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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #16
landarc
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CPW, the more I have read and heard, the more convinced I am that Gumbo is not thickened like a stew. It does not have a thick body. I have never been to the south though. My understanding is that it is neither soup nor stew.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
CPW, the more I have read and heard, the more convinced I am that Gumbo is not thickened like a stew. It does not have a thick body. I have never been to the south though. My understanding is that it is neither soup nor stew.
I don't think it's supposed to be thick either, I just like it that way, so I always make the roux lighter so it'll end up with a thicker consistency. I was only asking (since I'm no expert) if you thought corn starch was the way to go, if there were other methods for thickening.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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Man I love gumbo! Probably make it once a week or so. Okra definitely thickens it. I've never really fooled with the file'. Always understood that back in the day it was used as a thickening agent when okra wasn't in season.

I like a dark roux. Has kind of a nutty smell to me.

Your gumbo looks awesome!!! :)
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #19
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Looks great Bob. I love gumbo, and I'd like to have a bowl of that right now.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #20
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On my way home right now from 6 days in New Orleans, 3 of them spent in cooking classes. Excellent description of techniques, making a proper roux is essential to many southern dishes.
Well done!
Oh, and you had me at Linguisa which I have to get shipped from CA
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #21
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Damn that looks good ... merci beaucoup.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #22
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Wow, that looks delicious!
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Unread 12-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #23
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I was afraid that "California Style" meant it had tofu, alfalfa sprouts and an emissions restriction with an energy tax!
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Unread 12-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #24
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Looks fantastic! I wish I had a bowl of that right now.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw View Post
I'm a huge fan of the gumbo, but here's my problem, just as Landarc mentioned, the roux in a gumbo is not about thickening the stew, but more as a flavor component. So the question is, how do you make a flavorful roux, but also makes a thick stew? Do you throw in some corn starch? I find that the okra doesn't thicken it enough for my tastes.
The okra and/or file are used as thickening agents. I use okra, but not file. That is just my personal preference. You could use corn starch, as it really doesn't have a flavor that would mess up your gumbo. Keep in mind, you are not really going for a "beef stew" thickness. Gumbo is closer to soup than stew.

BTW, landarc, good fresh okra is hard to find around me, but I have had good results with frozen okra. I doubt even a pure cajun would know I used frozen okra.

You should also make some tasso for your next gumbo. It is really easy to make, and I think it adds a great dimension to the flavor, especially in a seafood gumbo.

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Unread 12-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
CPW, the more I have read and heard, the more convinced I am that Gumbo is not thickened like a stew. It does not have a thick body. I have never been to the south though. My understanding is that it is neither soup nor stew.
This is correct. As I mentioned, already, gumbo is closer to soup than stew. I lived in cajun country for six years, and your gumbo cook looks pretty authentic. Green bell peppers are more traditional, but reds aren't that much different -- not enough to matter, IMO.

When I lived in Port Arthur (Poat Awtha), where they sold boudin next to the hot dogs at 7-Elevens, I got my first taste of authentic cajun gumbo, and fell in love.

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Unread 12-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #27
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That looks and sounds killer! Me thinks that chicken could stand on it's own as well.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #28
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One other thing about thickening.... I like to make a pot of gumbo on Sunday afternoons. Put pot in fridge overnight, and reheat and eat Monday evening. It's way better after it sits, thicker too.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #29
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I don't use cornstarch much for thickening stews, I would say that it would fine though.

I do need to make me some home made tasso, but, first, I need to move my cookers so I can use them. THAT project has taken forever for me to even get started on.

The chicken does stand on it's own. But, then, if you eat all the chicken there is none for the gumbo. Plus, I only cook the chicken to get color on it, not fully cooked. If you cook the chicken fully, the oil is altered from the long heating process.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 07:24 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I don't use cornstarch much for thickening stews, I would say that it would fine though.

I do need to make me some home made tasso, but, first, I need to move my cookers so I can use them. THAT project has taken forever for me to even get started on.

The chicken does stand on it's own. But, then, if you eat all the chicken there is none for the gumbo. Plus, I only cook the chicken to get color on it, not fully cooked. If you cook the chicken fully, the oil is altered from the long heating process.
Yeah, I did my last gumbo with rotisserie chicken, but I pulled it early. It was not safely done for eating, but it didn't need to be, since I was going to cook it for hours in my gumbo.

I liked the very subtle flavor added by rotisserie cooking the bird, and I like to shred my chicken for gumbo, which you can't do with raw chicken.

Pulling your bird early assures that you start with really moist chicken. It is hard to add back moisture once you cook it out, IMO. When I make gumbo from fully cooked leftovers, it is still very tasty, but I think it is just a little bit better when you prepare your chicken to be cooked that second time in your gumbo, which for me, means undercooking it a little.

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