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  • Gumbo Assembly

    gumbo

    As previously spoken :

    Gumbo has three basic parts: the stock, the roux, the seasonings.

    We have created a flavorful stock, and we have created a dark roux, so now we really need to deal with is seasoning and assembly.
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  • Roux for Gumbo

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    Gumbo derives it’s taste / texture / character from the roux. I would not be exaggerating that roux is the single most important component of the gumbo. Making roux is an art, and it will take practice to get good results. If dark specks appear, or if you smell something burning, you’ll need to throw out the roux and start over.

    Roux is not hard to make. It is typically cooked until it’s the color of dark chocolate: A darker roux thickens less than lighter, it is richer tasting.

    A dark roux is flour cooked in fat until it takes on a dark color with nut-like overtones, and with a deep, complex, somewhat smoky flavor. I tend to make my roux in the oven. Melting 3/4 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of flour and baking until it is a deep chocolate brown. I find that a large, long-handled wooden spoon works best for string the roux.
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  • Turkey Stock from a carcass for gumbo

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    It’s the day after, the day after, the dinner is done, the sandwiches are done, the leftovers are reduced to picked over pieces of meat, some drying dressing and a big pile of turkey bones.

    Some folks will say the bird has given all it can, but I say it has one more task to complete. A rich thick turkey bone stock, from which we can make all forms of soups or sauces, But I have one more special meal planned, think a rich, thick, spicy, flavorful gumbo.

    Gumbo has three basic parts: the stock, the roux, the seasonings.

    Background

    Gumbo is a stew or soup originating in Louisiana which is popular across the Gulf Coast of the United States and into the U.S. South. It consists primarily of a strong stock, meat and/or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onion. The soup is traditionally served over rice.

    Let’s start with a fairly well picked over carcass, it does not need to be totally meatless, and we’ll break down the carcass so we can get it all in the stockpot. To the stockpot we’ll add several large onions sliced, four or five ribs of celery sliced, two or so green peppers, seeded and minced, two large carrots washed and sliced, and a flurry of poultry seasonings.

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  • Turkey Pot Pie

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    The day after thanksgiving, and people are beginning to recover from their over indulgence driven systemic shock, to find fridges stuffed with leftovers. These leftover need to be disguised in a number of ways so that they may be consumed

    One favorite way, is turkey pot pie. Think a large casserole dish, lined with pie dough, a thick poultry stew, and topped with puff pastry. Kick the stew up a good bit with mixed boneless turkey parts, some shredded, some cubed, all recovered from the carcass of the previous main meal, big chunks of carrots, big chunks of celery, kernel corn, green peas, and perl onions, all in a gravy made from homemade stock, or better yet, leftover gravy.

    For the puff pastry, I’ll used a prepared pastry sheet. I’ll need to thaw two of them for the top.

    Lets start with the pie crust, I’ll take my biscuit mix, and make a dough. We’ll roll that out very thin and fit to a buttered casserole dish.

    For the Stew

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  • Roasted Asparagus

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    This is one of the most ridiculously simple vegetable dishes ever. Roasting is a simple, flavorful method for cooking many vegetables, not the least of which is asparagus.

    Preparing the asparagus is so simple, roasting is very flavorful , it’s a last-minute dish that can go from fridge to platter in around twelve minutes and , it can be served on its own or used in side dishes or salads.

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  • Caramel Sauce

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    In my random musings about pumpkin and how to abuse the traditional pie, I mentioned caramel sauce. It did not take my loyal critics from the, “How do I boil water brigade?“, long to remind me that I needed to provide a recipe for caramel sauce.

    Background

    Caramel is a beige to dark brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars, and is used as a flavor in puddings and desserts, a filling in candies and chocolates, and a topping for ice cream and custards. The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 340 °F. As the sugar melts, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor.

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