Gumbo

Gumbo has always fascinated me in a way no other soup can.
First, there are a variety of local authentic version.
Second, lots of restaurants in the country have gumbo on their menu,
but mostly tasted like tomatoes soup, the real gumbo is hard to find outside Louisiana.

In Dallas, Copeland’s used to make good gumbo until they close, then there is only one restaurant in Galveston
actually make gumbo that does tasted like gumbo.
Cajun Kitchen in Richardson, Razoos both make it like tomato soup.
In the company cafeteria, it tasted even worse, tomato soup may actually tastes better here.
Maybe, I would need to try even more restaurant here to see.
This is where I would welcome any recommendation :-)

When we were in Hawaii, we met a friend from NO, who told me, gumbo only tastes like home make
when you use mushroom soup. Ha, learn something new-
One day, we stop by NO, visit another friend.  He treated us with a gumbo that really blow us away.
I asked for the recipe and got something like “Everything you saw in the kitchen” :-(

Now, my sis saw norecipe.com has a gumbo one in his blog.
It was really good-
As usual, I twisted it a bit follow, it came out great:

-Modified:
- To get a smokey flavor, I use smoke bacon end pieces to make the fat instead of duck fat or using very hot oil
This fat is then use to cook the vegetable, meat and roux all
- I do not like the tomatoes flavor so I drop the tomatoes paste from the original recipe
- I use fresh thyme instead of dry
- I used organic mushroom stock instead of chicken stock.  Organic line make a different with me because I like it with less salt.

Enjoy-

http://www.norecipes.com/2009/03/21/shrimp-and-duck-gumbo/
(Note: He has lots of details about technique and ingredient there, you need to read it first to understand the dish)
Spicy andouille sausage sliced
3 pieces of skinless chicken thighs, sliced
Smokey bacon end pieces

for mirepoix
2 medium onions chopped
3 medium stalks celery chopped (about 1 1/2 C)
1 medium green bell pepper chopped
1 medium red bell pepper chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
chili peppers minced (I used the yellow pepper I have in our garden)

for roux
1/4 C  fat (from above meat mixture)
1/4 C flour

for gumbo
Organic mushroom stock
Okra, chopped
Chopped flat leaf parsley leaves and stems
2 bay leaves
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp ground mustard
a bunch of fresh thyme

to finish
large shrimp
3 C cooked rice
2 full cooked eggs, chopped
Heat an 8 quart dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat until very hot.
Add the bacon, wait a few minute until some fat starting to come out.
Add the chicken to the pot. Add the sausage slices and allow to brown.
Flip the sausage slices as they brown. Transfer the sausage to a plate as they finish browning.

Remove the meat fat from the pan and left around 1 tablespoon of fat
To make the mirepoix, add the onions, garlic, pepper (I add them all here for a minute together to get all the flavour out first)

and then celery and saute until soft and translucent.
Add the two bell peppers and continue to saute until the onions are starting to caramelize and the bell peppers are nice and soft.

In the mean time, we’re going to make the roux. What we’re doing here is caramelizing the flour until it’s dark chocolate brown. To avoid burning it, it needs constant supervision and stirring, it only took 15 minutes for me, with heat increase slowly.

I used a large flat pan (Not non-stick) so it leave me more room to stir, and a wooden spoon.

Add 1/4 Cup reserved fat you have  to a medium sized sauce pan and heat over medium low heat until very hot. Add the flour and immediately start stirring, turning the heat up slowly.

As the roux reaches a medium brown color (like beef gravy), turn the heat down a little to slow the process down.

As soon as it’s reached the desired color, remove the pot from the heat and stir in some of the mirepoix to bring the temperature down quickly. Once it’s cool enough to touch, have a taste.  Cool is the keyword here, this mixture is very very hot.

Add the stock into the roux pot, stir until mix.
Then add this mixture  with the rest of the mirepoix. Put the pot over a medium high flame until the mixture begins to boil.

Turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer and add the duck, sausage and the rest of the gumbo ingredients.

When you are ready to eat,  turn the heat up and bring the gumbo to a boil then add the shrimp, stirring to submerge.
Cover immediately and remove the pot from the heat. The residual heat will gently cook the shrimp to perfection in about 7 minutes (use less time if your shrimp are small).

To serve, put a small amount of rice in the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with the gumbo. Sprinkle with eggs and serve with hot sauce.

I also served this with Fried Cajun Catfish.

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