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Thread: Gumbo

  1. #21
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    Re: Gumbo

    I don't like fudge, personally, but I absolutely love pecan pralines.
    The best pralines I ever had were from a displaced Louisianan who ran a restaurant in Cleveland. Can't remember the name, but it was a one-man operation not too far from the Case Western campus.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    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.
    Let me know when you do, I'm only a short drive down the road.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    We should talk about some more recipes... It'd be interesting to start a recipes club or something.
    Agreed!
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  3. #23
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Let me know when you do, I'm only a short drive down the road.
    Damn I'd love to have a beer and smoke some meat with you fellas. Either of you ever taste some genuine moonshine?
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  4. #24
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Damn I'd love to have a beer and smoke some meat with you fellas. Either of you ever taste some genuine moonshine?
    Never have... but with a few days notice, I can get access to a meat smoker.

    Let me know if you're ever new Louisiana.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Gumbo

    Yes, I've tried two different genuine moonshines. Once it was clear, the other kind was apple pie moonshine. In general, I won't taste more than a sip or two. The fibers in the corn lead to methanol production when fermented and if not properly vapor distilled out, it will damage your body. And I just don't trust the red necks that I know to get it right. They aren't exactly regular Walter Whites, if you know what I mean.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  6. #26
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Yes, I've tried two different genuine moonshines. Once it was clear, the other kind was apple pie moonshine. In general, I won't taste more than a sip or two. The fibers in the corn lead to methanol production when fermented and if not properly vapor distilled out, it will damage your body. And I just don't trust the red necks that I know to get it right. They aren't exactly regular Walter Whites, if you know what I mean.
    That's really too bad. I've had a few stills myself over the years, and I do love me some apple pie. White lightning is all well and good but it's always been about that apple pie for me. I can definitely understand your reservations when it comes to methanol, you can't trust just anybody to make some safe shine. Damn, if I lived anywhere near you fellas I'd bring a couple of gallons and see if I could get someone "white girl wasted".

    You're not a mole, are ya? Hahahahaha. But on another note, when it comes to meat smoking one of my favorite recipes is the beer can chicken we make. We used to go to my uncle Jeff's, slaughter a chicken, and follow this basic formula that day:

    You take 2 sticks of butter, diced shallots, chives, garlic, and rosemary. Heat the butter in a pan and throw these other ingredients in. Now take that and stuff it right under that chicken's skin. Grab a can of beer and drink half the beer, because it's a sin to waste a good brewskie. Now stuff the chicken with whatever you like, and set it upright on that can. Put a hot pepper in the neck hole to keep moisture from escaping. Then just smoke that bad boy in a ten gallon drum, or with whatever you use. We like to baste it every so often and let that can of beer do it's magic inside as it constantly condenses. Then we take some drippings that we've collected from the bird and start what we call red eyed gravy. You start a red eyed gravy with a good, heavy corn slurry. After that you add your drippings, however much salt and pepper you want (we usually like a good deal of pepper in it), and a half of a cup of coffee. As you can imagine, it's a pretty strong, bitter gravy so it's more for meat dipping than anything. Of course, southern gravy recipes like that aren't always everyone's cup of tea.

    Anyone a big fan of liver and onions here? You always hear that stereotype that liver and onions is just terrible, but I guess that's because most places I've had it they cooked it like shoe leather.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Gumbo

    Oh yeah, we have quite a bit here in VA (Texas did too). I was actually surprised how mellow it was though. I expected it to be like you see on TV where you cough a bit and can't talk, but it had a mild flavor and was a bit of a bite, but not much.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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  8. #28
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    That's really too bad. I've had a few stills myself over the years, and I do love me some apple pie. White lightning is all well and good but it's always been about that apple pie for me. I can definitely understand your reservations when it comes to methanol, you can't trust just anybody to make some safe shine. Damn, if I lived anywhere near you fellas I'd bring a couple of gallons and see if I could get someone "white girl wasted".

