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Cajun Ingredients: Tasso, Roux, etc

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I want to make some gumbo for my Super Bowl Party. Does anyone know where I can find tasso in Los Angeles? I live in Mt. Washington. Thanks

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  1. Huntington Meats in The Farmer's Market. Roux you need to make, very easy. Let the good times roll!

    1. Surfas has both Tasso and File

      --Dommy!

      1. Making a good Gumbo for the first time is a fairly ambitious, if not optimistic project. It’s an acquired skill that sometimes takes more than a few attempts to work the kinks out and attain satisfaction. The first and foremost part of a good Gumbo is making a good roux. A roux is a mix of about one part flower gradually added to one part hot oil and stirred constantly until the desired darkness (usually somewhere between peanut butter and coffee) is achieved without burning either the roux or yourself.

        Oh yeah, it’s best to use one of those old cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens to make your roux and to sauté your onions and veggies. You’ll need a large stockpot to build your actual Gumbo.

        You should be able to find the ingredients that you need, including tasso, at:

        The New Orleans Fish Market
        2212 W. Vernon Ave.
        Los Angeles, CA
        (323) 298-9738

        You can find the best hot sausage at:

        Pete's Hot Links
        3701 W. Jefferson Blvd.
        (323) 735-7470

        You’ll find some outstanding tips and recipes here:

        http://www.gumbopages.com/

        You’ll find a decent video here:

        http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1325052...

        You can order everything you need, including that "tricky" roux or even a complete Gumbo from:

        http://www.pochesmarket.com/ Try some of their regular boudin; it's really good!

        Be patient and have fun.

        Bon Appetit!

        16 Replies
        1. re: degustateur

          Actually hot sausage I believe is smoked, Pete's is uncooked. Do not get me wrong, I love Pete's links. Huntington Meats has the Tasso, Andouille and Hot Sausage. The Tasso and Hot Sausage are from Louisianna. The Gumbo Pages is a great resource and info page. I have used that since 1999 right after my first trip to New Orleans.

          1. re: Burger Boy

            Hot sausage can either be smoked or unsmoked, cooked or uncooked. Andouille is smoked, spicy. but usually not hot and adds a depth of flavor to Gumbo. Generally, though by no means mandatory, a good Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (typical) should include three different sausages, one of which should be hot. Hello, Pete's! Yes, it is uncooked and is best smoked or pan-fried to minimize the greasiness before incorporation into the Gumbo.

            If you really want to get down to the original roots, a great Gumbo would also include a portion of z’andouille (pronounced zaun doo ee) made from pig’s intestines (chitterlings) stuffed one inside the other into a link and then smoked. “Talk about good, Cher …”

            BB, thanks for the heads-up on Huntington Meats; I'll check them out.

            1. re: degustateur

              All the andouille I have had in N.O. or here has always had some heat. Is there anywhere in L.A. that has good hot sausage that has already been smoked?

              1. re: Burger Boy

                ... yes sir! hot or mild:

                The New Orleans Fish Market
                2212 W. Vernon Ave.
                Los Angeles, CA
                (323) 298-9738

                1. re: degustateur

                  is it DD's from New Orleans, if so I can grab it at Huntington and save a few bucks on gas. Vernon & Arlington right?

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    ... don't know if it's DD's or not. My guess is that it's not. The maker is not important as long as you like the flavor. Although NOFM is worth a trip for real-deal Louisiana fare, it sounds like you can get everything you need at Huntington's. I'm anxious to check them out.

                    If you do make it down to NOFM on Vernon & Arlington, make sure you try a bit of their pork (regular) boudin. It's a Louisiana/Cajun staple. You may find a new friend.

                    As for me, I tend to Fedex virtually all of my Louisiana provisions from either Bourque's or Poche's, among others.

                    http://www.bourquespecialties.com/

                    http://www.pochesmarket.com/

                    1. re: degustateur

                      Love Boudain, used to get it in San Diego, there was a market that imported it from NO. There is also a market, as I recall across the street from NOFM that has some boudain & savoie andouille. There used to be a produce market on Western & 54th, I think, the owner was from Lafayette and there was a butcher shop 10 feet away. the had everything and cheap, plus the produce was great!

          2. re: degustateur

            Just a small point of clarification from a native Louisianian, but our rouxs don't necessarily need to be oil; most any fat will do, though many different families will swear by one type (butter, rendered duck fat, oil, etc).

            Also, I agree that you may not want to attempt this for your first time for a large group ... what with the stock and everything it's a couple days process (to do it right) -- heck, even the roux alone can be 1.5 hours.

