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Perfect Gumbo Twice in a Row!

bayoucook Apr 7, 2011 09:49 AM

I've been making gumbos for many years, some with good results and some not so good. I've had a roux break on me. I tried this recipe from CI for the second time last night and it is my absolute go-to recipe from now! A quick shrimp stock, a beautiful roux (no breakage) and perfect consistency. Added crabmeat both times because we love it. If you're looking for a foodproof gumbo, here it is:

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

  1. bushwickgirl Apr 7, 2011 11:26 PM

    Sadly I can't review the recipe as I do not have a CI account, but I will take your word that it great. Maybe you can post a paraphrased version of the recipe or tell us exactly what you did. I personally have never had a roux break though, and have made some great (in my mind) gumbo (I worked as chef in two Cajun restaurants in NYC over the years, yup, a Yankee girl cooking gumbo) but I'm always on the lookout for a closer to heaven result. A good gumbo is a thing of great beauty.

    Bravo to you!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl
      bayoucook Apr 8, 2011 05:21 AM

      Yes it is! I, too, have made many memorable gumbos, but I think I lost my confidence when the roux broke on me (and I had company coming!). I will paraphrase the recipe later on today or tomorrow, One of my favorite things about it was the quick stock - boil the shrimp shells (I added my usual stuff that the recipe didn't call for), strain, and add a bottle of clam juice. My seafood stocks used to be much more time-consuming. My New Orleans born and raised husband loved it and wants me to make it once a month. Good stuff. And obviously heck yeah a Yankee girl can cook up some gumbo!

    2. AreBe Apr 8, 2011 07:39 AM

      Marcia Ball's Emergency Gumbo is foolproof.
      http://marciaball.com/gumbo.html
      And her music is delicious too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AreBe
        bayoucook Apr 8, 2011 08:46 AM

        Looks good and easy; it was a chicken gumbo roux that broke on me!

      2. chef chicklet Apr 8, 2011 09:32 AM

        Darn it! And that looked awesome too! Can you paraphrase?

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet
          bayoucook Apr 8, 2011 10:18 AM

          Here's the way I made it:
          2 lbs. shrimp, shelled, save shells, devein if you wish
          Boil shells in 4 1/2 cups of water for about 20 minutes, add some celery, garlic, and onion to the mixture. Strain and add 1 cup of bottled clam juice and 3 1/2 cups of ice water. You should have about two quarts of liquid. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in deep Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, add 1/2 cup flour and cook, stirring constantly, over med heat until the roux is about the color of an old copper penny. Have ready the following: 2 med onions, chopped fine, 1 med. sweet pepper, chopped fine, 1 med rib celery, diced, 10 fresh or thawed frozen cut okra, 6 plump cloves of garlic, minced, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cayenne. Add this to the browned roux and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes (more if you use fresh okra). Whisk 1 quart of the stock SLOWLY in the roux - turn roux mixture to low for this part. Make sure all liquid is mixed well into the roux and veggies. Add rest of the stock and two bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add 3/4 lb of smoked sausage or andouille cut into 1/4" pieces, and cook another thirty minutes. You can stop now and put the mixture in the fridge until you're ready to finish it if you want to. To finish: add shrimp (I always add a small container of claw crab meat as well), 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, and 4 med. scallions, sliced thin. Cook for about 5 minutes, until shrimp are just cooked. I also added a dash of lemon juice and a lot more cayenne, black pepper, and salt to taste. Great served with rice cooked with a bay leaf in it and hot French bread.

          1. re: bayoucook
            bushwickgirl Apr 10, 2011 03:00 AM

            Good call on the clam juice for stock enhancement, now you've reached honorary Yankee status by using that product. I often brown the shrimp shells first, either in the oven or just by sauteeing in a little butter, before adding them to the stock.

            I've bookmarked your instructions, thanks so much.

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