Monday, June 11, 2012
Gumbo Recipe with Detailed Photo Tutorial
Here's my gumbo recipe along with some photos to help you along the way. Many cooks shy away from making a roux. Don't be one of them. It's not hard. It just requires that you tend to it. For me, the roux will make or break your gumbo. Since it's the first step in the process, if it comes out lousy, dump it and start over. You've only invested about 10 minutes in it.
Before you get started, make your stock and cut up your "trinity," the staple of Cajun cooking: celery, onion, green bell pepper. Have them ready to go.
1. Add oil to large pot over medium high heat. Heat until it shimmers.
2. Make sure you have a whisk and/or wooden spoon (I use both) ready to go and that you are free to stand over the pot for a good 15 minutes. Add the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder, and begin whisking.
3. Whisk almost constantly. These pictures show the roux at 3 minutes, at 7 minutes and at 11 minutes, where it is finally ready. Past 11 minutes, I would probably have a burnt roux. You want it dark but not burnt and that's the fine line that scares people away from trying. Don't be afraid. You can do this.
4. As soon as the roux is the color you want--I mean immediately)-- dump your veggies into the pot, stirring to coat with the roux. This stops the roux from cooking while beginning to cook your veggies. (I was living dangerously by stopping to take pictures!) Keep stirring, still over medium high heat, for about 3 or 4 minutes to soften veggies.
5. Carefully stir stock into pot, stirring gently until it incorporates with the roux, into a nice creamy consistency and it is gently boiling. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are very soft.
6. For seafood gumbo, add shrimp, oysters, crawfish or other seafood of your choice and cook simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes, if raw, or 5 minutes, if cooked. For chicken and sausage gumbo, add cooked chicken and uncooked sausage and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over rice. (first pic below is seafood, second is chicken and sausage)
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe:
3/4 c oil (canola or vegetable)
1 1/4 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/4 c each chopped celery, onion, bell pepper
2 qt seafood or chicken stock (depending on what kind of gumbo you're making)
For my seafood gumbo, I used about 3 lb of seafood. For chicken (you can use turkey, too), the meat of a whole boiled chicken plus about a pound of sliced smoked sausage.
I make my stock by boiling the chicken (or turkey carcass) in water-- no seasonings. Simple. Same with shrimp, except I just boil the shells so I can really boil the heck out of them and get a lot of flavor without over- cooking the shrimp. I strain the stock through coffee filters I put into a metal strainer so I get a nice clear stock.
A few calorie saving tips. First, I like to make my poultry stock a day in advance or many hours in advance so I can refrigerate it and skim all the fat off of it. Next, there's oil in gumbo. It's essential to making the roux. I've found that I can leave the gumbo sitting for a couple of hours after it's cooked and most of the oil will rise to the top and I can carefully skim almost all of it from the gumbo.
Please let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out for you. Enjoy!
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