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Double Roux Seafood Gumbo
Brown Cajun Roux
- ½ cup peanut oil
- ½ cup sifted flour
Dark Brown Cajun Roux
- 1 cup duck fat (or peanut oil)
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 4 ribs celery, finely diced
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 Roma tomatoes,
seeded and diced (if you like tomatoes in your gumbo)
- 1 ea 6 oz can of Hunt’s tomato paste
- 3 pounds fresh okra, chopped
- 6 quarts shrimp stock
- ½ tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Pro Boil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pounds medium Louisiana shrimp,
peeled and deveined (save heads and shells for stock)
- 2 pounds smoked andouille or smoked
sausage, sliced ¼" thick
- 6 blue crabs, cleaned (optional)
- 2 pound fresh lump Louisiana crabmeat
(not pasteurized), picked over for shells and cartilage
- 1 pts freshly shucked Louisiana
- 8 cups cooked long-grain white rice.
foundation of a great gumbo!
reality, the roux dial was turned up to 11 in the 18th century by the
Acadian exiles in Louisiana who transformed roux from a thickening agent
into a source of incomparable complex flavor. The Cajuns discovered that
cooking roux past brown, almost to a dark chocolate color, added rich
nutty, almost smokey essences to a dish. The darker the roux, the more
flavor it brings to the party. Unfortunately, the darker the roux, the
less it's ability to thickening anything. But darn it, it's easy enough
to add a little blonde roux to thicken things up at the end, now, isn't
works as an efficient thickening agent by allowing for the uniform
dispersal of the flour's starch granules throughout a liquid before the
liquid, heat and starch can get together and do their thing. The fat is
important because it helps keep the starch granules separate (if you
dump flour or starch into a hot liquid, you'll only end up with
gelatinized lumps floating in liquid—a good thing for dumplings, but
not for gravy). Thickening happens as heat melts away the protective fat
coating, the starch granules absorb water, swelling, with some of them
eventually bursting, releasing amylose
molecules that bond with the water and form a wonderful web that
restrict the free movement of the remaining gelatinized starch granules4.
Swollen starch granules that can't move mean thick gravy. Now, the more
you heat the sauce or gravy, the more starch granules will burst, and
eventually the liquid will thin out. Dark roux has limited thickening
power for similar reasons. The heat of the oil breaks up the starch
granules before they ever have a chance to swell by coming into contact
temperature of both the roux and liquid are important considerations
when transforming thickening rouxs into gravy or sauce. It's a lot
easier to spread all the little fat coated starchy flour granules
throughout the liquid before the thickening action really kicks in if
the fat is relatively solid (but not rock hard straight from the
refrigerator solid) as you start to whisk the roux and liquid together.
If both the roux and liquid are hot, chances are the fat will melt from
the starch granules before you've distributed them evenly, resulting in
clumps of flour and pools of fat6.
If both the roux and liquid are cool, well, you're just jousting with
windmills as the roux will never disperse evenly without the aid of an
immersion blender or a Merc 225. You'll find the greatest success when whisking
the cool ingredient (again, that's room temperature cool, not
refrigerator cool) into the hot ingredient.
the most part, light rouxs call for either butter or some of whatever
fat has rendered from whatever you are cooking. Fat selection is much
more important in dark rouxs though. This is partly due to the cooking
time and temperature required to make a dark roux7,
but mostly it's due to flavor. Duck fat, bacon fat, peanut oil, canola
oil, lard—they all bring different flavors to the roux and the
ideal proportions for a roux, whether for thickening or flavoring, are
roughly equal volumes of flour to fat. In most cases you want
about 15% to 25% more flour than fat to improve the thickening power of
the roux. To make a pan gravy or a white sauce for four people, adding
two cups of broth or milk to two heaping tablespoons (scoop with a
tablespoon measure and dump it in without leveling) of flour cooked in
two tablespoons of fat will do you just fine. If you're making a cup of
roux for a gallon of gumbo, however, you'll want a 1–1/4 cups of flour
to a cup of oil.
