instead of the Beef casing of the old cajun ways.

    Ok I give, I know I have heard this but don't remember......
    Chorizo to me I would think to greasy. Gumbo should have little or no greasy residue. I know but the roux..... I don't know where it goes in a good gumbo. Also its an extremely hot sausage to me. Kelbasa is a perfect substitute if you have it and any regular smoked country link sausage. BUT like I said, its about what you have and like. Seafood is great, man a lobster and crab gumbo is the most righteous gumbo I ever had, I have done pork neck bones, but I like 'em better in jambalaya.

    But whatever you do I wanta watch, cause you do really good things with food. I bet your momma had to keep telling you to quit playing with your food...LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No man, actually thats how all the best chefs in who cook for the masses do. They make those huge roaster pans 1/2 full at a sitting. The only bad thing is if you spill it. Its hospital stay bad.

    But by doing it your way, you get to put some of it up in the fridge for the next time you need some. I usually make a double batch of roux if I am making a special one, like from my own bacon grease special.

    Its a soup with a roux over rice. You make it what you want it to be...... Its like smoking there is no perfect gumbo, just the one that makes you happy.
     
  4. Speaking of roux a few years ago I went to Chef John Folse's test kitchen here in  Gonzales and he had a home made roux making machine. It was almost like a horizontal smoker with out the fire box. It had a shaft that had a number of arms staggered on it and rotated to constantly to stir the roux. I watched the gentleman making the roux that day making about 50 pounds of roux at a time. He used two different oil, one a butter flavored and regular oil.  He put the finished product in five gallon buckets. He told me he sold it exclusively to restaurants and not available to the public. It was a fascinating process to watch.
     
     
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sausage will be the first challenge .Thanks for the compliment. My late mother was a great cook. She had a big range of stuff she could do that she kept adding to year by year. She came from Canada & cooked ,by Australian standards of the day,  adventurous food.

    It was really what was around her growing up with a lot of European migrants in 1940-50s Ontario.

    Anyway this gumbo thing is intriguing .I have made roux for French dishes but with butter not bacon grease. 
     
  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes....it's more cured sausages....like chorizo...but not a hard one. Chorizo seems more like a hard salami to me....need a softer one....not like brat soft...more like the Hillshire Farms type if you know what I mean (a nice smoked one).  My family would use crabs and shrimp in theirs with the okra.  Yummmmmm...smells like heaven in a big old pot.

    Kat
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  7. Foam that was a great list you made there. I actually catered the mandeville seafood fest with shrimp and grits and a fresh fruit splash beverage. I was going to PRE make a roux and let it harden in the fridge to expedite cooking, but I've never made a roux before. I wound up cooking it all fresh because it's pretty simple. I can say I'm finally not fearful of making a roux after reading this post :yahoo:
     
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cecil, I guess that buttery flavored roux is his trademark. I never saw or heard of it before Chef Folse. He always carries it around in the old motor oil fill bottle. His brother built his house, two houses up river from me when working in Donaldsonville. Occassional he'd come by and eyeball the garden and the critters.
    Butter and flour was the French influence but we didn't have much butter in south Louisiana. Its too dang hot. The above Chef really started or reinvented the use of buttery "flavored" oils. Its similar to the oil used in popcorn machines because of its high flash/smoke point. It brings flavor, its hard to burn, and its easily transportable (doesn't require cooling). I use the bacon grease in ruoxs because its old style and it brings alot more flavor to the pot than oils (especially with making it myself now!).
    To me, mac & cheese, scrambled eggs & toast, chicken & dumplins, grilled cheese, gumbo, are all comfort foods. Perfect for any meal. Its like love in a pot.
    Roux should only scare you when stirring and carrying. It and cooking candy sugars are the worst burns imaginable. I will seriously run folks out the kitchen  when dealing with 'em, especially kids.

    If you use stored pre-made rouxs don't forget the hot to cold "Breaking the roux" is still in effect, only now its reversed.

    Thanks alot by the way, I really appreciate the comments. I didn't expect it to draw much interest. I wonder if I couldn't let a pot of gumbo simmer in the smoker?
     
