Gumbo?

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Chris_in_SoCal

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Feb 18, 2012
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First off I have never had gumbo. Even when I was in New Orleans I did not try it but was always interested. A few days ago my favorite YouTube brits Jolly visited New Orleans and among other things they had gumbo and loved it. I decided I had to give it a try.

I watched 10 different gumbo recopies and every one of them was completely different. I put a list together of what I definitely needed and on our next trip to Walmart I got what I could find. Tony's more spice creole seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, Large uncooked shrimp, crawfish tails (they had whole crawfish but this looked easier.

I spent an hour just making the rue. It never got as dark as the pictures I looked at but tasted good. I sliced pre-cooked some sausages I made previously along with the seafood part way. Then I added stalk and water to the rue as well and spiced it until It tasted right then added a big bowl of veggies. Then I added the meats and let it simmer until my tummy could not wait anymore. I had also cooked up some rice on my wife's Japanese rice cooker.

Since I have never tried gumbo before I have no idea of what it is supposed to taste like but what I made sure tasted damn good. I have a lot left over for later as well.

2023_gumbo_001.jpg


The first bowl.

2023_gumbo_002.jpg
 
Looks great from here, I prefer a lighter color Rue, have tried a lot of different shades . About time for some as it's been awhile.
 
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I’d take a bowl! Certainly a light rue but thats personal preference. I like smoked chicken thighs in my gumbo (not that i don’t like shrimp and crawfish too) but thats the great thing about it: you can pretty much put in whatever you like. Jambayala next? 😁
 
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Looks great to me Chris, and I'll take Davids shrimp. I'm pretty sure gumbo is one of those meals that every household in the south has their own recipe for.

Point for sure
Chris
 
Looks like a tasty stew!

Gumbo is both a variable and a controversial stew. Say the wrong thing or use the wrong ingredient in Louisiana and those might be "fight'n words". My gumbo is outstanding, but would get me kicked out of New Orleans for using tomatoes. To me though, without a dark roux and okra, it's just another soup or stew, and I make many-a-stew and it doesn't mean it wont be delicious.

I have had my lifedose of shrimp so I dont use it, plus, most seafood in general doesn't reheat well and unless you are feeding a crowd and the pot will be empty quickly, shrimp will be well overcooked. I think if I were to use shrimp, I would cook it perfectly either with steam or a boil, or even a good stir fry and add it to each serving. I use pre-roasted or grilled boneless chicken thighs shredded/chopped, and andouille skillet browned first then cooked in to the gumbo to re-soften. Hard to overcook andouilli and chicken thighs, so it reheats well.

Don't be afraid of the roux. Instructions will make you paranoid of burning it. In fact, I have some Cajun transplant friends and they always bought their roux in a jar. Yep, they sell that stuff down there. I found it in a gourmet market in the city I live near. Didn't buy it. I was disappointed to learn my Cajun friends were cheating on gumbo roux!

You can start your roux at a higher temp than most instructions will tell you, but you cannot leave it...at all. You have to stay right there, whisking, then slowly lower the temp as the color changes. It doesn't have to take an hour. For me, gumbo just doesn't taste like gumbo without a dark roux the color of an aged penny.

For the vegetables, for me; fresh garlic, onions and jalapenos (green peppers for the weak of palate) sauteed before adding to the broth, etc., and okra at the end are my go-to. It's really the only time I eat okra, except breaded and deep fried once in a while. I have grilled it when I was lucky to be gifted it fresh from someone's garden. Frozen cut okra from the grocery store works fine but cooking it perfectly is the key.
 
First off I have never had gumbo. Even when I was in New Orleans I did not try it but was always interested. A few days ago my favorite YouTube brits Jolly visited New Orleans and among other things they had gumbo and loved it. I decided I had to give it a try.

I watched 10 different gumbo recopies and every one of them was completely different. I put a list together of what I definitely needed and on our next trip to Walmart I got what I could find. Tony's more spice creole seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, Large uncooked shrimp, crawfish tails (they had whole crawfish but this looked easier.

I spent an hour just making the rue. It never got as dark as the pictures I looked at but tasted good. I sliced pre-cooked some sausages I made previously along with the seafood part way. Then I added stalk and water to the rue as well and spiced it until It tasted right then added a big bowl of veggies. Then I added the meats and let it simmer until my tummy could not wait anymore. I had also cooked up some rice on my wife's Japanese rice cooker.

Since I have never tried gumbo before I have no idea of what it is supposed to taste like but what I made sure tasted damn good. I have a lot left over for later as well.

View attachment 681307

The first bowl.

View attachment 681308
That looks pretty good to me! As long as it taste great, that is what matters lol.

I've eaten plenty of gumbo in my time but I am no expert on making it. I've made great gumbo but it's always been different from the REALLY great gumbo's I've eaten.

From what I see, I didn't positively identify any okra in there. That is one thing that is in all the gumbo I've ever known.
Outside that, It looks like a light color gumbo to me, which is good to go in my book. I've always failed to do a good dark roux, mine always taste a little too "burnt" so I make lighter roux.

indaswamp indaswamp may have some good feedback from gumbo land. His info is always on point! :D
 
I spent an hour just making the rue. It never got as dark as the pictures I looked at but tasted good.
If you cooked a roux for an hour and it did not get dark, fairly sure your fire was a bit too low. That's not a bad thing....better than too hot which will burn the roux.