            That being said, I wish you good luck -- excellent gumbo is an art form and certainly far greater than the sum of its parts.

            1. re: a213b

              In making a roux, a213b, you're absolutely right in your clarification about the use of oil. I sometimes use manteca or rendered pork fat. Duck fat is awesome, when available, especially for a Duck, Oyster and Sausage Gumbo. I'm gettin' hungry!

              1. re: degustateur

                A number of friends like Aidell's andouille but I withhold judgement.

                When making gumbo, I first sauté my meats (usually chicken, duck or turkey and andouille) put them aside, then, use THAT fat as the base for a deep chocolate roux.

                I also like to add a can of Rotel-with Habañero's for that extra little bit of "kick". Along with the poultry and andouille (mine comes from Dorignac's in NO) I’ll use shrimp, crab and occasionally scallops. As a fan of both okra (which isn’t slimy if you cut it into pieces, then leave exposed to air for 2 days before you use it) and gumbo file I’ll use both. Now, I'M hungry!

              2. re: a213b

                Agree...it is an art form. As someone who taught school in NOLA for a number of years and worked in a few restaurant kitchens when I was not, it took many, many attempts to get a gumbo right! Saying this, I have noticed that Marconda in the Farmers Market has a pre-made roux from LA in jars! I have tried it a few times and while it is not as good as my own, it makes a decent gumbo quickly. Marcondas has a number of Savoie meat products including andoiulle, tasso and smoked sausage at a very good price! Savoies is a good product...there are better by mail order...but having a local source for this is important. I have tried Aidell's andouille and tasso from Bristol Farms...and while it is a good product, it is just not authentic!

                Now a question...does anyone have a local source for LA popcorn rice? New Orleans Fish Market says they don't carry it anymore.

                1. re: TravelPath

                  Lol Lol Lol If you find some popcorn rice in L.A. I will buy you a lb of Andouille from Huntington Meats, which I like better than Savoie's. I just found a 2lb bag in the back of a cabinet. can not wait to make some red beans and rice!

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    Fortunately I have family (by choice) in Lafayette who send me the rice 3-4 times per year...and 20 pounds of local andouille (killer!!)at Christmas...and tasso ...and boudin...and I am receiving a King Cake from Manny Randazo's almost every week from friends down there...and gaining weight as I type this!

                    Unfortunately, I will not be in SoCal this week to make gumbo (I did make it for New Years!)...but I can't complain...I am in New England eating clams and lobster! and great subs!...something else we can't get in SoCal so easily.

                    ...and I will check out Huntington's andouille again...the last time I had it, it just was not right!

                    1. re: TravelPath

                      Bastard! When are we Queing / Boiling at your place. I know a place that flies in live crawfish on fridays all during crawfish season, which has started now!

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        Maybe we need to arrange an SoCal LA Chow Mud Bug Boil!

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          And that place is...? ;)

              3. Marconda in the Farmer's Market also has tasso and andouille, and I've found them to be notably less expensive than Huntington. The two meat markets are at opposite ends of the market. I drool over Huntington's meat cases, but I buy at Marconda.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  Really! Try the andouille that they make at Huntington, if it is a little more it is so worth it. Lots of flavor going on. I have been known to break off a piece or two on the way home from Huntington meats. I also like the hot sausage from Louisiana, great with eggs or on a breakfast sandwich. I will check the prices between the two next time. I had done that in the past but they may have changed.

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    Marconda does not make their andouille, I think, but sells some from LA. I *THINK*. Been quite a while since I was there, a situation I must soon rectify. Probably the same source as their tasso. So I could be incorrect about relative prices. I know their own house-made sausages and most of their other meats run a bit cheaper than Huntington.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Yeah, it is Savoie's . http://www.savoiesfoods.com/ That is who makes the Tasso and Andouille at Marconda's. The most amazing stuff I ever had came from Paul Pruhdome, he has andouille and Tasso. So amazing!

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        Savoie's makes fine sausage, andouille, boudin and other Louisiana provisions. They've been around for generations.

                2. I concur with lots of the other posters. I have made gumbo with the andouille at Huntington Meats and it is good. My other big recommendation is to make it all the day before and then let it sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: film_score

                    Oh yeah baby! Make sure you have some File on hand to finish it when you serve it!

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      File belongs at the table, not in the pot unless you're going to serve the whole pot all at one time. Once file'd, you'll end up with ropey Gumbo if it's re-heated. Personally, I can do without file entirely; haven't had any in over 10 years.

                      1. re: degustateur

                        Thats what I said, have some on hand when you serve it. I like what a little does to it flavor wise.

