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Gumbo Redux

Scary, it really was almost a year ago that I last made gumbo. Tonight's was part of my research into roux for the next Honest Cuisine article. Did you know that the earliest known reference to roux (cooking flour in fat as a thickener, not the word) is from a mid-sixteenth century german cookbook? Anyway, this year was vastly superior to last year's. Probably because I was so anal about the roux (it being research and all), and because I actually had some good andouille and tasso to toss in. At least, I think it was good. I mean it tasted pretty damn good—smokey and spicy and all that. But it was from D'Artagnan, which is in New Jersey, not terribly close to any bayou that I know of. If any of you Louisiana natives (Chuck, Robert?) have ever tried this particular brand and have an opinion, I'd love to hear it.

Well, we have so much gumbo left over, we're going to try to see if we can get some people over tomorrow for an impromptu party to finish it off. So if you're in the neighborhood and have a hankerin' for some gumbo...


Posted on Jan 18, 2003 @ 08:47 PM

Comments:


Anni:

Speaking about roux.... Last night I made a recipe for Veal Milanese that was in the Providence Journal this week. The recipe was from Mama Spumoni's Restaurant in Pawtucket(?). Anyways, the sauce used a roux consisting of 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup flour. The sauce used 8 cups of chicken stock. As I was making it, it seemed like an awful lot of liquid, but as this was the first time I made this recipe I followed the instructions. As I suspected, the sauce was much to thin (as opposed to thick). Any suggestions?? By the way, the recipe was lousy, no taste at all, plus that runny sauce.

Posted on Jan 19, 2003 @ 09:20 AM

Dick:

Wow, that is a horribly written recipe! It looks like the lack of taste stems primarily from the omission of simple salt and pepper in the recipe. Maybe they thought it was just a given that people know to season their meat before cooking and season their sauces before serving. The sauce problem is more an issue of volume rather than proportion. A recipe for four servings that calls for eight cups of stock for the sauce means two cups of sauce per person! However, the ratio of roux to stock is correct for a classic sauce velouté (2 tbs. butter, 2 tbs. flour, 2 cups stock), so my guess is that the amounts are for the batch of sauce they would make at the restaurant, not the amount needed for four servings.

Velouté is a rather thin sauce in and of itself and is usually used as a base for other sauces that are themselves thickened further with eggs or through additional reduction before serving. It may also have been more runny for you than what you'd get at a restaurant because you used canned broth rather than stock. Stock is made from bones which provide geletine, which gives a sauce made from stock more body and a thicker mouth feel than sauce made with broth. 10 minutes is also not enough time to thicken a velouté sauce—20 to 30 minutes is more like it. Finally, the sauce will also thicken a bit as it cools so velouté sauces are best served warm rather than hot.

Posted on Jan 19, 2003 @ 11:30 AM

Robert:

I've never tried Andouille or Tasso from D'Artagnan, but I have had some of their other charcuterie products, and enjoyed them. What kind of gumbo did you make, by the way?

Posted on Jan 19, 2003 @ 11:36 AM

Dick:

Just a good basic chicken and sausage gumbo. Another part of it's success this time was probably my dousing the chicken pieces in creole seasoning (I used Chuck Taggert's blend 'cause it calls for celery seed and I just love to use celery seed when I can get away with it) and giving the meat good sear in a hot skillet before adding them to the gumbo.

Posted on Jan 19, 2003 @ 11:52 AM

Chuck:

<voice tone="shocked">
New Jersey?!?
</voice>

Sorry, I just wanted to sound like that salsa commercial.

Although my first knee-jerk instinct might be to eschew any Garden State-made so-called Louisiana product, I must confess that I get my andouille from the two German guys who run the European Deluxe Sausage Kitchen in Beverly Hills, and it's fantastic (from a Louisiana recipe). I've never tried D'Artagnan's andouille or tasso, but I'd bet it's up to the high standards of all their other products (and I'm ordering some of that sliced foie gras!)

Now, if you want order from belle Louisiane, I'd say try a place in LaPlace, the self-proclaimed Andouille Capital of the World. There's Jacob's World-Famous Andouille, or another good place is Poché's Market in Breaux Bridge (sorry about the bad embedded MIDI Cajun music).

One thing you oughta try if you've got leftover meat ... use some of that good tasso in a Gumbo Z'herbes. The smoky tasso and all those greens would be fantastic together (and you might even throw in a dried chipotle or two). I've only made it with ham hocks but I bet it'd be even better with tasso.

Posted on Jan 20, 2003 @ 01:00 PM

Dick:

Actually, I believe it's pronounced JOY-zee (seeing as you're using a voice tag there). I did used the tasso to make collard greens, last week and it definitely makes greens sing.

Posted on Jan 21, 2003 @ 08:21 PM

JoAnna:

Drat, missed the gumbo party. Where would it have been, anyway?

Posted on Feb 03, 2003 @ 01:50 AM

JoAnna:

yes, boston of course, but what part? I've been to milton. in the winter. brrrrrrrrr!

Posted on Feb 03, 2003 @ 01:51 AM


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