From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles S. Tarrio) Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1993 19:54:20 GMT Cajun Gumbo flour and oil for the roux some combination of onion, bell pepper, okra, cayenne pepper, and garlic some meat (chicken, andouille or other sausage, shrimp, crawfish, etc.) spices (Tony Chachere's Cajun spice or combination of black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, and maybe some herbs, file') To make the roux, use slightly more flour than oil. I usually use about half a cup of light (safflower or canola) oil to about 2/3 c. for 1-2 lbs of meat. In a heavy (preferably cast iron), large (>4 qt) pan, heat the oil till it's nice and thin, then add the flour. Stirring frequently, heat this mixture over low heat until it's as cooked as you think it can get, then 10 minutes more. How long this takes depends on how long you're willing to spend actually just standing there stirring the roux, which determines how hot you can cook it. If you're willing to stir it constantly, the roux can be made in 45 minutes-1:15, and can be cooked somewhere between low and medium. If you want to stir every couple of minutes, the roux takes a couple of hours and must be cooked over very low heat. This is the most important step, as it makes the flavor and consistency of the dish. If the roux is underdone, the gumbo will have a kind of floury taste and texture, whereas if you burn the oil, it will taste like burnt oil. Best thing to do is have a real Cajun show you how to do it properly (I was lucky enough to have this opportunity). Once the roux is done, add the meat*, coat with the roux and brown the outside a little, add the veggies and some spices, toss a little more, then add hot water, making sure the mixture isn't so hot that it will spatter. The water should cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to emulsify the roux and water, then simmer until all the meat is done, tasting and adding spice till it's right. *Since shrimp and crawfish only take a few minutes to cook, they should only be added 5-10 minutes before serving. Right before serving, add a few tbsp of gumbo file', less if you're using okra, increase the heat a little, and stir until the file' is dissolved and the gumbo is thickened. This is frequently served as a soup, but I much prefer it as a meal, with rice, bread, and lots of tabasco. A lot of effort, but well worth it. __________________ Cajun Jambalaya some combination of (totalling 1/2 - 2 lb) pork chop chicken Andouille, or smoked or Italian sausage onion, bell pepper, and/or bunch scallions Tony Chachere's or McCormick's Cajun/Creole spice (you can approximate with equal amounts of black, Cayenne, and white pepper; some garlic powder, and salt) Herbs (a few tbsp parsley, a touch of thyme, a bay leaf) Rice and water (1:2, 1-4 cups of rice) If the meat has bones, boil it until it's reasonably easy to get it off the bone. (save the stock) Dice up meat, fry it until some fat is rendered, add diced up veggies, fry until they are coated with fat and begin to soften. Add some spice and herbs, toss around until the meat and veggies are coated. Add water, bring to a boil. Boil/simmer until the meat is over half done. (taste the stock occasionally to make sure the spices are ok) Add the rice and cook until the rice is done. As with the gumbo, of you're using shrimp, add 5-10 minutes before done. Serve with Tabasco and bread. Total prep time: 40-50 minutes total effore expended: 10-20 minutes INCREDIBLY tasty for the amount of effort I find that a pound of meat, a bell pepper, and a bunch of scallions go well with about 2 cups of rice. That much should serve about 4-5 folks, depending on how hungry they are. To make Creole, add a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce/paste about 5 minutes before the end of the boil. You can also add some shrimp/other seafood 5-10 minutes before the end of the boil. Red beans and rice 2c. red kidney beans onion (1 medium) bell pepper (1/2 medium) garlic (a few cloves) parsley bay leaf Cajun spice (either Tony Chachere's or equal parts black pepper, white pepper and cayenne, with beaucoup salt) Soak the beans overnight. Discard the water, bring to a boil in 6c. water. simmer/boil for about 4 hours, topping up the water as necessary. Add veggies and herbs and spices to taste. Cook until the beans are tender and the gravy is thick. (Add sausage, ham bone, or pork with herbs and spices if you want. A little bit adds a lot of flavor.) Serve over rice with French bread and Tobasco.
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