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yum-o gumbo

phoenikia Jan 11, 2011 08:07 AM

I've read the old threads on gumbo, but was wondering if anyone has been making a version they love lately? Authentic, inauthentic, gumbo z'herbes, you name it, would love to hear what's been working for you!

  1. JungMann Jan 11, 2011 12:00 PM

    In general it's not much more than a vegetable oil roux stirred over a medium flame until it's about the color of chocolate. To that I add roughly equal amounts of diced onion, green pepper and celery (be sure to include the leaves) along with garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, white pepper, black pepper and cayenne pepper. When everything's softened and fragrant, I add my stock (usually a combination of poultry and the liquor extracted from boiled shrimp heads). Some folks would add crushed tomatoes at this time, I don't. Stir up the pot so nothing is going to scorch at the bottom. Add your cooked poultry and browned andouille. If you're using shellfish, add them right before taking the pot off the flame. If it's summer, thicken with sliced okra. If it's winter, put out the filé for folks to season their own dish. Garnish with scallions and rice or potato salad.

    1. t
      tzurriz Jan 11, 2011 12:04 PM

      I start with a butter roux. Then I add the same veggies as JungMann, thinly sliced andouille sausage (or what they call andouille that I can buy at Costco or TJ's). My spices (same as JungMann again or the Penzey's Cajun Spice Mix, which is very very good). Then I toss in a handful of frozen sliced okra (I buy it at the local indian market). I pour in some homemade chicken stock and some water or shrimp stock if I have any. Simmer all day and adjust spices as needed. Toss in some shrimp at the last minute before serving so they just have time to cook. I always serve mine with rice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tzurriz
        mrsfury Jan 11, 2011 12:24 PM

        That's the thing with okra. If you don't de-slime it first by sauteeing for ten mins or so over a high heat, then you have to cook the gumbo a long time. A lot of people don't realize and wonder why they have slimy gumbo.

        1. re: mrsfury
          hazelhurst Jan 11, 2011 12:39 PM

          I was taught to do this and to squeeze some lemon over it ...if it comes from someone in a tignon it has to be right

          1. re: mrsfury
            tzurriz Jan 11, 2011 01:05 PM

            See, that's why I love gumbo. I let it simmer all afternoon, and the whole house smells so good. Then again, I'm an at home mom, so something I can prep during the kids nap and let simmer all day is much better for me than trying to whip up a "quick" meal during the witching hour. :)

        2. Cherylptw Jan 11, 2011 01:44 PM

          I make mine very similar to Jung Mann, except I add okra no matter what time of year it is. I grow okra and freeze it to use all year long and I never use file powder. Sometimes, I'll make seafood gumbo in which I'll use seafood/clam stock; if I make chicken & sausage gumbo, I'll use chicken stock and I might vary the sausage. I've made just a vegetable gumbo with spinach, chard, and any other veggies I have on hand.

          I normally serve my gumbo with hushpuppies, cornbread or biscuit for a meal or as a side with fried fish, chicken or rice. You really don't need much more. Oh, and I cook my base low & slow before adding the meat and okra.

          One of my favorites is rabbit gumbo...cook the roux as usual, brown the rabbit in the roux then add liquid and cook rabbit until tender. Remove meat from the bones, add back to pot then whatever other veggies you want to use (I like to use corn, chopped tomatoes, lima beans, okra) Bring up to simmer, season & thicken.

          1. c
            cathyeats Apr 19, 2011 08:47 PM

            I just made this vegetarian gumbo this weekend: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2011...

            It blew several meat eaters away, so that means it was a success! Here's the recipe:

            Serious Vegetarian Gumbo

            ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon organic canola oil
            ½ cup white whole wheat flour
            3 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups
            )3 stalks celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
            3 medium green peppers, chopped (about 3 cups)
            3 portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped off, chopped (about 2 cups)
            3 large cloves garlic, minced
            ½ cup dry sherry
            4 cups chicken-style vegetable broth (recommend Imagine’s No-Chicken Broth)
            1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (use regular if you’re not a veg)
            3 bay leaves
            1 teaspoon dried thyme
            1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
            1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
            1 teaspoon white pepper
            ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
            ½ teaspoon salt
            ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, or a bit more to taste
            4 vegetarian sausages, sliced (I used Field Roast smoked apple sausage)
            1 16-ounce package chicken-style seitan

            For serving:

            Gumbo filé powder, optional
            Tabasco sauce
            Cooked rice

            Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the oil and flour in a large ovenproof dutch oven. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until the roux is very dark.

            Add the onion, peppers, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook on the stove over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for one minute, then add the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices.

            Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If the gumbo seems too thick, add water as you see fit (you can leave the gumbo on the thicker side if you’re not serving the filé powder on the side).

            Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced sausages and brown on both sides. Add the seitan and cook for one minute more, stirring.

            Add the sausage and seitan to the pot and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Serve over brown rice, and pass the file powder (if using) and Tabasco.

            1. letsindulge May 20, 2011 07:35 PM

              What benefit is it to "simmer all day" as tzurriz recommends? Just wondering...

              1 Reply
              1. re: letsindulge
                tzurriz May 21, 2011 12:42 PM

                the okra doesn't end up slimy and the flavors all have time to meld.

              2. m
                mandycat May 21, 2011 01:52 PM

                I've been making and ordering gumbo for decades but I experienced a new taste sensation last week. A local restaurant here in Pensacola makes a tasty but slightly thin gumbo. I ordered the gumbo plus a side of their really good fried okra and used the okra as a kind of crouton topping. Fab -- the smoothness of gumbo with added crunch. I need to brush up my fried okra skills and try this at home.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mandycat
                  tzurriz May 22, 2011 07:44 AM

                  Ohh, that sounds fantastic!

                2. shanagain May 22, 2011 03:04 PM

                  We like this one a lot - it's a seafood gumbo using coconut milk: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                  I play fast and loose with the fish/shrimp/calamari/crab - essentially pick what sounds good to you on any given day. Oh, and the mustard greens are a must, even though it seems like an odd addition.

                  1. m
                    mandycat May 27, 2011 05:13 AM

                    This is a P.S. to my earlier post. Reading this string gave me an ungovernable yearning for chicken-sausage gumbo. Yesterday morning I put it in the slow cooker on low, set for seven hours. My husband and I went out to run some errands and wound up coming home the scenic way, via the beach road. So my gumbo cooked two hours longer than the usual -- perfect!! It had a whole new depth and richness. That is now my standard cooking time.

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