The CookingBites Cookalong: Gumbo

The concept of the CookingBites Cookalong is to cook 'classic’ or regional recipes and/or practice specific techniques. Its similar in concept but rather more specific than 'Dish of the Month'. This time round the chosen dish is Gumbo (see discussion here). We have some members with good experience of cooking Gumbo and others (like me) who are completely new to cooking it. Whatever your experience, please join in and post photos of the results and add advice and comments. Gumbo can be made as a meat, seafood or vegetable dish so its very flexible in terms of dietary requirements. Please join in!

As always with our challenges, if you want to post a full recipe then please post as a new thread, tag it 'cookingbites cookalong' and place a link to it in this thread. The deadline for participation is the end of November.
 

medtran49

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Craig's been going through our cookbooks. He's found a few new recipes he likes the looks of, but is going to go back and look at them again. Out of at least 7 or 8 books (maybe more), he found 1 recipe for gumbo that uses tomatoes, and the ones used sound like the Rotel brand (with chiles).
 

morning glory

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Craig's been going through our cookbooks. He's found a few new recipes he likes the looks of, but is going to go back and look at them again. Out of at least 7 or 8 books (maybe more), he found 1 recipe for gumbo that uses tomatoes, and the ones used sound like the Rotel brand (with chiles).
But they all use that technique of brown roux? That is the thing I'm fascinated to try. Its so very different from what I'm used to.
 

medtran49

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You use different colored rouxs for different gumbo. Are we still allowed to post photos of cookbook pages? I seem to remember SatNavSaysStraightOn said we couldn't. Anyway, in 1 of Paul Prudhomme's books, there's a pictorial showing the different colors and uses for each.
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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You use different colored rouxs for different gumbo. Are we still allowed to post photos of cookbook pages? I seem to remember SatNavSaysStraightOn said we couldn't. Anyway, in 1 of Paul Prudhomme's books, there's a pictorial showing the different colors and uses for each.
There are too many copyright hazards related to photographing recipes or even general information on any page of any book, not just cookbooks for me to be able to say yes. My advice is don't please. If request I will have to remove these images which leaves threads incoherent at best. At worst I could be requested to provide information to identify you to police if the author decided to prosecute, plus you could potentially open me up to prosecution as well for being seen to permit it. Not related to this site, but in my role as a senior ICT technician and network manager in a school, I have had to assist police in investigations which leaf to a successful prosecution and it is something I'd rather not have to do again, please. And whilst it is exceptionally unlikely, I still can not say yes.
Copying it out and putting it in your own words is fine (though I appreciate it is not as easy or as quick).

Advice on copyright can be found in the help pages to which there is a link at the bottom of every page on this site (bottom right).
 

caseydog

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You use different colored rouxs for different gumbo. Are we still allowed to post photos of cookbook pages? I seem to remember SatNavSaysStraightOn said we couldn't. Anyway, in 1 of Paul Prudhomme's books, there's a pictorial showing the different colors and uses for each.
There are a few YouTube videos on Chef Paul, and his gumbo. They are not detailed recipes, but inspiring to watch -- and you can link to YouTube videos, because the authors benefit from getting the extra views.

Back in the day, K-Paul's restaurant was one of THE places to go in NOLA. IIRC, they did not take reservations, so there would be a line outside waiting for a chance to get a table.

CD
 

caseydog

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Since this cook-along is in November, maybe I can knock out a pot of my annual leftover turkey and andouille sausage gumbo in time. I use the turkey carcass to make the stock.

CD
 

morning glory

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There is an excellent (rather long) article here which talks about Prudhommes contribution to the development of the roux - its well worth reading the whole article:

Perhaps no dish was more altered than gumbo. "[Prudhomme's] thick, dark-roux chicken-andouille gumbo was dramatically different from the lighter seafood gumbos served in most restaurants," Fitzmorris writes in Hungry Town "Within a few years, most gumbos in hip restaurants around town were in the robust, new style."

There's now a divide between gumbo as it's found in restaurants and the way it's cooked in private homes by locals using their family's traditional recipes. "Restaurant gumbos are thicker and darker than I grew up on," Elie says. "And thicker and darker than those found in the homes of most black New Orleanians."
How Roux Made Its Way Into the Gumbo Pot
 

caseydog

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There is another article on the same website with detailed description of how to mak the roux - with photos.

View attachment 34159

A roux in various phases of darkness: white, blond, peanut butter, and dark (or chocolate).

What Makes Gumbo Gumbo? A Guide to Louisiana's Signature Stew
Cast iron is a good pan/pot choice for a roux, because of its ability to maintain a pretty constant temperature. I use a porcelain enamel coated cast iron dutch oven.

The darker the roux, the more you have to pay attention. But, don't get psyched out. Your first dark roux may be stressful, but after you have made a few, it's not a big deal. Do your mise en place, take a bathroom break, and turn off your phone before you start. You'll be fine.

CD
 

ElizabethB

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I have never tried Gumbo Z'Herbes. I may experiment with that this weekend. It will not be vegetarian because I will use chicken broth and sausage. Before the month is over I will make a huge batch of chicken and sausage gumbo.
The challenge for me is to document weights and measures. Gumbo is not a recipe dish.
Thanks MG. It is officially Gumbo Weather.
 

Mountain Cat

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I would love to participate, but will have to wait until later in the month. At least for this first part, I want to downsize the amount of starchy foods I am eating. (I just don't feel to the top of my game... and I know Thanksgiving is coming.)

I loved a good seafood, or a good Andouille sausage gumbo when I was in New Orleans (two separate visits). I do believe the gumbo I remember best (second trip, which was the Halloween prior to Katrina) had lots of shellfish plus the Andouille.

If I do make one later this month... it will have OKRA and potentially file powder in it. Cajun, no tomato.
 
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