                    2. re: film_score

                      Agree wholeheartedly, FS! I've eaten Gumbo that had been frozen for over a month that tasted better than the day it was made. Indeed, it's notably better after a day or two in the refrigerator.

                    3. Another for Huntington Meats.

                      Make your own roux. I make it the old-fashioned way (on the stove) but I've been doing it for twenty years and can make a brick roux in twenty minutes; you should check out Alton Brown's baked roux; it is much easier.

                      Gumbo gets whatever goes into it. I can't be arsed to keep file powder around all the time, so some of my gumbos are thickened with roux and okra (mmm, vegetables). I don't chase down tasso but they do have it at Huntington.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        I saw that episode on baking a roux, have you tried it? How did it come out?

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          It came out fine. It took way longer than doing it myself on a stove, so I don't bother, but I could see instructing a novice roux-maker to do this.

                      2. While we're on the subject of Louisiana ingredients, I am perilously low on Crystal hot sauce. Is it findable here? Cheaper than having it shipped in from NOLA?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          Oh yeah, just have to look. I think I bought some at Jons on Vermont a while back. Red Rooster is also nice. You know what, I think I have seen Crystals at Smart & Final.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            Ralphs at 3rd and La Brea has it! BTW, Mrs. TravelPath and I just returned from NOLA and were able to get Crystal hot sauce with the Saint's logo on them...

                            "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat? Who dat?"

                            1. re: TravelPath

                              Ain't no one gonna beat dem Saints!

                            2. re: Das Ubergeek

                              I've never had a problem finding it. I usually get my hot sauce at the Vons or Pavilions on Lincoln in Santa Monica for a buck or two. Let me check and make sure it's there, though.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                I recently got some Crystal hot sauce at Superior Mexican Maket in Santa Ana, the one off Main and Edinger.

                                1. re: groover808

                                  Ralph's Markets carry it as well. Not that hard to get. Good andouille on the other hand . . .

                              2. May I offer these suggestions:

                                1. Make your own stock (from left over shrimp casings, fish skeletons etc...)
                                2. Make your won roux (butter or veg oil and flour) and cook until chocolate in color
                                3. Use andouille as your smoked sausage (interestingly they have turkey andouille at Ralphs and Vons; seasonings are identical)
                                4. Get a 1 lb package of frozen crawfish tail meat (Fish King in Glendale)
                                5. Skip the file and opt for okra instead (file is tricky and if not used right can give Gumbo a wierd taste)
                                6. Cubed breast meat chicken, andouille, shrimp and/or crawfish tail meat and a little crabmeat, along with some okra makes a great gumbo
                                7. Set aside a couple days to make it correctly and allow the flavors to marry together
                                8. Don't forget the rice
                                9. Give me your address

                                Laissez les bons temps rouler!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: orythedog

                                  Turkey Angdouille? Which Ralph's & Von's? Thank You

                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                    Ralph's Encino or Studio City, Pavillion's Sherman Oaks....Adells Cajun Style Sausage

                                    1. re: orythedog

                                      And it is turkey, interesting, I am there. Thanks

                                2. Laissez les bons temps rouler! And with that said, try to make it a day or two before the flavors meld great after sitting...Petes or Huntington Meats. OOOOweee!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: shagdaddi

                                    I use that Pete's for a hot link po'boy. Good french bread from Normandie bakery, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and a dash of Red Rooster!

                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                      Hey, Burger Boy et al!

                                      ... thought ya'll might enjoy this "hot link" if ya'll haven't seen it already:

                                      http://boudinlink.com/

                                      1. re: degustateur

                                        Best Way Supermarket in Carson has lots of Cajun stuff. In their frozen section they have Savoie's sausage (andouille, boudin, and other sausages). The store also sells Camellia beans, Slap Ya Mama seasoning, and other Cajun stuff!!

                                        Best Way Supermarket 20226 Avalon Boulevard, Carson, CA (down the street from Ikea)

                                        Oh BTW if you are looking for legit Cajun cooking videos on the web check out J.B. from Baton Rouge. http://www.youtube.com/user/007bondjb

                                        1. re: mr_jeff

                                          Yo, Mr. Jeff!

                                          Thank you immensely for your heads-up on Best Way, I will get down there very soon; looking to pick up some boudin, andouille, seasonings, etc.

                                          Thank you even more for the link to J.B.’s channel. He’s the real deal – a bone fide, unabashed Cajun, hilariously vulgar and possessing an undeniable penchant for great ad hoc cookery with a full serving of humor on the side.

                                          Thank you.

                                          1. re: degustateur

                                            No problem.... Yeah JB is my idol right now!! Somebody needs to get him on the Food Channel.