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Thread: Gumbo

  1. #1
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    Gumbo

    It's been a long time since people have posted on this forum. I thought that I'd share one of my two new favorite recipes:


    Gumbo

    So, if I confress this, I've never actually been to Louisiana. However, one does have to respect Louisiana both for its contribution to cocktails (The origin of my favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac; as well as a very delicious kind of sour) and to its Creole and Cajun food. I've tried several Cajun/Creole dishes, but this is by far my favorite. In general, I hate any type of soup or stew, but gumbo, however, really is in a class of its own. It is a thick stew with incredibly rich flavor. Also, I like gumbo because it's a testament to the "melting pot" culture of America --a unique combination of other cultures that is distinctly American. The etymology of "gumbo" comes from an African word for "okra", which is a deliciously slimy green vegetable common in "Deep South" American dishes that acts to thicken the stew. Filé (ground sassafras leaves and thyme) is a Chactow spice and plays center role in the spice profile, which shows the dish's Native American influence. The use of roux and mirepoix shows the French influence coming from the local Cajun and Creole culture (If you don't know what a "roux" or a "mirepoix" is, keep reading). It also includes Andouille sausage, a spicy American sauage created by German immigrants (with French and English influences over time). Also, the local American use of seafood in the stew gives it a very American accent.

    Now, I should specify a few things: This dish takes an eternity to make, because I make everything from scratch. This dish should be very, very spicy. If you have objections to either of these, this may not be the dish for you. Also, I make it the Creole way; in essence, this means that I use butter in my roux, I use shellfish, and I use tomato paste. Spices are all to taste, and so are the courseness of how you chop vegetables and meat; I like it to have a particular consistency, but do what strikes your fancy. Finally, this makes a lot of gumbo. =)




    Ingredients:

    1.) 1 whole roasting chicken (try to get around or less than 4 lbs; this will leave about 2.5 lbs of actual chicken meat, which is more than you'll need)
    2.) 3/4 lbs of shell-on shrimp (crayfish/crawfish are also obviously a good other choice for seafood)
    3.) 1 lbs of andouille sausage (or the best immitation of it that you can find)
    4.) 2 young stalks of celery
    5.) 1 large white onion
    6.) 2 green bell peppers
    7.) 1 bunch of parsley (use about 6 tbs chopped)
    8.) 3 garlic cloves (about 2 tbs minced)
    8.) 1 lbs of okra
    9.) 4 tbs of tomato paste
    10.) 3/4 all-purpose flour
    11.) About half a stick of butter
    12.) Enough water to cover the chicken
    13.) Spices:
    i.) 2 tsp oregano
    ii.) 2 teaspoons cumin
    iii.) 1.5 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
    iv.) 1 large bay leaf or 2 small bay leaves
    v.) 1 tbs filé (yes, that's one tablespoon!)
    vi.) cayenne pepper, to taste
    vii.) salt and pepper, to taste

    14.) 2 cups of dry rice (Personally, I only like Japanese sushi rice, Egyptian rice, or Italian risotto rice)


    Ok, got those? The filé, okra, and andouille sausage will probably be the hardest things to get your hands on, depending on where you live. I can only get "soft" (un-smoked, sadly, so it's entirey raw, but it has a marvelous flavor) andouille sausage, but if you have a hard, smoked one, then chop it up into cm by cm cubes (about half an inch by half an inch).


    Utensils

    1.) 2 large pots, preferably stock pots (with lids and a ladel for stirring)
    2.) 1 large strainer
    3.) 1 large frying pan (and a spatula for stirring)
    4.) 1 large chopping board (and whatever chopping knife strikes your fancy)



    Steps

    1.) The Stock, Part 1: Take your chicken out his wrappings and dump him into your first stock pot (You won't need the second until you strain it and make your rice). Fill it with water until you cover the chicken. Put the pot with the chicken on your stove, set the heat to "high" and let it boil. Move the chicken every 15 minutes or so it doesn't burn the bottom of your pan. An hour after it starts boiling, you'll have to add some seasonings (Adding it at the beginning causes you to lose the flavor). Note, for the chicken, after it starts boiling, it should take about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half.

