Sunday, January 9, 2011
Stash the Gumbo
When we went to New Orleans, I ate some gumbo, as a person should when they are in New Orleans. Though the gumbo I ate was not from The Gumbo Shop, when I saw this autographed cookbook at Faulkner House from that fine, little restaurant, I bought it so I could try and replicate a few of the traditional dishes they serve. Up first? Gumbo, of course.
First I prepped my veg, chop chop. The recipe called for the Trinity: onions, peppers, and celery, and that went into the pot, but we also have 10 pounds of carrots in the fridge, so I decided to chop a few and add that to the dish, along with a handful of garlic. So far so good. But before I sauteed the veg, I started my roux, which is really what makes gumbo what it is by adding a deepness of flavor.
Now, the roux recipe stated I should use half a cup of oil, and half a cup of flour, and that is exactly what I used, though some may say that much oil creates a greasy gumbo. I prefer to think of it as silky.
Into the hot oil went my spelt flour, and then the whisking began. As the water cooks away from the flour, the roux begins smelling like popcorn. This is when the real darkening of the roux begins. I whisked and cooked that roux until it was as dark as chocolate, and then I added all of the chopped veggers and a good measure of Pasta Sprinkle, which goes with just about everything. I allowed the veg to stick to the pot a little as the recipe states before scraping it up several times, and when I tasted it, it was good. A little salt, yes.
Earlier in the day, I bought a few links of spicy chicken sausage, and I substituted that for the andouille. No problem. I also added a bunch of chicken breast that I baked earlier to the pot after the veg softened. A can of whole tomatoes, a cup of chicken broth, and we are cooking away. I doubled the tomatoes, and that gave the gumbo a reddish appearance, whereas traditionally, I think gumbo is browner.
The majority of the liquid in the gumbo, though, came from a batch of homemade stock that Janet made from two meaty turkey carcasses saved from Thanksgiving and the usual stock vegetables. This stock was very good--rich and flavorful. From the fridge, it jiggled gelatinously in the bowl before I added it.
A little brown basmati rice accompanied the dish, and I must say it was quite agreeable to my taste buds, though something happened with the rice. I decided to make more, so I think I added more liquid to my liquid I already had boiling after I had already added more liquid. It was all right, albeit a little smooshy.
Where Y'at? Right here, eating some gumbo, watching the Bobcats win their second in a row.