Gumbo!

Monday, 8 December 2008 18:49
merlyn_4401: (brothers)
[personal profile] merlyn_4401

Here are the ingredients.

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So the first thing you do is take a pound of polish sausage and boil it for 15 minutes. I have no idea why this step is here, but it is, so I do it. :)

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Then you take your pound of Jimmy Dean pork sausage and roll it into little meatballs.

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Bake those in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes as well. While all that is cooking, prep your veggies. You need 2-3 onions, 2 green peppers, 5 stalks of celery, and 2 large tomatoes, peeled. Peeling tomatoes in a pain, unless you boil them first. So my super seekrit trick is to plop the tomatoes in the sausage water once the sausage is all done. Roll them around in there for 15-20 seconds.

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Then the skin peels right off. See?

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Now that you have all your stuff prepped...

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the work starts. Now we make a roux. A roux is what gives a gumbo its rich flavor. It's the most important step, so you want to be sure to do it right and not burn it. The recipe I have is OLD (my grandmother's), so the measurements are a bit odd. Her roux calls for "2 kitchen spoons of oil and 2 kitchen spoons of flour". When I eyeball it, it looks like about...1/3 cup of each. Maybe 1/2. It doesn't particularly matter, but you want your oil and flour proportions to be relatively equal. I use kitchen spoons. :)

Flour

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Oil (I use olive oil)

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Mix it together until it is smooth.

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Cook it until it turns a caramel brown. DO NOT LET IT BURN. How long it takes really depends on how high you are brave enough to crank the heat. I had mine one bump over medium and it took about 20 minutes. The first time I did it, I kept it one bump below medium and it took 40 minutes. You HAVE to stir it the whole time.

Not there yet.

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There we go. :)

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Dump in your trinity and cook it way down. About 20 minutes on this, too.

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The thing about real southern gumbo (as opposed to what you find in restaurants) is that nothing should be particularly recognizable. Watch. By the end, you won't be able to tell which veggie in which. I don't like the southern way of cooking things to mush unless it is stuffing, red beans, or gumbo. For that, it works. ANWAY. After that is good and cooked down, add your okra.

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This is where it gets evil. If you are frying down okra, it gets slimy. Super seriously slimy. I couldn't get a good picture of it, but you have to cook it down until all the slime is gone. For the 2 lbs of okra I added, that took me about 90 minutes. And you can't leave it. You have to stir it every minute or two.

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While the slime is cooking out, make your spice mix. You need: 1 TBSP paprika, 1 TBSP dry mustard, 1 1/4 tsp basil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp thyme, 3/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne. At this point, you can also clean your 4-5 lb whole chicken.

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Once you are all cooked down

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Add your tomatoes and spices.

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Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. See how now all it is is veggie mush?

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This is seriously good stuff.

OK, at this point, add your whole chicken, your sliced sausage, and your meatballs.

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Then add enough chicken broth to cover everything 2-3 inches. I ended up using about 8 cans.

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Let that cook all by itself for about 90 minutes. I was so happy to sit down at this point, I can't even tell you! I actually snuck away and took a nap. Hey, that was THREE HOURS of stirring. Talk about slaving over a hot stove....Where was I? Oh yeah, after ninety minutes, remove the chicken and get all the nummy meat off of it. Throw away the skin and keep the carcass for some other soup if you want. I didn't get pictures because I was sleeping and Gord did this step. :) Add all the chopped/shredded chicken meat back to the pot and heat through.

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Serve over rice, add hot sauce as needed. NOM NOM NOM.

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I have 3 quarts in the freezer and 2 quarts in the fridge as leftovers, so I'm saying it makes about 6 quarts.
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