Roux and Gumbo

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Louis Cohen, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Louis Cohen

    Louis Cohen Guest

    Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient of
    gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.

    But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    roux to the stock.

    What do people think?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    Louis Cohen Living la vida loca at N37° 43' 7.9" W122° 8' 42.8"
     
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  2. Pavane

    Pavane Guest

    "Louis Cohen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient
    > of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    >
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed
    right
    > in the roux. Other recipes call for sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the
    > roux, or adding the veggies and the roux to the stock.
    >
    > What do people think?
    >

    I think that the proper way is to sauté the veggies in the roux; the other options are restaurant
    shortcuts assuming a quantity of pre-made roux available for quick assembly. Pontificating further I
    believe that some of the veggies should be held back and added after the intense heat has diminished
    to give a different aspect of their flavor to the gumbo. I do agree that a gumbo without roux is
    like ...well... Knorr's "sauce" mixes.

    pavane
     
  3. Zxcvbob

    Zxcvbob Guest

    Louis Cohen wrote:
    > Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient
    > of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    >
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > roux to the stock.
    >
    > What do people think?
    >

    I think it difference if you saute the vegs in the roux or separately. Both are better than adding
    raw vegs to the stock, but that's not really a *bad* way either.

    I saute my okra for a *long* time. Seperately, saute the trinity in the roux unless I'm using
    roasted flour instead of roux, in which case I saute the trinity in a little lard. Then combine
    everything with the stock, meat, and tomatoes. If there's shrimp, it doesn't go in until the last 5
    or 10 minutes.

    I usually use roasted flour instead of roux because it cuts down on the total amount of fat quite a
    bit. I can roast a bunch of flour at once and have it available for a half dozen pots of gumbo. It's
    also good for adding a little color to beef gravy that lacks character.

    Best regards, Bob
     
  4. Notbob

    Notbob Guest

    On 2004-02-28, Louis Cohen <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > What do people think?

    I use the classic approach, make roux, veggies in roux. It's not that big a deal. I make a perfect
    fudge-cicle brown roux in about 8-10 mins. The roux becomes less viscous the darker it gets so it's
    not a problem to saute in a dark roux.

    nb
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, "Louis Cohen"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient
    > of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    >
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > roux to the stock.

    > What do people think?

    I think I used two separate skillets and prepared the trinity and the roux separately, then combined
    them. Dang, it was good!
    --
    -Barb, <www.jamlady.eboard.com> updated 2-19-04 -- Dufus picture posted!
     
  6. In article <6YS%[email protected]_s51>, notbob
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 2004-02-28, Louis Cohen <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > What do people think?
    >
    > I use the classic approach, make roux, veggies in roux. It's not that big a deal. I make a perfect
    > fudge-cicle brown roux in about 8-10 mins. The roux becomes less viscous the darker it gets so
    > it's not a problem to saute in a dark roux.

    > nb

    Jeez, mine took more than HOUR, notbob!! How'd you do it so fast? How much flour were you working
    with? (I've got pictures on my website.)
    --
    -Barb, <www.jamlady.eboard.com> updated 2-19-04 -- Dufus picture posted!
     
  7. RMiller

    RMiller Guest

    >Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient
    >of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    >
    >But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    >right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    >sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    >roux to the stock.
    >
    >What do people think?
    >

    When I make Gumbo, I spend a LOT of time getting the roux to be the perfect color and flavor, dark,
    but not burned.After the roux is right, I add the veggies, to the roux and cook them. I have never
    had a problem with the roux burning, as I stir all the time. Rosie
     
  8. Notbob

    Notbob Guest

    On 2004-02-28, Melba's Jammin' <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Jeez, mine took more than HOUR, notbob!! How'd you do it so fast? How much flour were you
    > working with?

    Yo Barb,

    I use chuck's (http://www.gumbopages.com/food/ingred.html) roux recipe. I've posted my technique
    here before, but I'll say again.

    I prefer a pan with excellent heat conduction and a nice slick surface. In my case, a stainless
    steel pan w/ copper slug bottom. I also use a hi-temp silicone spatula, the kind that won't melt at
    oil smoking temps (silicone typically rated at 450+). I put the 1.25:1 mixture of flour:eek:il
    (respectively) in the pan and crank it up to as high as it will go without smoking ...or just a hint
    of smoking... and start mixing.

    Everyone who's done a roux knows that if it burns, you're screwed. My approach is to make sure the
    roux never rests. Using the silicone spatula, which makes a nice clean scrape of the bottom of the
    pan with every stroke, you can make sure that no roux rests too long on the hot bottom. IOW, I
    scrape often and consistantly. If I start seeing smoke I pick the pan up off the burner, never
    ceasing my mixing. This allows you to run the heat right up at the smoking point of your oil you're
    using and get the roux browned in a minimum of time.

