Gumbo v2

Here’s a major update of my original gumbo recipe.

I’ve been making Gumbo from scratch for a little over five years now. It’s pretty awesome. Each time I take notes and try to improve the recipe. This version was by far the best yet. See the original version for the pedigree.

🔗 Ingredients

🔗 Roux

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

🔗 Cooked Meat

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Pound Sausage (We used random smoked stuff and it was fine.)

🔗 Everything Else

  • 6 Stalks Celery Diced
  • 4 Roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 1 Sweet Onion Sliced
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Parsley Chopped (I used dried because I forgot to buy this.)
  • 3 Quarts Fish Stock (We got this from Santa Monica Seafood Market.)
  • 12 Ounces Dark Beer
  • 1 14.5 Ounce Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Tony’s Creole Seasoning
  • 3 large Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 cup fresh shrimp (I got Argentinian shrimp because I couldn’t find small salad shrimp.)
  • 1 cup fresh crab (I used dungeness.)

🔗 First you make a roux.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in cast iron skillet, whisk flour and butter together till smooth. Put skillet in oven. Every 20 minutes remove skillet and stir till smooth again. In about two hours the roux should be a chocolate color.

I found this a very convenient method, although it’s not the typical method so it probably is different, though I couldn’t tell how.

(You can do this days or even weeks before, just refrigerate the roux when you’re done.)

🔗 Cook the Meats

Cook chicken in skillet with the olive oil on medium high heat. Once it’s cooked through add the sausage and cook until browned. I cook the sausage so there’s a pretty solid layer of fond on the pan; not black but a rich brown fond. Drain the meat and keep it for later.

After you have gotten the meat out of the pan, deglaze the pan with a cup of stock. Scrape as much as you possibly can off the pan with a wooden spoon over low heat into the stock. Save this enhanced stock for later.

(You can do this days or even weeks before, just refrigerate the roux when you’re done.)

The last bit of prep is probably to chop the veg.

🔗 Make Gumbo!

Stir the beer and fish stock into the roux by and by in a stock pot on a burner over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and stir in the celery, tomatoes, onion, and spices. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring often.

Add the meat and cook for 15 more minutes. Stirring frequently. Add crab and shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. You’re done!

Serve gumbo over rice, with saltines and hot sauce (I use Tabasco.) Make sure that you stir it all up before you get a serving, because the sausage floats and the other meats sink and you really want a good distribution.

I really wanted to make my own fish stock this year, but getting fish heads was surprisingly hard near me. One of my coworkers suggested making the stock out of shrimp shells, which I’ll try next time. Other than that, the one thing I expect to try changing before calling this perfect is making roux the traditional way.

(Affiliate links below.)

If you enjoy this kind of post and experimentation, you would probably enjoy On Food and Cooking. It’s a fascinating deep dive into the science (and to some extent history) of everything related to food. Fascinating stuff.

Years ago I was making lots of different kinds of cocktails (initially inspired by the mention of drinking a Zombie in the Steely Dan song Haitian Divorce.) A friend linked me to a blog post of people using Liquid Nitrogen to make cocktails, and that blog post mentioned Liquid Intelligence. Everything I’ve seen that Dave Arnold (author of Liquid Intelligence) does just shows his inspiring depth of experience. I hear tell he’s working on another book but I’m sure we won’t see it for a year.

Posted Sat, Feb 20, 2021

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