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A Good Gumbo Recipe!
I’ll give you my recipe for gumbo. I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother who were born and raised in New Orleans and knew how to cook. Most of the time, you couldn’t get them to write their recipes because they use “pinch” for this and “enough” and “two fingers of water” and so on. This recipe is a combination of all their recipes that I have added over the years. My brother cooks his gumbo a little differently than mine and like all good cooks; he will tell you that his is good.
You need a large pot. I like to use Magnalite pots which are what my mother always uses. I have cooked gumbo in different types of pots and it still tastes good. The magic of every good Creole dish is the “roux”. This is a powder that is brown to mahogany green in color. Many people try to make a roux when they cook vegetables in bacon fat. My mother taught me to grind the flour first and then add it to your gumbo. The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about burning all your spices and you don’t have to watch everything carefully.
He would take a five-pound bag of flour and spread it in a flat pan in the oven. This is great for people who cook a lot and even I don’t cook much. I take a large frying pan Teflon and put in a cup or two of flour and under the medium until high heat slowly to coat the flour. I always stir the four with a spoon or spatula and they will be nicely browned in ten minutes or less. You can get it as brown as you like and if it burns, you haven’t ruined all your spices. There are actually a lot of gravy and roux mixes on the market now and they work just as well as a roux so you can substitute if you want. A brand called Tony Chacherie’s is a good choice. I buy a big container of gravy mix from Sam’s when I’m feeling lazy. But this could not be done with the permission of my mother or grandmother.
Here is the recipe and Bon Apetit. Creole Gumbo
Secret shared by Edgar M. Dapremont Jr.
1c. Chopped celery 1 square onion, chopped 1 square green bell pepper, chopped 4 tsp. Filet (if you can’t find this, it will still be a great gumbo) 2 cloves or minced garlic 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup bacon fat 1 lb. Andouille sausage (Cajun sausage) – if you can’t use good smoked sausage 1 tbsp. Sugar 1/8 cc Tabasco 1/2 teaspoon Tony’s Seasoning Salt 3 Qt. Water 6 beef bouillon cubes 4 bay leaves 1/2 tsp. Dried thyme leaf 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can stewed tomatoes 1 small tomato sauce 2 (10oz.) Frozen chopped herbs, thawed 2 tblsp. White vinegar 1 or 2 lbs. crabmeat dough 3 lbs. shrimp 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
ROUX: Add flour to 3/4 cup melted bacon fat in a large heavy skillet and stir well to combine. Cook this on a low flame stirring constantly until it turns a dark mahogany green color. This will take 20 to 30 minutes and must be monitored continuously and you must continue to stir until done or the powder will burn.
Another way to prepare a Roux: I take the flour and put it on a high heat stirring constantly until it turns brown. I make a roux by adding brown flour to the bacon fat and then just add the prepared vegetables. I use brown powder a lot in gravies and soups so I always have a big container of brown powder on hand. (My mom puts 5 lbs of roux in advance in her oven and keeps it in the freezer for whenever she needs it. Both ways to make a roux work well but you have to make sure it’s nice and brown.
LEAVES: Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Add the sausage and the rest of the ingredients to the roux and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every now and then to wash the vegetables. Set this aside.
BOIL WATER: While preparing the roux and vegetables, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large Dutch oven or Gumbo pot of at least 6 Qt. Growing up. Add the beef bouillon to the boiling water to make a beef broth. Add the roux mixture to the boiling sauce and stir. Reduce the heat and add the bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, Tony’s spices, and Tabasco to the boiling mixture. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour. At 45 minutes, add 2 tablespoons to the gumbo and stir.
OKRA: While the gumbo is cooking, put the herb in a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the oil from the herb and set aside.
CRABMEAT, SHRIMP, OKRA: After the gumbo has cooked for an hour, add the crabmeat, shrimp, okra, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 45 minutes after adding this last. At the end add 2 tablespoons of filet.
Serve over rice.
Comment from Edgar: Gumbo can be frozen or refrigerated and many people like it better the next day. Bon Appetit!
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