Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Gumbo YaYa

I have to keep pinching myself to believe that when I woke up this morning the Saints had in fact dismantled the Patriots. It is real - not a dream at all. So I thought in the spirit of a New Olreans celebration, I'd post the recipe for my favorite NOLA gumbo. I have mentioned before that I don't like shrimp, and I still have too many bad memories from Lent Fridays in grade school cafeterias where seafood gumbo was the only option to choose anything other than chicken and sausage gumbo as my favorite. But even among those, there is one that really stands out as the best in all of New Orleans. It can only be found at Mr. B's Bistro (PS - their cookbook is amazing!!!). It is make from the darkest roux (a flour based thickener) known to man, and has the best tasting andouille sausage swimming in it. I have tried many times to replicate their version, using the recipe on their website, but it has never compared. But in a pinch, it will do just fine. I now have a great cast iron skillet from our dear friends the Pearsons, and I tell you it has really improved the darkness and richness of the roux. It is key that the pot gets hot enough for the roux to darken, but if you let it go even one second too long, it will burn, and you have to start your entire roux process over. This recipe has many steps and seems overwhelming, but once you've done it one, you could do it in your sleep!

Gumbo Ya Ya
Making a roux is tricky business. Some pointers to keep in mind: cook your roux over moderately low heat because too high heat will cause the roux to speckle and if that happens you’ll have to throw it away and start over; add the flour gradually to the butter or oil; you must stir the roux constantly with a wooden spoon, your arm will get a workout; and never, but never leave your roux unattended.
This recipe makes a lot of gumbo, 6 quarts, so you’ll have enough for a big party or you can freeze some for later.
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 red bell peppers, in medium dice
2 green bell peppers, in medium dice
2 medium onions, in medium dice
2 celery stalks, in medium dice
1 1/4 gallon (20 cups) chicken stock
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (I use Tony's, and I do it to taste, versus 2 tbsp - spicyness of sausage varies)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices (smoked sausage will do in a pinch)
3 1/2 lb. chicken, roasted and boned
hot sauce to taste
boiled rice as accompaniment
In a 12-quart stockpot melt butter over moderately low heat. Gradually add a third of the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add a third more flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add remaining third of flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until it is the color of dark mahogany, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Add bell peppers and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add onions and celery and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add the stock to roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add all remaining ingredients except chicken, rice, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer gumbo, uncovered, 45 minutes, skimming off any fat and stirring occasionally. Add chicken and simmer 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with hot sauce. Serve over rice.
Yield: about 6 quarts

If you want to make your own...
1 1/2 cups paprika
3/4 cup ground black pepper
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/3 cup dried thyme
1/3 cup dried oregano
1/3 cup dried basil
1/4 cup granulated onion
1/4 cup cayenne
In a bowl combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container
Yield: 4 cups

1 comment:

  1. The weather down here is sooo nasty today that I brought gumbo for lunch..yummy!!!! I think the Roosevelt is decorated as of yesterday!!!! I cant wait to see it!!!



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