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Gumbo And Everything About It
All About Gumbo
Did you know that a peek into a pot of Gumbo is like a look back into the rich history of Louisiana. And when you make your Gumbo never forget that your finished Gumbo should be served over a big serving of hot buttered rice. And rice has almost as rich a history in Louisiana as Gumbo.
In case you don't know okra which is what should go in the best gumbo's found its way from Africa to Louisiana along with the slaves who came to work in the fields and kitchens of southern Louisiana. The word for okra back home in Africa was Gombo and it wasn't long before the dish served in Louisiana came to be called Gumbo. And to be at its best flavor okra needs to be cooked for at least 45 minutes. But not a lot longer. So what you want to do especially if your using raw sliced okra is to add it in your last hour of cooking time. If your using canned or frozen okra add it in the last 45 minutes of cooking time.
Do you know about the Holy Trinity used in a lot of Louisiana Cooking including Gumbo. Its made of chopped celery , onions , and green peppers. When added to your Gumbo the vegetables should all be chopped to the same small uniform size. Try to shoot for pieces about half the size of a penny. And you may want to use your food processor to make this job easier.
Your Gumbo can contain any of the following sausage including Kielbasa , Andouille , and Chaurice Sausage , Tasso Ham , oysters , crayfish , crab , oysters , blue crab claws , chicken , duck , or rabbit. Some cooks put tomatoes in and some don't. I add both tomatoes and tomato paste for the rich flavor it adds to the Gumbo. And any good gumbo will of course contain the okra that it gets its name from.
But the thing that really is the secret of Gumbo and makes every pot of Gumbo is the roux. And the best roux is made from equal parts of flour and fat. The fat in your roux can be bacon grease , vegetable oil , or butter. But bacon grease save from cooking bacon makes the best tasting roux and gumbo that you will ever eat.
How To Make Your Roux
One of the easiest ways to make roux is to use an equal part of plain all purpose flour and real butter. Your real butter should be melted down so you can have 1 cup of real melted butter and 1 cup of plain all purpose flour. Start it out in a big cast iron pan if you have one. If not you can use a thick skillet or saucepan. And your going to need a wire whisk and your going to need to be ready to stir.
You want to have your pan on medium heat so the roux will cook but not burn. Keep using your wire whisk to stir your Gumbo down from the sides of your pan and don't forget the bottom of your pan. A good roux will be rich chocolate brown but not burned. If you burn it throw it out and start over. Your finished roux can be poured out once it cools some into a plastic bowl with lid until you need it.
Delicious Shrimp And Okra Gumbo
Shrimp And Okra Gumbo Recipe
Here is a recipe for those that roux scares. It's a delightfully simple recipe for Shrimp and Okra Gumbo that doesn't use roux. Instead you use tomato paste. And it really is delicious especially served over hot buttered white rice.
For Your Recipe You Will Need.
1. 2 Pounds of peeled and deviened Shrimp. , Hold back to last 20 minutes of cooking time.
2. 1 Teaspoon each salt , black pepper , cayenne pepper.
3. One Half Cup Olive Oil.
4. Two pounds thin sliced Fresh Okra or a 2 pound bag of fresh frozen okra.
5. One 6 Ounce Can Tomato Paste.
6. One Cup Each Fine Chopped Onion , Celery , Green Pepper.
7. 16 Cups of Canned Chicken Broth.
Put everything but your shrimp into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for at least one hour before you add your shrimp. Check out the thickness of your broth and if you don't think it is quite thick enough add another can of tomato paste.
Serve a huge ladle of your gumbo over a serving of cooked white rice in a bowl for each person. For a more complete meal serve a Green Salad and a square of Mexican Corn Bread. Garnish your Gumbo with fine chopped green onions including the tops.