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Old 05-12-2005, 01:59 PM   #1
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Question First Gumbo ideas?

I am making my first Gumbo from a recipe I got off this site and will use Chicken, smoked sausage,and shrimp,for the meats but need an idea for another fish since I am not a fan of crab. I was thinking clams or muscles what do you think?
Thanks Janet

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Old 05-12-2005, 02:33 PM   #2
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Crawfish or oysters would be traditional.
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:47 PM   #3
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thanks Andy when do you throw the oysters in? I am thinking about 10 min before it is done.
we don't often have crawfish here, but I could substitute lobster probably, if they are on sale I will go for the lobster and if not the oysters, we do get good oysters in WA
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:44 PM   #4
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Not even 10 minutes for the oysters. Cooked too long they turn to rubber. When they start to curl around the edges, they are done. Toss them in when everything else is ready and watch them closely. A minute or two should do the trick.

Local markets here in MA. sometimes carry precooked crawfish. Otherwise, lobster would work out fine.

Of course, you could cut up some fish filet and toss it in as well...

Let us know how it comes out.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:56 PM   #5
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A safe fish if you decide to try something different would be nice big chunks of tilapia. I'm sure grouper would work also. Tuna, swordfish are all too firm.

The only thing that could possibly make this better is if I could smell it cooking in my kitchen!
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:03 PM   #6
 
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Usually gumbo is made with chicken and sausage, or a mix of seafood like shrimp, crab, & oysters. I've never heard of all of those in the same gumbo.
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:01 PM   #7
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Gumbo in Lousiana means the same thing as a stew does to the rest of the world. It has some specific ingredients, a dark roux and the trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) .... but as far as the meat .... or anything else like tomatoes, okra, etc ... toss in what y'all got!Personally, I don't like my gumbo too "busy" with too many meats.
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:05 AM   #8
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Crawfish really add a lot of authentic flavor to gumbo, IMO. Just make sure the sausage is andouille!
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:27 PM   #9
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I think you are trying to mix too much in. I wouldn't add another dose of seafood if I were you. If you were making a seafood gumbo, I'd advise, as mentioned above..........crawfish, oysters, or fish. As kitchenelf said, tilapia works well as does catfish. Pretty much any freshwater fish that I've ever had would work.

But if you are making a chicken and sausage gumbo, I'd stick with JUST the shrimp or no seafood at all. Otherwise you are going to have a seafood gumbo with some chicken in it, or a very fishy chicken gumbo. It would still be good, but never as good as staying on one side of the line or the other.............chicken and sausage, or seafood.

Since its your first gumbo, you might want to pan fry your okra down a little before adding it.........just enough to get rid of some of the goo but not all of it. I like to wash my cut okra and spread it out on a big tray then LIGHTLY dust it with either all purpose flour or corn flour then pan fry in just a little oil. Once you see one of your smaller pieces getting dry and done, scoup out your okra onto a paper towel and then pat with another one to remove as much oil as you can. There will still be enough of the okra goo left to thicken it up a little without making it slimy. I also have good luck with the block of frozen okra (not loose) and throwing it into the boiling gumbo while its still hard frozen. I don't know why, but it never turns out slimy for me when I do that.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:14 PM   #10
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Well the gumbo was good except I did not like the sausage seafood mix like HanArt said, next time I will stick to seafood, and I want to try clams or muscles, the oysters were good in it, and the roux turned out good, I used half butter half olive oil since I could not figure out what oil was best. Anyway I think it could be made the day before and just add the seafood before serving, I also boiled the shrimp skins, next time I think I will make it half fish stock by boiling some clams down. Thanks for all the suggestions, the fried okra sounds good cantcook I will try that that next time, do you use fish stock or chicken?
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:24 PM   #11
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Depends on if I make a chicken gumbo or seafood............I personally never mix the two. In my seafood gumbo I use a shrimp stock by boiling down the shrimp shells and heads (the heads make a MUCH better stock with their fat, just be careful and watch it as it will froth up and boil over very easily at first), if its a chicken gumbo then I use a chicken stock I make from boiling the chicken. I like to boil my chicken down real good, till you just easily pull the meat off the bones, then cook it the full length of the gumbo as well, so its real loose and falling apart everywhere.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:32 PM   #12
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Thanks Cantcook, I will write notes on my recipe
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:54 PM   #13
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Janet, a good source for gumbo and other Louisiana food is gumbopages.com. It will give you a lot of good starting points. Cantcook has given you (and me) some very good tips.
One thing I would advise is to use something other than olive oil for the roux. A plain vegetable oil would be better IMO.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:01 PM   #14
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Thanks RosCoe I will check it out
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:48 PM   #15
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agree w/ above on olive oil. Cant help but think this may have messed up the taste since you really have to burn up that flour in the first part of the roux and the olive oil will impart a taste.

