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Friday, October 24, 2008

Adventures in the Kitchen

Last week I decided I felt like cooking something I had never cooked before. Our friends Bill and Alison were coming over that night for dinner, and I wanted to cook something interesting. I was feeling festive, but wanted comfort food. What could I make that would satisfy that spicy craving with the warm, full belly comfort food craving?

I decided it was time for me to learn to make Gumbo.

I turned to the internet for a recipe, thinking I could make it in the slow cooker; but every recipe I found for the slow cooker had a thousand comments on it by real true Louisiana folk saying "This isn't Gumbo! Gumbo isn't gumbo unless it starts with a roux." One of the comments had a link to Emeril's recipe for gumbo, saying it was authentic and delicious, from a true Louisianan's point of view. So I thought, hey, if this recipe is Emeril AND Louisianan approved, that's what I'm using. For those of you who would like the recipe, here is the link.

I started my gumbo first by cutting up ingredients ahead of time.















Then I started the all-important roux. It took about half an hour for the roux to reach the desired chocolate brown color before I could add in the vegetables.
















The Roux involved lots of stirring. Lots. Like constant, for half an hour.



When the roux was ready, I tossed in the onions, green peppers, celery, and some garlic - which I added to the recipe. Garlic should be in everything, in my opinion. Except desserts.
















Then I had to add the sausage and spices. At this point, it is starting to smell uber delicious.
















Next I poured in the water, and the true gumbo-ness of the gumbo started to take shape.
















After several hours of stirring, simmering, and skimming, the gumbo was finally ready. I served it over Jasmine rice, which was so aromatic it worked really well with the gumbo's subdued spiciness.
















I also made hush-puppies, but I cheated on those, choosing to make them baked instead of fried. They were more like fancy corn muffins, but they were delicious, regardless. For dessert, I made a Mint Julep pie, which tasted kind of like bourbon pudding with a hint of mint, but was yummy.

All in all, a good dinner was had by all. And the leftovers were fabulous!

2 comments:

Bryan Mahoney said...

MMMMMM ... Disco Gumbo ... drool drool

Dave! said...

Mmmmmmmm ....

So if I promise to visit a couple times next year, gumbo shall be served, yes?