    2.) The Cajun Mirepoix: While it starts boiling and boils for about an hour, start cutting up your vegetables. I like to do a fine chop (quarter inch by quarter inch; or about half a cm by half a cm) on the onion, the bell pepper, and the celery. Mix these together in a bowl, and congratulations, you have the "Cajun mirepoix" or the "Cajun trinity". Also, do a fine chop on the parsley (You'll need about 6 tbs chopped) and the garlic cloves. Then slice the okra into cm long cross sections.

    3.) The Stock, Part 2: While you're chopping those vegetables, you should stop for a minute and finish off the stock after an hour or so goes by. The chicken shouldn't take too much longer to finish off. Take your shrimp, and shell them (hopefully your grocer made this easy by removing their intestine linings). Toss the shells in with the chicken. Toss in your bay leaves, and maybe add in a pinch of each of your spices (except for the filé and cayennne pepper). Grind in some salt and pepper into your stock, be generous with the pepper. Let that boil for 20 or so minutes. When that's done, check to see if your chicken is done cooking (165 degrees F; 74 degrees C). Take our your cooked chicken, reserve on a plate. Strain your stock into the second pan.

    4.) The Andouille Sausage and Miscellaneous: Take your mirepoix, and start cooking it. I like to have it simmer a bit in a pan until the onions become translucent. Celery, onions, and peppers are tough vegetables, and it's good to have them soft before they go into the stew. When nearly done, add the garlic, then when you smell the garlic aromas, take all of your mirepoix and put it in the stock. Then add in the chopped parsley and the sliced okra into the stock, too. Bring that to a boil, then simmer. While you do that, toss your andouille sausage into the hot pan and start browning it off. When that is done, toss them into the stock pot.

    5.) The Cajun Dark Roux: Wash out your first pot. Into this pot, drain some of the grease from your andouille sausage, ladel some of the grease off of the top of your stock, and add the necessary butter to make about 1/2 cup of fat on the bottom of this pan (Calm down, it makes a lot!). Turn the burner on until it gets hot, then add the 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour. So what is roux? Roux is a combination of fat and flour, where you more or less fry the flour in the fat; it's used to thicken anything from gravies to soups. Cajun roux is made by frying the flour for a longer period of time, so that the flour becomes a deep brownish color. It may take 15 or 20 minutes, but be careful not to burn it. It should smell slightly nutty, and it will impart a slightly nutty flavor to the stew. When you've got this, ladel in a few cups of stock; however, be careful: The roux is very, very hot. Ladel it in gently. Mix it up with your spatula, add another few cups of stock, mix (it should be thick), then add all of the stock with vegetables. Add the tomato paste and the spices (except for the filé! You must add this in at the end). Mix it well, let it simmer.

    6.) The Finishings: After that has been cooking for a little bit (basically, just check to make sure the onions/celery peppers are soft and the okra is gummy and fully cooked; but keep in mind that the longer that you cook it, the more flavor you cook out of the stock, especially from the shrimp shells), While this is going on, your chicken should be cool. Separate the meat from the bone and chop it in 1 inch (2 cm) cubes. I like to chop my shrimp into 1 inch segments, too, but some people object to this for no good reason. When everything is cooked, turn off the heat. Toss in your shrimp and, finally, your filé. Let the shrimp cook in the boiling liquid. After a while, the combination of the roux, the filé, and the okra should make the stew quite thick. Taste it, and make sure it is spicy. If it isn't spicy, add more cayenne. If it's too thick, add a little bit of water.

    7.) The Rice: At some point, lol, you should have made rice. Into the rice, I like to add a small bayleaf and a tiny pinch of oregano, 2 tbs of butter, salt and pepper, and maybe add a little bit of your stock. The general ratio is that for 1 cup of dry rice, you need 2 cups of liquid. Maybe add a cup or two of your stock before it gets turned into gumbo as some of the liquid, otherwise use water. I make my rice by tossing everything into a pan, bringing it to a rolling boil, mixing the rice on the bottom (it gets stuck) in with the rest to get it mixed, then I put the lid back on and turn the heat off or on the lowest setting. I let it sit for about 15 minutes, or until it gets soft.


