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gumbo?

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buzz t Dec 1, 2007 09:08 AM

Hi. Can anyone recomend a good gumbo recipe? Thanks

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  1. JoanN RE: buzz t Dec 1, 2007 09:31 AM

    Here's a link to Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage. It's been one of my go-to recipes for decades. Everyone loves it. One of my friends even asked me to make it for her wedding rehearsal dinner.

    18 Replies
    1. re: JoanN
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      Val RE: JoanN Dec 1, 2007 11:08 AM

      JoanN...no link!!! (I've done that too!)...I made a turkey & shrimp gumbo after Thanksgiving that tasted very good but was quite liquidy, even though I'd used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup flour for my roux and got it toasty brown in the cast iron skillet...how do you make sure it comes out thick...or is it supposed to be thick??? Maybe I cooked it too long after adding the broth? How long should you cook it? The andouille and turkey were already cooked, of course, and the shrimp only took a few minutes at the very end but I seemed to have erred somewhere.....

      1. re: Val
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        buzz t RE: Val Dec 1, 2007 11:17 AM

        Is this the recipe? i have seen recipes that use tomatoes and ones that dont. is it a matter of preference?

        Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage
        2 cups chopped onions
        1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
        1 cup chopped celery

        Seasoning Mix:
        2 whole bay leaves
        2 teaspoons salt
        1/2 teaspoon white pepper
        1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
        1/2 teaspoon black pepper
        1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
        1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

        3/4 cup vegetable oil
        3/4 cup all-purpose flour
        1 tablespoon minced garlic
        5 1/2 cups Basic Seafood Stock (can substitute oyster liquor) (I use bottles of clam juice)
        1 pound andouille smoked sausage (preferred) or any other good pure smoked pork sausage such as Polish sausage (kielbasa), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
        1 pound peeled medium shrimp
        1 dozen medium to large oysters in their liquor, about 9 ounces (I use clams instead)
        3/4 pound crabmeat (picked over) (crabmeat is hard to come by here, so I use crawfish)
        2 1/2 cups hot cooked rice

        Combine the onions, bell peppers and celery in a medium-size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients; mix well and set aside.

        Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly with a long-handled metal whisk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown to black, about 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Immediately add half the vegetables and stir well (switch to a spoon if necessary). Continue stirring and cooking about 1 minute. Then add the remaining vegetables and cook and stir about 2 minutes. Stir in the seasoning mix and continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic; stir well, then cook and stir about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

        Meanwhile, place the stock in a 5 1/2-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the andouille and return to a boil; continue boiling 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes more. Add the shrimp, undrained oysters and crabmeat. Return to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and skim any oil from the surface. Serve immediately.

        1. re: Val
          JoanN RE: Val Dec 1, 2007 11:25 AM

          Ooops. Sorry about that. Here it is:

          http://savorynotebook.blogspot.com/20...

          50/50 is indeed the standard proportion for making a roux. In Louisana Kitchen, Prudhomme says that in general a light to medium-bown roux is used for heavy meat and game; a dark red-brown or black roux is for light, white meats and fish and shellfish. He recommends the darkest roux possible for gumbo: ". . . black roux are best to use in gumbos because the darkest roux result in the thinnest, best-tasting gumbos of all." So, no. It's not supposed to be thick. I cook my roux until just before I'm afraid it's going to burn. I've never had the guts to go for actually black, but it's dark, dark, dark brown; almost black.

          1. re: JoanN
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            Cooking4max RE: JoanN Sep 25, 2009 01:51 PM

            JoanN I just saw a program where the Gumbo Queen in Louisianna said when the roux is dark brown add your chopped onions to it and let it get even blacker because the sugar comes out of the onions. Her's looked like bittersweet chocolate.

            1. re: Cooking4max
              raygunclan RE: Cooking4max Sep 25, 2009 07:31 PM

              that totally makes sense!

              i had heard that the roux needs to cook for at least an hour, but the above recipe has it done in a few minutes.

              1. re: raygunclan
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                hazelhurst RE: raygunclan Sep 26, 2009 08:32 AM

                I was taught that a fast roux does not thicken as well---has to do with the little honeycomb starch shhets busting up and reducing the surface area...might be baloney, but Escoffier evidently believed it. So, I always take an hour if not more.

          2. re: Val
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            MakingSense RE: Val Dec 1, 2007 01:41 PM

            Not sure how thick you wanted your turkey gumbo. The one my family traditionally makes is quite thin. The roux is for flavor.
            The proportion of your roux would thicken about 5 to 6 cups of stock for a normal gumbo, but you may have cooked it until it was too dark. The darker a roux becomes, the less thickening power it has.
            There's an excellent primer on rouxs of all kinds, from the classic French blond roux to the Creole butter versions and the darkest Cajun rouxs on John Folse's excellent website. http://www.jfolse.com/fr_rouxs.htm There are a number of excellent gumbo recipes there including some with and without okra, with and without tomato, yaya-style, with game, vegetable gumbos, and others that you might find interesting.

            1. re: MakingSense
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              Val RE: MakingSense Dec 1, 2007 02:03 PM

              Thank you...I had already read that the darker you make the roux, the less thickening power it would have...mine was not quite as dark as peanut butter. So, it was probably adequate, sure tasted great, though. I guess that's all that matters. It was more soupy than stewy, I guess.

              1. re: Val
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                MakingSense RE: Val Dec 1, 2007 08:16 PM

                Turkey stock never seems to get very gelatinous. Guess it doesn't have as much collagen as other bones do. It's the thinnest of the gumbos I make but always an after-Thanksgiving tradition for our family. Usually turkey and sausage, because that's how Daddy made it.
                As long as it tasted great, don't worry about it, yours was perfect.