    This is 10 mins of full concentration cooking, so take the phone off the hook! :)

    nb
     
  9. On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 16:59:22 +0000, Louis Cohen wrote:

    > Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key ingredient
    > of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    >
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > roux to the stock. What do people think?

    The roux is exceedingly hot. Napalm hot. WMD hot. I once got a third degree burn from a single drop
    of roux splashed on the root of my thumb. It burned so deep so fast that it never hurt.

    I believe that the vegetables are much improved by the horrible shock of being dumped in to the
    seething roux, but perhaps that's the Scots Calvinist in my ancestry.

    Martin
    --
    Martin Golding | If you boil it, they will come. DoD #236 BMWMOA #55952 SMTC #2 |
     
  10. In article <6DW%[email protected]_s02>, notbob
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 2004-02-28, Melba's Jammin' <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Jeez, mine took more than HOUR, notbob!! How'd you do it so fast? How much flour were you
    > > working with?
    >
    > Yo Barb,
    >
    > I use chuck's (http://www.gumbopages.com/food/ingred.html) roux recipe. I've posted my technique
    > here before, but I'll say again.

    > I prefer a pan with excellent heat conduction and a nice slick surface. In my case, a stainless
    > steel pan w/ copper slug bottom. I also use a hi-temp silicone spatula, the kind that won't melt
    > at oil smoking temps (silicone typically rated at 450+). I put the 1.25:1 mixture of flour:eek:il
    > (respectively) in the pan and crank it up to as high as it will go without smoking ...or just a
    > hint of smoking... and start mixing.
    >
    > Everyone who's done a roux knows that if it burns, you're screwed. My approach is to make sure the
    > roux never rests. Using the silicone spatula, which makes a nice clean scrape of the bottom of the
    > pan with every stroke, you can make sure that no roux rests too long on the hot bottom. IOW, I
    > scrape often and consistantly. If I start seeing smoke I pick the pan up off the burner, never
    > ceasing my mixing. This allows you to run the heat right up at the smoking point of your oil
    > you're using and get the roux browned in a minimum of time.
    >

    > This is 10 mins of full concentration cooking, so take the phone off the hook! :)
    >
    > nb

    Thanks. I probably won't do it your way. My way just seems more pure and holy. "-) And I'd probably
    turn my back on it for a *second* at just the wrong time, burn it, have to start over and I'd still
    be back to it taking moe than an hour. "-) thanks for your technique.
    --
    -Barb, <www.jamlady.eboard.com> updated 2-19-04 -- Dufus picture posted!
     
  11. Louis Cohen

    Louis Cohen Guest

    I like your tip about roasted flour instead of roux, to cut back on fat - we are always looking for
    ways to reduce fat but maintain flavor to the extent possible.

    Thanks

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    Louis Cohen Living la vida loca at N37° 43' 7.9" W122° 8' 42.8"

    "zxcvbob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Louis Cohen wrote:
    > > Virtually all recipes I've read and TV chefs who make gumbo agree that a roux is a key
    > > ingredient of gumbo. I am comfortable ignoring any gumbo recipe that doesn't have a roux.
    > >
    > > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes,
    after
    > > the roux reaches the right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed
    right
    > > in the roux. Other recipes call for sautéing the veggies separately,
    and
    > > then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the roux to the stock.
    > >
    > > What do people think?
    > >
    >
    > I think it difference if you saute the vegs in the roux or separately. Both are better than adding
    > raw vegs to the stock, but that's not really a *bad* way either.
    >
    > I saute my okra for a *long* time. Seperately, saute the trinity in the roux unless I'm using
    > roasted flour instead of roux, in which case I saute the trinity in a little lard. Then combine
    > everything with the stock, meat, and tomatoes. If there's shrimp, it doesn't go in until the last
    > 5 or 10 minutes.
    >
    > I usually use roasted flour instead of roux because it cuts down on the total amount of fat quite
    > a bit. I can roast a bunch of flour at once and have it available for a half dozen pots of gumbo.
    > It's also good for adding a little color to beef gravy that lacks character.
    >
    > Best regards, Bob
     
  12. Louis Cohen

    Louis Cohen Guest

    Thanks for the link to the gumbopages - they have the ring of truth.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    Louis Cohen Living la vida loca at N37° 43' 7.9" W122° 8' 42.8"