  9. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    So Foam you use to live by Jerry and Julie? In my opinion he is a better cook than John. I grew up with all 4 of the Folse brother's kids. Jerry and Julie's son Jay turned into a pretty good cook and hunter as well.
     
  10. Butter and flour was the French influence but we didn't have much butter in south Louisiana. Its too dang hot. The above Chef really started or reinvented the use of buttery "flavored" oils. Its similar to the oil used in popcorn machines because of its high flash/smoke point. It brings flavor, its hard to burn, and its easily transportable (doesn't require cooling). I use the bacon grease in ruoxs because its old style and it brings alot more flavor to the pot than oils (especially with making it myself now!).

    I like to make a butter roux foe crawfish etouffee. Gives it a great flavor.
     
  11. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    I agree with you Cecil on that.
     
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't really make a roux with ettouffe, well I do but not traditional. To me a crawfish ettouffe is a stick of butter, a bunch of chopped green onions, a spoon of flour, some crawfish and some spice. Ok, a little water too but very little. Thats it. No soup, no tomatoes, no bell peppers, no paste. Just simple.
     
  13. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Shrimp that way...is the same way Foam...and rice on the side.  Yummmmm

    Kat
     
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Moved away probably 10 or 12 years ago. built a nice cajun themed house though.
     
  15. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    andoullie or tasso are seasoning ingredients. You can use what ever sausage / meat / seafood you want in a gumbo.

     Gumbo is just an african term for okra?

     Most cajun food recipes came from very poor folks. The fish seafood, rice and game were things they could catch / kill/ grow.

     The acadians learned real fast what from the land and waters was edible and what was not.I don't know who the first person was that thought ,hey these lil crawfish and crabs are very plentiful , lets try them . Thank you ,whoever it was!
     
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  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can understand crawfish, crabs and even those old congo ells....... The person that amazes me was the one that was hungry enough to try that first oyster! They must have been on the brink of starvation.
     
  17. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mmmm Oysters.  Even better. Barbecued Oysters at Drago's in N.O. 
     
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  18. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oysters are something we have in common. Asianpeople here very rarely eat them raw unlike me who has no trouble eating a dozen as a snack.[​IMG]

    Back to gumbo.I get that its a very Louisiana thing but it looks like it has some Spanish paella in its family tree. You see those different mixtures of meats depending where in Spain you are. Off the coast theres a lot of rabbit,chicken & even snail. I know they are 2 different  dishes now but thats why I thought chorizo in place of andouille .
     
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First you can put anything in gumbo. Anything. I understand with chorizo in paella its a sausage and rice dish with usually seafood. But Paella is a dry dish quite like Louisiana's Jambalaya. In gumbo the excess of low density grease/oils would tend to float on the surface and not evaporate in a gumbo. Spooning some off or using the old toast or ice cube trick would work though. I have no problem with cholesterol, "its the stuff in food that makes it taste good". But in a gumbo I try to limit it. That's the only reason I was not enthusiastic about it as a sub.

    Like I was saying somewhere before LOL The gumbos today have become so embellished upon that everyone here makes a gumbo with three or four ingredients with a flavoring meat. My Mom's gumbo's were normally one meat, more reminiscent of the days gone by.. Usually a hen, meat is yuck but the flavor can't be beat. I can earlier gumbos being whatever you could get out the ditch on the way hone, a frog, a couple of crawfish, maybe a small gator. Rice was cheap and locally available.

    And the Spanish explorers were in Louisiana before the French. The Spanish have a strong tie to Louisiana's cultural history.

    There is no reason you can't use chorizo, I would watch for the excessive oil though. That was my only thought.

    Wow, I can still babble, It feels good I have not caught myself babbling in a week!
     
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Actually, its shrimp and oysters En Broche at Landry's on the riverwalk in San Antonio. At one time that was my favorite seafood resturant, bar none. I doubt the same evening chef is still there though. He and I thought alot a like! Oh and his peach bread pudding with meringue was to die for!
     

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