First off, no two gumbos are the same. But there are a few guidelines. Generally, for seafood gumbos the roux will be lighter. meat and seafood (like quail, oyster and andouille) the rouxs will be a bit darker, and the Cajun Dark brown roux, the darkest of all, is used for game gumbo mostly....like duck, nutria and andouille; or rabbit, squirrel and Cajun smoke sausage gumbo.

Usually the onions, bell pepper and garlic are added when the roux has darkened to where you want it...this will drop the temp. as the water in the veggies flashes to steam. This halts the darkening of the roux while the trinity cooks. I personally like to get a little color on the trinity before proceeding...

Frying the meats before adding to the gumbo (with the exception of seafood) is a big controversy...some say it makes the meat tougher and takes longer to cook, others say frying brings depth of flavor. You will find gumbos in both camps all over the internet....

Okra is another controversy...you see it a lot in creole New Orleans gumbos,,,but not much in Cajun Gumbos outside of New Orleans. They used file' powder which is ground dried sassafrass leaves....added at the end of cooking so the file' does not get stringy. You don't want to boil the pot after the file' is added.

Creole Gumbos you will see tomato added, and almost always added when okra is used because the acid in the tomato cuts the stringiness from the okra. I am more familiar with Cajun Gumbos as that is what I grew up on.

Most seafood gumbos use a light brown to medium brown roux...unless oysters are added, then the roux is usually a shade or two darker. When the flour starts to clump, that is when you have made a medium brown roux.

An Authentic recipe for seafood gumbo:
http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/soups/seafood12.htm

One with shrimp and okra:
http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/soups/seafood18.htm
 
Looks very good, but I am like you . I have never had Gumbo either. ( not a shrimp lover )

But that does look tasty. And I could pick out the shrimp they are big enough.

David
A gumbo has to have something that crawls, walks, or swims. You can make a plethora of excellent 'authentic' gumbos and never use shrimp (or the same proteins for that matter). Fishy gumbos, as Inda said, are lighter. My jam is chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Chicken and sausage is probably the most common gumbo on earth.



OP - that is a nice blond roux. Good, but try 3 shades darker and you will be amazed at the difference. Stirring it on the stovetop requires enough heat for just a LITTLE smoke IMO.

Excellent first gumbo cook!


You can make a super simple delicious one with about 10 ingredients. Inda posted a very traditional (John Folse) recipe that has about 15. it can also be done in an hour, though I like to simmer mine for much longer. You can make a foolproof never burn roux in the oven with a cast iron pan. I do not agree with equal parts oil and flour. I use a 3 parts oil to 4 parts flour ratio. It will start out thick and you will think you need more oil, but the more it browns, the more it thins. You can start out a little light on the flour in the beginning to get it started and add more after about 5-10 mins.

Chicken
sausage
flour and oil, made into a roux - 3/4 cup oil, 1 cup flour
salt
pepper (red, black, and white)
onion
bell pepper
celery
liquid (preferably a stock, but I cheat and use better than bullion most of the time)

Foolproof oven roux -

combine 3/4 cup veg oil and 1 cup flour in a cast iron pan. bake at 350 for 45 min-1 hour, stir twice during that ~hour. it will be fairly light in 45, and you can go super dark in about 90 mins. An hour is about right for me. I grew up on roux that was about 1 shade lighter than the color of black coffee. When I started making it myself, I discovered that a rich dark but still brown was more to my taste. Super dark roux is for the brave.... I think it's more of a Uncle Thibo vs Uncle Boud for "look how dark my roux is" bragging rights. Use a veg oil, never butter. Butter is for bechamel.
Mine is somewhere in the circle

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I knew there would be some good gumbo info provided!
Also I like the mention of Creole vs Cajun.

My understanding is that Creole is the fancy formal French technique/inspired dishes in the nice restaurants where Cajun was the version the the average joes and cooks in the kitchen made at home with what they had available or what they could afford vs the Creole versions. Hence the evolution of Cajun cooking!

I always makes sure to get something Creole and something Cajun when I've made my few trips to New Orleans. Other than those few times, I'm never in Louisiana BUT I am in Texas so do get the spill over of the Cajun and Creole. Especially when I make it near the Houston area :D
 
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My understanding is that Creole is the fancy formal French technique/inspired dishes in the nice restaurants where Cajun was the version the the average joes and cooks in the kitchen made at home with what they had available or what they could afford vs the Creole versions. Hence the evolution of Cajun cooking!
Certainly has a strong french influence, but Creole is not just that; it comes from the melting pot that is New Orleans. As one of the major ports of the new world, every culture landed there. German, Caribbean, African, Italian, Spanish....and a little English along with native American all mixed up into what is Creole Cuisine.

The Cajuns were the backwoods loggers, trappers, fishermen, and hunters that lived out in and on the edges of the wild swamps....
 
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