    Scoop out some rice into a bowl, ladel some stew on top of that, and try something that took you an immense amount of time to make! Don't worry, this dish is well worth it.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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  3. #2
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    Re: Gumbo

    Have you tried using cumin as well for your spices?
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Have you tried using cumin as well for your spices?
    Yes, I love cumin. Cumin is one of my favorite spices.


    To be fair though, I did say 2 tsp cumin in the list of spices.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Interesting recipe. Being from Louisiana, I have a slightly different recipe which was old when my grandmother was a girl. It doesn't use cumin, but the Trinity is spot on. I will post it here when I have Internet access and my computer.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Yes, I love cumin. Cumin is one of my favorite spices.


    To be fair though, I did say 2 tsp cumin in the list of spices.
    Oh, lol, I just missed it. I thought it was an odd omission, since I think cumin goes really well with spicy meat dishes.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Oh, lol, I just missed it. I thought it was an odd omission, since I think cumin goes really well with spicy meat dishes.
    Yeah, I think so, too. Cumin is pretty amazing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Interesting recipe. Being from Louisiana, I have a slightly different recipe which was old when my grandmother was a girl. It doesn't use cumin, but the Trinity is spot on. I will post it here when I have Internet access and my computer.
    Sounds good. I'm interested to see what a traditional gumbo is from a regional source. What I have is, I think, a pretty authentic gumbo from watching some LA home cooks and recipes on the internet. Although mine is a mix of Cajun and Creole gumbo, but closer to a Creole dish. Cumin seems to be something that some people add, some people don't. My guess is that in the earliest versions of the dish, there was no cumin. But as Clive said, cumin is a really good spice for meaty, spicy things, and it goes especially well with the thyme/oregano/paprika combination as well as the seafood.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Gumbo

    I believe you're right about the cumin being a Creole influence. That part of the state tends to have some influence from the Spanish part of our heritage, since they tended to settle in the flatter plains where they could go about the business of being vaqueros.

    I'm not a huge fan of cumin except in very small doses, but I agree that if used very sparingly, it adds a richness to meaty, salty dishes that I have found only in one other place: Indian food.

    I tracked down the recipe; it was in one of my email accounts. What follows is a direct transcript of the recipe my dad gave to me and taught me how to make. Note the absence of file in the recipe; the okra, when cooked correctly (i.e. boiled down until it has completely dissolved), thickens the gumbo admirably, requiring no help from file, which I believe changes the flavor of gumbo unfavorably.

    Note also that a) the recipe starts with a roux, which is the core of the dish, and b) that the entire dish is basically cooked in one pot.

    "Head of Island" gumbo

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of all purpose flour
    1/2 cup cooking oil [actually home rendered beef tallow is better, or lard]
    1 cup chopped celery
    2 cups chopped onion [yellow Spanish]
    1 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chopped okra
    3 or 4 Bay leaves depending on size and strength. [remove these after cooking]
    salt to taste
    pepper to taste
    ground cayenne pepper to taste
    1 tsp. French thyme leaves
    2 quarts chicken stock [I always make my own.........commercial has MSG]
    2 cans "Rotel" brand original chopped tomatoes and jalapenos [my wife and I make our own but Rotel is adequate.]


    5 pounds medium peeled shrimp [American Gulf shrimp]
    2 pounds shelled crab meat [gulf blue crab] Chesapeake blue crab is equal to Gulf.
    optional: 2 pounds fresh oysters some people don't like oysters in gumbo