    You're not a mole, are ya? Hahahahaha. But on another note, when it comes to meat smoking one of my favorite recipes is the beer can chicken we make. We used to go to my uncle Jeff's, slaughter a chicken, and follow this basic formula that day:

    You take 2 sticks of butter, diced shallots, chives, garlic, and rosemary. Heat the butter in a pan and throw these other ingredients in. Now take that and stuff it right under that chicken's skin. Grab a can of beer and drink half the beer, because it's a sin to waste a good brewskie. Now stuff the chicken with whatever you like, and set it upright on that can. Put a hot pepper in the neck hole to keep moisture from escaping. Then just smoke that bad boy in a ten gallon drum, or with whatever you use. We like to baste it every so often and let that can of beer do it's magic inside as it constantly condenses. Then we take some drippings that we've collected from the bird and start what we call red eyed gravy. You start a red eyed gravy with a good, heavy corn slurry. After that you add your drippings, however much salt and pepper you want (we usually like a good deal of pepper in it), and a half of a cup of coffee. As you can imagine, it's a pretty strong, bitter gravy so it's more for meat dipping than anything. Of course, southern gravy recipes like that aren't always everyone's cup of tea.

    Anyone a big fan of liver and onions here? You always hear that stereotype that liver and onions is just terrible, but I guess that's because most places I've had it they cooked it like shoe leather.
    I'm familiar with red-eye gravy, although I've never had it. What do you mean by "corn slurry"?
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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  10. #29
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    I'm familiar with red-eye gravy, although I've never had it.
    I grew up having it, but not like that. The common thread for any red-eye gravy is that it uses coffee as the base for the gravy. The way I was taught, red-eye gravy is what you get when you bake a ham and baste it with coffee, allowing the drippings and things that would otherwise have just burned and crisped to be incorporated into the coffee. It's quite good if done well.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix
    What do you mean by "corn slurry"?
    My best guess is that he means a suspension of corn starch mixed well into a small amount of water so that when you add the corn starch, you don't get lumps because the corn starch is already in liquid form before it gets into the gravy. It's a very common way to thicken gravies without reducing the volume or concentrating (or scorching) the flavors of the gravy.

    Correct me if I"m wrong, Luke.
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  12. #30
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    Re: Gumbo

    Shoot, you guys know there's a hell of a lot of different ways to make gravy. I've had red-eyed gravy like that and it was pretty good. Normally, I don't use coffee for my base. I use drippings and a slurry for my base.

    You're right on point about the slurry, Talthas. And the bits are the best part of the gravy in my opinion. We like to take some back fat, the giblet, and any other bits that run off. Geeze, talking about meat drippings is food porn to me. There should be a magazine solely made to document different gravies and uses for drippings. I'd subscribe to that for life.
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  14. #31
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    Re: Gumbo

    I had guessed that was what he was going for, but he could also have meant some type of grits or cornmeal base, so I wasn't sure. I make sawmill gravy often enough (with bacon or sausage drippings), it's amazing. I'll have to give red-eye gravy a try. I've meant to for a long time, I just never remember. Does anyone have any exact recipes?

    Personally, I always go with roux-thickened gravity. It's not that cornstarch isn't good, it's that roux adds a necessary flavor component to gravies, imo. But I also use "dark" roux for gravies (French dark, not Cajun dark, so second spoon over on Squatch's picture). This imparts a good bit of flavor. lol, I feel like I should have been born in the South with my food preferences (At least for American food, anyways).

    I also often cook with beer when braising meat, and this adds a magnificent quality to gravy. For instance, I highly recommend adding a porter to every pot roast that you make and use a French-dark roux --the gravy will be ridiculously good.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; March 1st, 2014 at 04:26 PM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  15. #32
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    I had guessed that was what he was going for, but he could also have meant some type of grits or cornmeal base, so I wasn't sure. I make sawmill gravy often enough (with bacon or sausage drippings), it's amazing. I'll have to give red-eye gravy a try. I've meant to for a long time, I just never remember. Does anyone have any exact recipes?

    Personally, I always go with roux-thickened gravity. It's not that cornstarch isn't good, it's that roux adds a necessary flavor component to gravies, imo. But I also use "dark" roux for gravies (French dark, not Cajun dark, so second spoon over on Squatch's picture). This imparts a good bit of flavor. lol, I feel like I should have been born in the South with my food preferences (At least for American food, anyways).