biggest challenge people have with a roux is keeping it from burning,
while still cooking it enough to get rid of the cereal flavor of raw
flour. If you let flour and fat sit in a hot pan for even a minute,
there's a good chance the flour will begin to burn. And, just one spec
of burnt flour will ruin whatever you plan to make with it. The obvious
solution, is to pay close attention to the roux, stir it constantly so
that no single flour granule spends enough time on the hot pan bottom to
burn, and cook the roux over a burner at it's lowest setting, allowing
you to easily stop the cooking process before things go too far. For a
white or blonde roux, this means ten to twenty minutes of constant
stirring and close attention—not that big a deal. But for brown rouxs,
and especially dark Cajun rouxs, you could be talking about over an hour
of standing at a stove stirring and stirring and stirring.
Brown Cajun Roux: In a black iron pot or skillet, heat the oil over
medium high heat to approximately 300 degrees F.
Using a wooden roux spoon, slowly add
the flour, stirring constantly until the roux is peanut butter in color,
approximately two minutes. Reserve Light Brown Cajun Roux at room
Dark Brown Cajun Roux: Proceed
as you would in the light brown Cajun roux recipe but continue cooking
until the roux is the color of a light caramel. This roux should almost
be twice as dark as the light brown roux but not as dark as chocolate.
When dark brown Cajun roux is done add
the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onions become translucent and the vegetables
are tender. Add the tomatoes. Add the smoked andouille or smoked
sausage and the seasonings, and about ½ teaspoon each of salt and
pepper, and continue to cook another 10 minutes.
Fry okra with a small amount of grease
and salt until okra is soft. (Avoid sticking.) Stir okra into gumbo and
cook for another 15 minutes, and then add the stock. Bring to a boil
then reduce heat to simmer and cook another 30 minutes.
With the gumbo on very low heat, add
the Light Brown Cajun Roux and tomato paste. You'll find the greatest
success when whisking the cool roux (that's room temperature cool, not
refrigerator cool) into the hot gumbo. Bring to a boil; reduce to a
simmer for 10 minutes.
here for future use.
Add blue crabs. Remove the hard top
shell from the crabs (reserving for stuffed crabs or for shellfish
stock), and break each crab in two down the middle. Remove the claws.
Add to the stock.) Simmer for 10 minutes,
Add the shrimp 10 minutes before
Add the oysters and oyster liquor 5
minutes before serving.
Add the crabmeat just before serving
(don't cook the crabmeat, just stir until it is heated through).
Add additional Shrimp Stock (or chicken
broth) if gumbo is too thick.
Taste and correct seasonings.
Place about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice in
each bowl and ladle the gumbo over and around it. Serve with plenty of
French bread and good beer or white wine.
YIELD: About 16-18 entrée servings or
28-34 appetizer servings (omit hard shell crabs if serving cups of gumbo
as an appetizer).
Shrimp Stock can be very pungent, so be
careful not to overpower the other flavors in your dish.
- About 6 quarts of shrimp shells
(about what you'd get from shelling 4 pounds of shrimp)
- 8 quarts cold water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- White Mirepoix:
- 4 ounces onions, diced
- 4 ounces leeks, white portion
only, washed well, trimmed and chopped
- 4 ounces celery, diced
- 4 ounces parsnips, chopped
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped, stems
- Sachet d'epices:
- 8 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black
- The above ingredients are placed
into a 4" square of cheesecloth and tied into a sack.
Rinse the shells briefly under cold water
and drain well. Sweat the shells briefly in the oil, then add the
mirepoix and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add to cold water, add the parsley
and sachet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
Strain the stock thoroughly in a china cap or strainer layered with
cheesecloth. Cool the stock completely in an ice-water bath and use,
refrigerate or freeze immediately.
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