                Gumbos are pretty "ad hoc" creations in Louisiana. Most people use what's on hand although there are traditional combinations, many that are passed down in families.
                People argue over what should and shouldn't be in them, how dark a roux should be or even whether to use a roux in a particular gumbo or not - much like Texans argue over chili.
                I can give you MY reasons for exactly what I choose to put in MY gumbos and what I choose to leave out, and they will be different from those of other cooks. It always makes for interesting discussions. (I think those other people are wrong, of course, but I usually enjoy their gumbo anyway.)

                1. re: MakingSense
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                  Clarkafella RE: MakingSense Dec 1, 2007 09:04 PM

                  Ha! That's what is so cool about gumbo- no matter what someone chooses to put in 'em, it's almost always good! Some are better than others of course, but it's still all good (almost)...

                  1. re: Clarkafella
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                    MakingSense RE: Clarkafella Dec 1, 2007 09:45 PM

                    <"no matter what someone chooses to put in 'em">
                    Well, that should be within reason, of course. Once they get too far off track, they should probably just call it "soup" if it's using products that aren't the things that would be typically used in South Louisiana. No King Crab legs, lobster, that kind of thing. If you are going to call it gumbo, honor the tradition, please.
                    Poor Cajun food has suffered enough abuse in the past few years.

                    1. re: MakingSense
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                      Clarkafella RE: MakingSense Dec 2, 2007 06:35 AM

                      Well, if I ever happened to have some leftover lobster in the fridge, making a lobster gumbo would not be something that would come to mind.

                      On the other hand, if I was making gumbo anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to dump some lobster in if I just had some sitting around...

                      1. re: Clarkafella
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                        MakingSense RE: Clarkafella Dec 2, 2007 09:40 AM

                        Nope. Use the lobster for an appetizer, please.
                        This gets to making me crazy. Just when we're getting back to an appreciation for local and regional foods, people are taking wanton liberties with other people's traditional dishes. Then we complain about having no really fine national cuisine in Applebee's America. Go figure.

                        I can see home cooks using shrimp or crab that might not be the same as the native Gulf varieties or a similar sausage like kielbasa instead of andouille - that was what gave us Creole food after all - but at least stick to the same kinds of things that people in South Louisiana would put in a proper gumbo.

                        1. re: MakingSense
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                          hazelhurst RE: MakingSense Sep 25, 2009 02:46 PM

                          Your defense of the Traditonal merits you, well, an Order of Merit. Re: the okra, referred to by gabby, I always cook that into a gumbo when using it...but I fry it down first and add lemon juice to keep it from making things "rope-y." Now, a great gumbo maker I know does as follows fr his duck and andouille: Get your duckings and smoke them, put your andouille on the side to give it a little more smoke flavor, add some chickens, also smoked, for stretchers. Chicken cooks longer than the duck which you want cooked but not all the way....remove duck, cut the meat up and save skin and bones. Roast bones in oven (with some vegetables) then make mirepoix, add the skin/bones, your water or chicken stock, simmer for three hours. Strain, cool overnight and skim of the grease. Now make roux 5 sticks butter/5 cups flour. Add usual vegetables, throw in your duck/chicken, add the stock and boil for a little while, turn down and let it go for a couple of hours..chuck in the sausage about halfway through. Oh yes, he uses some red wine, which I do too,...I think you must have a bay leaf or two...add your parsely and green onion at the very end. No file with this. This is a thicker gumbo, by the way.

            2. re: Val
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              gabby29 RE: Val Dec 1, 2007 10:50 PM

              It is probable that your gumbo was loose if a thickening agent wasn't used. People typically add okra or gumbo file at the tail end of cooking time for this purpose.

              1. re: gabby29
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                MakingSense RE: gabby29 Dec 2, 2007 09:42 AM

                Not all gumbos are thick or meant to be. Sometimes filé is a table condiment, added for flavor.

                1. re: MakingSense
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                  gabby29 RE: MakingSense Dec 2, 2007 11:53 AM

                  This may be true, but I can only speak for the gumbo I've had or witnessed being served. Since I am Creole and my family is from LA I provided the suggestion for the OP. While some may choose to omit certain ingredients, they are included for a purpose and in general a Creole gumbo will have file or okra.

                  1. re: gabby29
                    m
                    MakingSense RE: gabby29 Dec 2, 2007 01:02 PM

                    Filé doesn't provide much thickening. It should be added after the gumbo is pulled from the heat or it gets stringy (if it's good filé) which is why it's often added, to taste, at the table or left out altogether.
                    There are some gumbos that use neither and the one that immediately comes to mind is Commander's Palace's famous old Gumbo YaYa which uses neither okra not filé. One of my very favorites. I don't use either in my duck gumbo which I make like gumbo yaya.

          3. s
            smalt RE: buzz t Dec 2, 2007 06:59 AM

            I've found a quick recipe that I love to make for relatively fast dinners, but it would probably be laughed off the board for not being authentic....I figured if I can get it on the table inside of an hour and it tastes good, I'll just have to identify that it's not authentic or else don't call it gumbo! Maybe it's a Gumbo-Wannabe.....

            1. frankiii RE: buzz t Dec 2, 2007 11:59 AM

              I have made Gumbo Z'Herbes twice recently. It has been well received both times. Here is a link to the recipe along with some pictures. Hope you enjoy it!

              http://www.lemonsandbeans.com/?p=59

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