    I also often cook with beer when braising meat, and this adds a magnificent quality to gravy. For instance, I highly recommend adding a porter to every pot roast that you make and use a French-dark roux, --the gravy will be ridiculously good.
    Sorry, in my family we do "granny cooking". You throw in a handful of this, a little bit of that. It just turns out however you want it that day, and we constantly look for new ways to do things. I've been known to make my gravy a little boozy myself, although when I make a pot roast I normally use burgundy.
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  16. #33
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    Re: Gumbo

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Sorry, in my family we do "granny cooking". You throw in a handful of this, a little bit of that. It just turns out however you want it that day, and we constantly look for new ways to do things. I've been known to make my gravy a little boozy myself, although when I make a pot roast I normally use burgundy.
    Yeah, if you're doing wine, a burgundy or other dry red wine. If you're using beer, then use a porter. I add a little lager to my chicken and pork roasts. In the case of a pork roast, I basically drown it in lager. It's amazing.
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  18. #34
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    Re: Gumbo

    I just made some gumbo yesterday, it's had a day to sit in the fridge, and damn it's good. Upon making it again (I've made it several times since that OP was made), and I thought I'd give an update on this recipe. So I've tried a few gumbos since I've made this recipe, and I have to say that this one if still my favorite gumbo. But I have tweaked a few things:

    1.) So, I've tried several different Andouille sausages now, and I have to say the smoked one (as it ought to be smoked) that I find at Whole Foods is the best you probably can find in the North (or at least the parts where I come from), right next to it is one from a local farm that smokes its own meat. I can't get it regularly from there though, since you have to drive two hours to get there, and I think it uses a small bit of fennel. It's not bad (for sausages with fennel), and it's only a tiny bit of fennel, but I'd rather a very small bit of fennel or better yet, no fennel at all. So if you're outside of Louisianna, this is at least a tasty option, even if I'm not sure that it's 100% authentic. Also, I've upped the amount of shrimp to a round one pound. I love shrimp.

    2.) So upon trying some of Talthas' recipe suggestions, I do have to say that throwing in maybe 12 ounces of stewed tomatoes rather than using tomato paste --Talthas' recipe got this right, it's definitely better with the stewed tomatoes. It adds a sweet component to the dish, because each little stewed tomato has a burst of sweetness, which gives the dish an even deeper complexity. However, I prefer to keep it to about a pound (pre-trimming the top and bottoms off) of okra. I definitely prefer the combination of 2/3 cup flour to make dark roux, ~1 lbs okra, and a scant tablespoon of file. Also, for me, not having file powder is not acceptable, lol. I have to say, not adding a lot of file powder really doesn't make a good gumbo, imo. Also, I know for some Cajuns, gumbo should have either okra or file, but I also have seen Cajuns who use file and okra, too. So Talthas and I have somewhat different philosophies on gumbo, but I do have to hand it to him that the canned of stewed tomatoes is excellent. Also, Talthas, bro, definitely try the tsp of cumin that I use. I think that this recently accents the pork and the seafood in a really amazing way, so you should give it a try sometime. (Again, just enough to give a tiny hint in the background). Also, I know that most Cajuns add their trinity directly to their roux to cool it off, but I honestly think I save my wrist by just letting them get translucent in a pot for 10 min before adding them to the stock, and I think it helps to soften the vegetables better than just throwing it into the roux.

    3.) I've decided that I tend to slightly burn my roux when I go for the darker roux. So I bring it to about the middlespoon on Squatch's picture. It helps to thicken it up better, anyways, because the darker you get the roux the less thickening power it has. Also, I wanted to mention that some people use a double roux, where once they have their Cajun dark roux made, they toss in some fresh flour and mix it before adding their trinity or their stock. It helps thicken the gumbo more. Also, I've found that you can discover what flavor of roux tastes the best for you or if you've burnt it: If you take a bit on a spoon and pour some cold tap water on it, and (it's f***ing hot so let it sit in the cold water on your spoon for a second) mix it up with your finger, it should taste between caramel and toasty/nutty.


