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Old 01-13-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
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Gumbo base

I've used Zatarains gumbo base before, and wondered if anyone knows how to make the base? I forgot to buy it at the store today and the weather is too lousy to go back out again. Any suggestions? I use chicken and jalapeno kielbasa in my gumbo.

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Old 01-13-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
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This one of the few recipes I have on my hard drive...I'm so unorganized!!!


SIMPLE CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO


Perhaps the simplest of the gumbos, but a hearty one and a classic combination. If you can't find andouille, use a local smoked sausage or kielbasa or whatever smoked sausage you like. This one's easy to knock off quickly for a great evening's meal.


1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large chicken (young hen preferred), cut into pieces
2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Filé powder to taste
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly. Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux. If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut-butter color, over lower heat if you're nervous about burning it.

Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.

Add the stock, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.

Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a good beer and lots of hot, crispy French bread.

YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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Gumbo is fairly time-consuming but well worth it - here is a basic recipe that should help.

3 T vegetable oil
3 T all-purpose flour
1 T Kitchen Bouquet
1 T dried parsley
2.5-3.5 lbs chicken breast (with skin and bone)
1 # smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 t Gumbo Filet
1 t salt (or more to taste)
1/4 t pepper
Pinch of red pepper (cayenne)
Dash of worcestershire sauce
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, halved
2 celery sticks, halved
3 green onion stalks, chop bottoms and save tops to slice and sprinkle over gumbo after cooking
2 toes garlic, minced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1/2 t thyme
2 qts water
3 cups cooked rice (1.5 cups uncooked)

In a large, deep pot brown chicken in oil (5-10 minutes on each side) and remove to cool. Fry sausage in oil for 5 minutes or until browned and remove to drain/cool. Add flour to make a "roux" and cook over low to med-low fire stirring once every minute at least until it is golden brown. This part is very important - do not let it burn! If you smell it starting to burn, lower the fire immediately! The roux is the "base" of many cajun recipes and sets the flavor for the entire meal.

Next, add onion, green onion bottoms, and garlic. Saute until transparent/soft. Then add water and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT green onion tops, gumbo filet, and parsley. Peel chicken off of bone into bite size chunks and add to pot. Bring to a boil over the highest fire uncovered. Leave uncovered and cook over med-high fire 35 minutes. Turn fire off and add sliced green onion tops, gumbo filet, and parsley. Remove green peppers, celery, and bay leaf. Serve over rice.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:04 PM   #4
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This is the base, in my book. Everything else is up to your imagination.

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:07 PM   #5
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thanks guys! What is gumbo filet? What is file`? Doesnt sound like something I have on hand. Is it important to the base?
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:14 PM   #6
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file is ground sassafras leaves - I never put it in the base but I do sprinkle it on once in the individual bowls. I've lived without it so it's not absolutely necessary but when you do use it you will say - ohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! so that's what that taste is! The "e" has a little mark over it - I seem to have lost my character map to make that happen!
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
This is the base, in my book. Everything else is up to your imagination.

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped

I use the same but I add two tablespoons tomato paste and 4 cloves of garlic.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:29 PM   #8
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I would allow tomato paste and garlic.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
I would allow tomato paste and garlic.
The tomato paste is a very nice touch......just don't use to much.
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
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Im not going to compete with the other gumbo recipies posted since they look great but I will tell you this: I've had both Zatarains and made it from scratch and there is absolutely no comparison.

Only problem is that every time I make it from scratch it get's out of control. Last time I think I did a 5 liter wok worth of it.
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugaru
Im not going to compete with the other gumbo recipies posted since they look great but I will tell you this: I've had both Zatarains and made it from scratch and there is absolutely no comparison.

Only problem is that every time I make it from scratch it get's out of control. Last time I think I did a 5 liter wok worth of it.
Tell us more.......be specific.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:42 AM   #12
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My first gumbo

I tried making my first Gumbo yesterday. It turned out pretty good, although I am sure it was not in any sense "authentic". I have never even seen a gumbo before, let alone know what it should taste like. I found several recipes on a web-site, and put together my own for my first trial. I wanted to make "Filet Gumbo" but had no idea what gumbo filet was. I now know that it is ground sassafras, and should be sprinkled on at the end. I have also learned that to be "true" gumbo, you have to use bacon grease.

The recipe I came up with was pretty mild in the heat department, so I put a bottle of generic hot pepper sauce, and one of Emiril's Bayou Blast on the table so we could "kick it up another notch", if we wanted. I've made Tom Yum Koong several times recently, but was not up to driving to the fish market and peeling and deveining jumbo shrimp yesterday, so I just used some precooked cocktail type.