    "notbob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:6DW%[email protected]_s02...
    > On 2004-02-28, Melba's Jammin' <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Jeez, mine took more than HOUR, notbob!! How'd you do it so fast? How much flour were you
    > > working with?
    >
    > Yo Barb,
    >
    > I use chuck's (http://www.gumbopages.com/food/ingred.html) roux recipe. I've posted my technique
    > here before, but I'll say again.
    >
    > I prefer a pan with excellent heat conduction and a nice slick surface.
    In
    > my case, a stainless steel pan w/ copper slug bottom. I also use a
    hi-temp
    > silicone spatula, the kind that won't melt at oil smoking temps (silicone typically rated at
    > 450+). I put the 1.25:1 mixture of flour:eek:il (respectively) in the pan and crank it up to as high
    > as it will go without smoking ...or just a hint of smoking... and start mixing.
    >
    > Everyone who's done a roux knows that if it burns, you're screwed. My approach is to make sure the
    > roux never rests. Using the silicone
    spatula,
    > which makes a nice clean scrape of the bottom of the pan with every
    stroke,
    > you can make sure that no roux rests too long on the hot bottom. IOW, I scrape often and
    > consistantly. If I start seeing smoke I pick the pan up off the burner, never ceasing my mixing.
    > This allows you to run the heat right up at the smoking point of your oil you're using and get the
    > roux browned in a minimum of time.
    >
    > This is 10 mins of full concentration cooking, so take the phone off the hook! :)
    >
    > nb
     
  13. Jmcquown

    Jmcquown Guest

    Louis Cohen wrote:
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > roux to the stock.

    My Cajun fiance, who literally grew up on a bayou island which didn't get electricity until 1973,
    taught me a lot about Cajun cooking. True Cajun country folks, who aren't TV chefs and don't own
    restaurants, know you don't have the luxury of many pots in which to prepare the ingredients for
    gumbo. Look at this this way: gumbo is a stew; a collection of ingredients, basically tossed into a
    very large pot and meant to serve many. Whether it's using the day's catch of crawfish or crab or
    other seafood, or chicken, or sausage, or a combination thereof, it's basically 'country' food
    which has been turned into something 'chic' by the media. The thing which makes it unique is the
    dark roux.

    Having said that, the trinity is perfectly fine when sauteed with the roux. That way you don't dirty
    up an extra pan which you may need for something else (not saying this is your situation or even
    your question, Louis). You toss it all into the pot at the same time with the stock, seasonings,
    etc. Fresh okra should, of course, be boiled separately and drained of some of it's slimey-ness :)
    And the file powder doesn't go in until the end, right before serving.

    Jill
     
  14. Louis Cohen

    Louis Cohen Guest

    That's consistent with my view of gumbo, and of paella as well. Sometime in the next few weeks, I'm
    going to attempt a pot of gumbo z'herbes for my Catholic and vegetarian friends.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    Louis Cohen Living la vida loca at N37° 43' 7.9" W122° 8' 42.8"

    "jmcquown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Louis Cohen wrote:
    > > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > > roux to the stock.
    >
    > My Cajun fiance, who literally grew up on a bayou island which didn't get electricity until 1973,
    > taught me a lot about Cajun cooking. True Cajun country folks, who aren't TV chefs and don't own
    > restaurants, know you
    don't
    > have the luxury of many pots in which to prepare the ingredients for
    gumbo.
    > Look at this this way: gumbo is a stew; a collection of ingredients, basically tossed into a very
    > large pot and meant to serve many. Whether it's using the day's catch of crawfish or crab or other
    > seafood, or
    chicken,
    > or sausage, or a combination thereof, it's basically 'country' food which has been turned into
    > something 'chic' by the media. The thing which makes it unique is the dark roux.
    >
    > Having said that, the trinity is perfectly fine when sauteed with the
    roux.
    > That way you don't dirty up an extra pan which you may need for something else (not saying this is
    > your situation or even your question, Louis).
    You
    > toss it all into the pot at the same time with the stock, seasonings, etc. Fresh okra should, of
    > course, be boiled separately and drained of some of it's slimey-ness :) And the file powder
    > doesn't go in until the end,
    right
    > before serving.
    >
    > Jill
     
  15. BubbaBob

    BubbaBob Guest

    "Louis Cohen" <[email protected]> wrote:

    ...
    > But there is a lot of variation on how the roux is used. Sometimes, after the roux reaches the
    > right color, the "trinity" of veggies is sautéed right in the roux. Other recipes call for
    > sautéing the veggies separately, and then adding them to the roux, or adding the veggies and the
    > roux to the stock.
    >
    > What do people think?

    I saute the trinity right in the roux. Stock comes last.

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