    4.) I still boil the shrimp shells in with the stock, and it's damn good. Now, with that said, I have modified the stock somewhat, in that I also a couple of carrots. I am considering adding a smoked ham hock for 20 minutes; I've seen someone else do this when building their stock. Another thing that I've seen people do is build a stock and build a stock base (You take bones and shells --i.e. chicken and pork bones, shrimp shells, crap shells, etc, and boil it with water, mirepoix, herbs, bay leaves, wine, etc-- and then boil it down to a thick, thick substance --almost a paste). Then you combine the stock and the base to create a "superstock." For a recipe that already takes 5 hours and is pretty damn pungent, I don't much see the point, but if one of you all wants to try it and let me know how it goes, I'd love to hear about the results. I'm trying out fresh thyme over dried thyme. I have been liking the taste of fresh thyme more, recently, and it's easy to add a few sprigs to the stock pot. Also, as a general point, I add more parsley than most Cajuns seem to add to their gumbo, and I've got to say that you should give the at least half of a bunch of parsley to your gumbo pot a try (Keeping in mind that I have about 3.5 lbs of meat in my current recipe). Additionally, some people add dried basil to their Cajun seasoning mix (the mix, minus the file powder, that I have in my spice list), which I haven't tried yet but it's something to keep in mind. BTW, I forgot to add the 1 to 2 tsp of thyme that you have to add to that spice mixture. I add two teaspoons because I loves me thyme.


    As for future recipes:

    I'm anxious to try seafood gumbo now that I've realized that Whole Foods sells kick ass seafood. I think that I'll be doing a shrimp, crab, and scallop gumbo at the beginning of August --I wish I could get crayfish, I do love crayfish. In addition, I've also recently discovered the existence of green gumbo. That I will also be trying either at the end of summer or this fall, I think. (I'll be making a ham and Andouille green gumbo, so I won't be keeping with lenten tradition... Well, because ham and Andouille are delicious).

    I now have a really solid red beans and rice dish, which has ham, Andouille, and I also throw in a smoked pork neck. It's good, I may write that up. In addition, I'm working on a shrimp etoufee recipe that I haven't quite mastered yet. I think after one more try, I'll have a good enough recipe that I'd share, but we'll see. I have some other recipes that I eat from time to time (Cuban pulled pork, my Italian-American meatballs and basil tomato sauce, my mac and cheese recipe is good but standard, my collard greens are good, my potroast is also quite good). Also, I finally made a really good chicken and dumplings recipe, I may share that, too. It's difficult, lol, because I don't really write down amounts, I just throw in a good bit of this spice and good bit of another spice.
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  20. #35
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    Re: Gumbo

    EDIT: Oh yeah, also a really nice trick. So if you have a pot that won't melt in the oven (I have a ceramic 6 quart pot), I recommend once you've put in everything and you're just letting the flavors meld, set your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the pot with the lid on. I usually left mine cook for a minimum of two to three hours at a low simmer. But if you leave it in your oven, then 250 degrees isn't enough to make it burn on the bottom, so no stirring is necessary for the whole time.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  21. #36
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    Re: Gumbo

    Right this moment I'm trying your gumbo. We'll see how it goes. Probably going to make mine considerably more spicy, though. If I'm not sweating when I eat gumbo, chances are I didn't make it.
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  23. #37
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    Re: Gumbo

    Remember to add the thyme and the stewed tomatoes. And lots of parsley!


    EDIT: Oh, I also tend to throw in a bunch of chopped green onions, too. Oh, also, btw, my gumbo is spicy as hell, the Andouille that I use has grease that runs red (Not orange, red). So I don't need to add much more cayenne pepper to mine, but if your Andouille isn't too spicy, I'd definitely up the cayenne pepper. Gumbo needs to be spicy.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; July 14th, 2015 at 09:47 AM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Gumbo

    Hey Lukecash --how'd it go? Any suggestions from a native Louisianian?
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Gumbo

    The stewed tomatoes were a good addition. Normally I prefer them over tomato paste or sauce anyways. I pretty much followed all of your directions, I'm not into parsley or file powder as much as yourself. That and I pity you my friend that you can't find any crawdads. I live next to a creek and go hunting for them myself. That's the star of the dish for me. To be honest this recipe reminded me of my great aunt Maxine. You can take that as a compliment, because I truly loved her and her cooking.

    Btw, I'm not from Louisiana. My friend, the proper expression is "an Okie from Askogie". However, much of my family is from Missouri, Alabama, and Louisiana. My particular part of the family is just a generation away from Ireland though, and Wynewood over there is like a second home. Sadly I live in California now, and with this drought the fishing is pitiful. This kind of food makes me miss my family.
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    Re: Gumbo

    Thank you for sharing this receipt. To be honest I was searching for a full receipt of this dish for a long time. I tasted it during my travelling to Louisiana and after that all Gumbos seemed to me unpalatable. But after trying to prepare it according to this cookie I may say that it is the real Gumbo!

 

 
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