Archive for March 7th, 2011

March 7, 2011

Bon Temps Rouler | Gumbo with Duck and Catfish

I grew up watching Demeter make roux.  She made it for a German spinach recipe that she got from Zeus’s mom.  She made it for cream gravy for chicken fried steak.  But we never needed to make our roux as dark as it needs to be made for gumbo and Cajun food.  A dark roux is the essential flavor base for some of your favorite Cajun dishes.  Master this and you’re well on your way to recreating some great bayou dinners.

It gives me a bit of a thrill to make a dark roux.  One that’s the color of chocolate: a deep, dark brown.  When you’re making one, the pan and fat get really hot.  You have to stir the flour like mad with a wooden spoon.  The spoon itself darkens a bit after making one.  Don’t even dream of using a spatula, it would surely melt.  And mind your stirrings don’t splash anything.  A friend says roux is Cajun napalm.  They are not wrong.

But none of this is difficult – just roller coaster thrilling – as only cooking can be.  Add to that the Cajun Holy Trinity, a kick of spice from some tasso ham and a shake or two of Tabasco, and if you’ve made this on a first date, you two might just fall in love.

Acadian Gumbo, serves 6, at least

3 T fat (lard, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil)

3 T flour

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

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