I think the combo of shrimp w/ the sausage would work fine as would the chicken and sausage. For example Shrimp and grits w/ a little bacon worked in is a fine dish. I think it's mixing all three that might have been a problem.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:51 PM   #16
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Ok, I'm from Illinois, but I did live on the bayous for a couple of years, and I found that gumbo is extremely versatile. Just like a soup or stew, you put in whatever you have on hand.

I always use chicken and good smoked sausage, then go from there. I start the day before, and boil my chicken like can'tcook, till the meat is falling off the bone. I strain the stock, bone and chop the chicken, then save it and the broth separately in the fridge. When I'm ready to use the stock, I skim the fat off the top if I'm feeling health conscious. If I have shrimp shells in the freezer, I boil up some of them and add that broth to the chicken broth.
We're so landlocked here that I don't have access to much fresh seafood, so I usually use shrimp and crabmeat. I think the seafood and chicken go together just fine, but that's what I'm used to.

I don't use okra or tomatoes in mine, but I've tasted it that way, and it's good too.

I always use vegetable oil for the roux, but I've known people who used lard or butter.

I have trouble standing long anymore, and what I used to cook in one day now takes me two days or more. I've considered making my roux the day before while my chicken is cooking, then refrigerating it and putting it all together the next day.
Have any of you ever tried that?
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:19 PM   #17
 
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Constance, if you don't consider it sacrilege, you could always use a bottled roux. I know many Cajuns who do! And there's no shortage of brands on the grocery store shelves. Makes it easier on you and tastes just as good.

http://mostlycajun.com/wordpress/?p=4

http://www.cajungrocer.com/advanced_...?keywords=roux
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:09 AM   #18
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HanArt, I used to think I'd never serve my family a canned bisquit or instant mashed potatoes, but time changes things a lot. Thanks for the hint on the bottled roux...I'll give it a try!

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Old 11-25-2012, 03:26 PM   #19
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I just found this thread on Google and I'm going to share what I know about Gumbo.

1. Like others have stated Vegetable Oil is the best to use for a Roux, of course for mine I prefer using bacon grease, I know it isn't healthy, but it does add a whole new layer of flavor to the gumbo. Also I do not recommend using real butter, just because at the heat that you cook a roux on, it will burn easily and add a bitter flavor.

2. I've had every kind of gumbo known to man, seafood, chicken and sausage, okra, okra seafood and I've had a chicken and sausage with seafood in it and it was delicious. In fact my last gumbo contained chicken, sausage, shrimp and oysters and it was one of the best gumbos I've ever cooked.

3. Under no circumstances should you put tomatoes in a gumbo, that is for jambalaya or etouffee.

4. If you are using okra as your thickener, you shouldn't use filé powder.

Now, please under no circumstances should you take what I just said to the bank, but in the area I grew up in (south of New Orleans) that is how we were taught to cook a gumbo.

Also I've tried other meats in my gumbo and it always came out delicious, I once made one with smoked sausage and stew meat and I'm seriously thinking of making one with some leftover thanksgiving turkey and some leftover bbq'd smoked sausage (bbq sauceless) I have in the refrigerator right now.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:19 AM   #20
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Sounds like you make my kind of gumbo! In Gonzales, where "Uncle Elmer" lived, they didn't put tomatoes in their jambalya, either.
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