    In a heavy stainless or club aluminum [Magnalite] pot with a fairly generous cooking surface, add one half cup of Canola oil [or lard is better] and one half cup of all purpose flour. Have fire about medium or more. Stir constantly with a square ended steel spatula to mix the flour and oil smoothly. Continue stirring pretty much throughout the roux making process. It will turn light brown, peanut brown, milk chocolate brown and finally semi-sweet chocolate brown. Lower the heat some as it approaches milk chocolate brown and increase speed of stirring. As it reaches semi-sweet chocolate brown it will burn if left seconds too long. At this time you must immediately dump in the chopped seasonings (the trinity). This will stop the roux from cooking further. Saute while stirring the roux and the seasonings for about fifteen minutes then add two pounds of cut okra [frozen is fine]. You can always add cold things to the roux and whatever is with it. You must never add hot liquids to a roux. Warm or hot liquids will break the roux and you must throw the dish out and start over. If the stock you wish to add is hot, obviously cool it first with an ice bath.
    After the onions, celery and bell pepper [In Louisiana this is known as the Trinity] have sauteed until the onions are clear, add okra and sweat it down over a low fire while stirring every five or ten minutes to avoid burning. The okra must cook down until it is no longer slimy. This is one of the big secrets of excellent gumbo. It may take it thirty minutes or forty five to reach this point. I usually add the Rotel tomatoes and jalapenos to it after about twenty minutes to make the job less labor intensive. Much less stirring. After about ten more minutes I'll add the chicken stock, give it a good stir, cover it and leave it for a half hour to an hour. I'll visit it every ten or fifteen minutes during this time and stir it to make sure it's not sticking. If it is I cut the fire down and add more liquid. [stock or water or beer] About a half can to a can of beer seems to improve it. Beer wasn't in the original recipe, however.

    When you judge it to be done and the taste is good, it's time to add the shrimp. Add them and let them cook for ten minutes and then add the crab meat and oysters if you are using them. Just let it simmer, you don't want it to boil at any time while cooking. Five to ten more minutes should do it. When the shrimp are done the gumbo is ready. Serve it over white rice with chopped scallionson top.

    This dish is significantly better the second day and if it lasts that long, even better the third day. Don't microwave. Gently heat up the pot while stirring. Don't mix with the rice. That should be done individually. Some want a tablespoon of rice, some three. Enjoy.

    ---------- Post added at 11:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:17 PM ----------

    Note: I have known my dad to take the shells of the peeled shrimp and boil them with what he calls a "bouquet garni" made with thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sweet marjoram bound together at the stems to make a shrimp stock which he will then use in the gumbo (or whatever else he's using the shrimp to make). If you like the flavor of the shrimp, it's an excellent way to ensure that nothing goes to waste. All it takes is about 20 minutes of boil-time; you're not trying to break down the shells or anything, just extract the flavor.

    Also note that this recipe can easily be adapted to use any sort of meat you like. For chicken and andouille (or some equivalent sausage), duck, squirrel, or rabbit, simply extend the cooking time by about an hour after the meat is added. You should need 2-3 pounds of chicken and 2 pounds of sausage... or whatever game you happen to have.

    The point of gumbo was that you took whatever you could find/kill/had left over and made it into something tasty.
    Last edited by Talthas; February 20th, 2014 at 09:46 PM.
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    Re: Gumbo

    I love me some gumbo, especially my mother's. Any of you fellas ever tasted a crawfish gumbo?
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    Re: Gumbo

    Many times, usually after a crawfish boil. The recipe above does great with leftover crawfish. Just add less salt and cayenne. I actually prefer crawfish to shrimp, because I like the flavor and texture better.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Many times, usually after a crawfish boil. The recipe above does great with leftover crawfish. Just add less salt and cayenne. I actually prefer crawfish to shrimp, because I like the flavor and texture better.
    Yeah, I can't get enough of the stuff. Back when my uncle Jeff lived up in Trail, Oregon we used to go to the creek and catch crawdads for dinner every day. Good times. We'd make everything from crawdad enchiladas to gumbo.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Roux is a great tool for adding flavor to a lot of dishes, especially if you want to thicken them. I use it on beef stew as well.

    How dark do you get your roux GP?

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    Re: Gumbo

    Squatch: Roughly the middle spoon sometimes a bit darker, but I add the andouille sausage drippings, which give it a deep red tinge so it's not easy to match it up to those colors. Be careful to stir thoroughly but definitely don't stop until you smell the nutty smell.



    Lukecash: Yeah, I love crayfish. They've got an amazing flavor.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Roux is a great tool for adding flavor to a lot of dishes, especially if you want to thicken them. I use it on beef stew as well.

    How dark do you get your roux GP?