Chicken wings - 2 pounds
Cooked Shrimp - 1 pound

Okra (frozen, cut) - 1 pounds
Yellow bell pepper - 1
Red bell pepper - 1
Medium yellow onions - 2
Celery - 2 ribs
Garlic - 1 bunch
Fresh parsley - 1 bunch

Tomatoes with green chile - 10 oz can
Tomato paste - 6 oz can
Chicken broth - 14 oz can
Clam Juice - 8 oz

flour - 1/2 cup
olive oil - 1/2 cup

Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tsp
Bay leaves - 3
Thyme - 1 tsp
Cajun seasoning - 1 tsp
Oregano - 1 tsp
Worcestershire Sauce - 1 tsp


I put all the liquid ingredients and spices into the dutch oven and started heating them at very low heat. I chopped the vegetables to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces. I made the garlic a bit smaller. I used a whole "bunch" of parsley and garlic. That would be about 8-12 cloves. I put them all in the pot at very low heat.

I cut the chicken wings into their three sections. I then cooked them at medium heat until all the pinkness was gone and they were white/yellow. I then put them in the pot.

I cooked the roux of flour and oil in a small sauce pan at medium heat. I stirred constantly until it was the color of dark chocolate milk, then added it to the pot. The gumbo was very thick, but I did not add any water. I let it cook at very low heat for a couple of hours. I added the shrimp, brought the heat up, and let them cook for about 15 minutes.


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Old 12-10-2005, 10:51 AM   #13
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abirchler16,

I always put okra in my gumbo. I usually get fresh okra, cut it up, and saute it seperately in a little oil for about a half hour, until the slime disappears.

Did you cook the frozen okra along with the fresh vegetables? Did you have a slime problem?

How did you like the gumbo? I LOVE it in the winter!

Lee
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugaru
Im not going to compete with the other gumbo recipies posted since they look great but I will tell you this: I've had both Zatarains and made it from scratch and there is absolutely no comparison.

Only problem is that every time I make it from scratch it get's out of control. Last time I think I did a 5 liter wok worth of it.
I use Zatarains for a quick meal, but there's nothing like the real thing. And like you, when I make it from scratch, I always make a HUGE amount...I do the same thing with all soups. My husband blames it on my big soup pot...says I seem compelled to fill it up.

I make my roux the same way Mudbug does...that's the way I was taught "down on the bayou". I don't use okra or tomato, but I like it that way too.

And the file' really makes a difference in the taste. HB can take it or leave it, but I really like it. We have sassafras trees on the property...wonder if I could make my own?
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:14 PM   #15
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Slime

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis
abirchler16,

I always put okra in my gumbo. I usually get fresh okra, cut it up, and saute it seperately in a little oil for about a half hour, until the slime disappears.

Did you cook the frozen okra along with the fresh vegetables? Did you have a slime problem?

How did you like the gumbo? I LOVE it in the winter!

Lee
Lee,

Slime was not a problem. I expected it to be, but was pleasantly surprised. I just opened the package and dumped the okra in the dutch oven along with everything else. I did cook it for a long time on a low heat, but do not know if that affected the outcome.

Arleigh
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Old 12-10-2005, 05:29 PM   #16
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Wow, I was taken back by this post. I started it in January of 2005, and oddly enough, I came on here today to to tell you all I am making gumbo, but I found a Paula Dean version on foodnetwork. It's cooking now. I'm not adding shrimp, or okra, but I will add the tomatoes.
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:46 AM   #17
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I used the frozen okra, and added it with the other vegetables. No problem with slime. I think the idea is that it cooks in with the stock, giving it the rich texture. I liked the gumbo. I am planning on making a very different dish using black-eyed peas and beef, but using the rest of the ingredients from the gumbo recipe I posted.
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:44 PM   #18
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http://http://www.jfolse.com/recipes.../chicken17.htm This is the recipe I use as a guide for when I make my gumbo. I have used pheasant instead of chicken very successfully. I always make my roux, I feel that a level of flavor is achieved when you dump the 'trinity' of vegetables into the ultrahot roux. It slows down the cooking of the roux to keep it from burning and the vegies cook very quickly. It really does not take me that long to make the roux either.
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:37 PM   #19
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Just remember that okra & file' powder were meant to be thickeners, so you're supposed to use one or the other - not both in the same dish.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:18 PM   #20
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ya use the file when the okra's not in season. Love my greens so the okra's going in even if it has to be frozen, but if I gots the file, just a pinch too you know...just a pinch. Justin Wilson would approve, I gaarruhntees it.
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