Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gung Hay Fat Tuesday!

It's a culture collision in my mouth: a little Year of the Pig (in the form of sausage), some fine white rice, a handful of fresh shrimp and some shrimp stock, some distinctly Chinese vegetables (onion, green pepper, celery), and...
Roux.
Nope, it's N'Awleans in my mouth, through and through. Gumbo, baby.
I had forgotten how easy it is to throw this together. One of the secrets is using very good andouille sausage, which imparts loads of its own flavor to your doings.
Another secret is the kamikaze roux: Cook it fast, Paul Prudhomme-style, until it's the color of wood (he recommends mahogany; I chickened out at about cherrywood).
You stop the cooking of the roux by dumping in your diced vegetables; then, when the vegetables have cooked a few minutes, you pour in your stock.
Sausage next; shrimp last. Oh, wait, somewhere in there you toss in dried spices. Gotta be dried, 'cause that's the way they do it in the Big Easy.
Happy Mardi Gras.

14 comments:

Sean said...

Laissez les bontemps rouler, chère!

Glad to see we both have bayou on the brain today. W/r/t the roux, Alton Brown had a good idea -- get it started on the stovetop then finish it in the oven. Brick-red roux without the fear of blackened flour.

So, okra or filé?

Melting Wok said...

ooh happy fat tuesday ? oh wait..it's CNY with chinese gumbo, yummy o' ! Wishing you a wonderful prosperous Golden pig year, cheers ! :)

Dagny said...

Mmmmm mmmm. Although I prefer the peanut butter colored roux.

Passionate Eater said...

What a great way to celebrate both holidays! With rice, pork, onions, green pepper, and celery (the Chinese additions) and all other ingredients (the NOLA additions)! Happy Chinese Mardi Gras!

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, dear, Sean. I'm a ho. Both okra and file. I know it's wrong. I've done it a bunch of times...
However! Weirdly, this time, neither.
I'm NUTS for your baked roux! Hah.

MW: How happy that I can combine the holidays. Mmm.

Dagny: There's your stopping chart, and funnily, I think my cooked roux smells like peanut butter once I toss the vegetables in.

PE: Happy holliday.

Stacie said...

ok, I'm offically hungry again! Go PIG! Hey, I looked at the pattern. My email is mommymoshpit at yahoo dot com. My only concern is getting it done anytime soon, but that is very cool. Looks pretty easy, I think you should pick up some sticks and give it a go! Let me know what you are thinking..

Anita said...

Best Headline EVER! :D

Kevin said...

CC,
I still prefer making roux in the oven, it's more amenable to my tendency to get distracted.

Susan said...

So was one of your 25 addresses in New Orleans? Cause this looks deliciously authentic to me. Love the presentation.

cookiecrumb said...

Stacie: I'm too old to knit! It skipped my generation.

Anita: Why, thanky! XXX!

Kevin: I'm looking into that. You're the second endorsement.

Susan: Well, no, actually. In fact, writing this post, I was so afraid a real native would call me out for my blithe errors. Thanks!

sher said...

Oh yum! Gumbo is the recipe in our family. We make it in huge vats and eventually everyone has a blank stare, stumbles around, and smells like file powder. it's called gumbo poisoning, which you get after eating too much of it!

kathyF said...

I keep my husband around to make roux. He's a heat transfer guy, so he does it perfectly every time. Honduran mahogany-coloured.

This time he got a little weird about the tofu, wanting me to make it smokier. Too bad we left our Cajun Cooker back in storage.

cookiecrumb said...

Sher: I sprinkled file powder on the leftovers the next day, and OMG. That was good. (And I ate it *before* I went to the dentist, so I was nourished.) Sadly, it's all gone already; no vat.

KathyF: Impressive!
Now -- smoky tofu? See, that's new to me, and it sounds delicious. Also -- Cajun Cooker? I'm Googling it now.

ChrisB said...

Ignoramus here had to research the sausage. It certainly looks good.