    The recipe being made determines how dark the roux needs to be. Some recipes require a blonde roux, and some need it to be almost black. Those last are the trickiest to make because it only takes seconds to go from just right to totally ruined.


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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas
    Those last are the trickiest to make because it only takes seconds to go from just right to totally ruined.
    Fudge is the same way, my gf and I made a batch while we were visiting my parents over Christmas and we stirred it about 20 seconds too long. Ruined the texture, but it still tasted good.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Many times, usually after a crawfish boil. The recipe above does great with leftover crawfish. Just add less salt and cayenne. I actually prefer crawfish to shrimp, because I like the flavor and texture better.
    I'd take crawfish over shrimp any day, and lucky me because I can! Makes you feel like you're eight years old again, going out to the creek to catch some crawdads with just your handy dandy hands and a bucket.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    The recipe being made determines how dark the roux needs to be. Some recipes require a blonde roux, and some need it to be almost black. Those last are the trickiest to make because it only takes seconds to go from just right to totally ruined.
    Yes, the culinary napalm of roux can turn from a maillard reaction to burned quite quickly. I think the roux also depends on what ingredients you want to add and the flavor preference of your guest.



    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Squatch: Roughly the middle spoon sometimes a bit darker, but I add the andouille sausage drippings, which give it a deep red tinge so it's not easy to match it up to those colors. Be careful to stir thoroughly but definitely don't stop until you smell the nutty smell.
    I've also found that the color of the roux is somewhat dependent on the individual taste as well. For example, some people (me) like a darker, richer roux, and will increase the amount made to counter for the decreased thickening power that comes from further darkening it. Given that you use andouille I doubt it will make a big difference flavor wise, it is a bit of a 800lb gorilla in that combo.

    If you ever have the time or are bored, try replacing the rotelle (delicious) with diced tomatoes, a roasted jallepeno (I roast them right over the gas flame of a stove and then use cold water to get the skin off) and a darker roux. I think the difference in your recipe will be noticeable, I'm don't mean "better" just different, might be a nice change of pace for it.

    Great recipe, thanks for putting it here.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Andouille isn't too strong (t's not flavorless, either, however), at least the kind I buy --it's mostly just very spicy.

    I actually use tomato paste in my recipe, but yeah, that does sound like an interesting modification.



    Talthas --I dunno, I think that it honestly doesn't taste right until you add the filé. Granted, my filé has a lot of thyme and less sassafras, but I do like the flavor of sassafras.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Andouille isn't too strong (t's not flavorless, either, however), at least the kind I buy --it's mostly just very spicy.
    I agree, spicy heat is caused by an overload of your tastebuds (IE your brain is confused because the chemical, usually Capsaicin, is triggering all of your various receptors at once). That process tends to dull/inhibit the ability of your brain to detect the subtle flavors caused by browning. Not that I don't love andouille, lets not think things that are unreasonable here.

    Have you considered smoking the sausage yourself? (I imagine that could be a bit of an undertaking).
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Talthas --I dunno, I think that it honestly doesn't taste right until you add the filé. Granted, my filé has a lot of thyme and less sassafras, but I do like the flavor of sassafras.
    I don't particularly care for the flavor of either sassafras or thyme except as a note of complexity or coolness to a dish. If I can isolate it and taste it, there's too much for my taste... same as with cumin. I think it's just a matter of the difference in our palettes.

    To be fair, there is a whole different genre of gumbo cooked with file, and it's quite common, especially in parts outside of Louisiana. The gumbo I know and prefer is cooked without it, but honestly, I only like it when it's cooked to the point that the okra has completely dissolved. Otherwise, the gravy is too thin and the okra - which I despise in any other form I can recognize as such - is too slimy. For me, the file would only really be useful as a thickening agent in the absence of okra, and I'd have to adjust my seasonings to account for the taste. But, YMMV... and there are a lot of people out there who prefer a good file gumbo. I don't mind it when that's what's there... but if I had to pick between a file gumbo and one without, both of equal quality, I'd choose the one without.

    ---------- Post added at 12:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:16 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Fudge is the same way, my gf and I made a batch while we were visiting my parents over Christmas and we stirred it about 20 seconds too long. Ruined the texture, but it still tasted good.
    My mother has a recipe for pecan pralines down to a science... even to the point that she has it timed to the minute how long she needs to leave a batch on the marble-top of her coffee table and how many batches she can tweak out of a certain amount of the ingredients.

    She developed this proficiency through many trials and errors, and several of them involved overcooking the fudge... which, as you said, makes a very gritty - but still extremely delicious - result. We have used these "failures" as crumble toppings for ice cream or even as an additive to coffee (which is particularly good, but you have to add it when the coffee is almost boiling-hot to be able to melt it appropriately).

    A good candy thermometer or a very practiced hand and eye are the order of the day. Pralines and fudge are very much "chemistry recipe" type dishes. If you fudge too much at the margins, you will fail every time.
    -=[Talthas]=-
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I agree, spicy heat is caused by an overload of your tastebuds (IE your brain is confused because the chemical, usually Capsaicin, is triggering all of your various receptors at once). That process tends to dull/inhibit the ability of your brain to detect the subtle flavors caused by browning. Not that I don't love andouille, lets not think things that are unreasonable here.

    Have you considered smoking the sausage yourself? (I imagine that could be a bit of an undertaking).
    Yes, but I haven't had an opportunity to do it yet. I have a friend who has a smoker, so what I need is a recipe.

    At some point I intend to grab some ground pork (probably will go to a butcher to make them a bit fattier, so it tastes like sausages) and modify my breakfast sausage recipe into a proper andouille sausage recipe. I think that it's mainly (tiny amount of) sage, a helping of thyme, and a heaping of cayenne pepper. But I'd like to figure out what else to add, so at some point I will get around to reading up on traditional andouille sausage recipes. When I have the spices right (and when it's not freezing outside), I'm probably going to use his smoker to make a few pounds of homemade, smoked andouille sausage.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    I don't particularly care for the flavor of either sassafras or thyme except as a note of complexity or coolness to a dish. If I can isolate it and taste it, there's too much for my taste... same as with cumin. I think it's just a matter of the difference in our palettes.

    To be fair, there is a whole different genre of gumbo cooked with file, and it's quite common, especially in parts outside of Louisiana. The gumbo I know and prefer is cooked without it, but honestly, I only like it when it's cooked to the point that the okra has completely dissolved. Otherwise, the gravy is too thin and the okra - which I despise in any other form I can recognize as such - is too slimy. For me, the file would only really be useful as a thickening agent in the absence of okra, and I'd have to adjust my seasonings to account for the taste. But, YMMV... and there are a lot of people out there who prefer a good file gumbo. I don't mind it when that's what's there... but if I had to pick between a file gumbo and one without, both of equal quality, I'd choose the one without.
    Fair enough. These things are up to taste, but personally I love both cumin and thyme.

    Honestly, I don't find the roux and the okra are enough to properly thicken the gumbo; however, I try not to put too much roux in (mostly for health reasons, lol). You add a lot more okra than I do, too. I really like okra, personally. I eat by itself, just lightly fried (breaking or no). The slimy texture is enjoyable, I think. I should consider adding more okra, but good, fresh okra is hard to find here in the north.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas
    My mother has a recipe for pecan pralines down to a science... even to the point that she has it timed to the minute how long she needs to leave a batch on the marble-top of her coffee table and how many batches she can tweak out of a certain amount of the ingredients.

    She developed this proficiency through many trials and errors, and several of them involved overcooking the fudge... which, as you said, makes a very gritty - but still extremely delicious - result. We have used these "failures" as crumble toppings for ice cream or even as an additive to coffee (which is particularly good, but you have to add it when the coffee is almost boiling-hot to be able to melt it appropriately).

    A good candy thermometer or a very practiced hand and eye are the order of the day. Pralines and fudge are very much "chemistry recipe" type dishes. If you fudge too much at the margins, you will fail every time.
    I don't like fudge, personally, but I absolutely love pecan pralines.





    We should talk about some more recipes... It'd be interesting to start a recipes club or something.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; February 25th, 2014 at 06:19 PM. Reason: finished the post
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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