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Deep, Dark

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After a week of mid August weather, we seem to have gone back to March, for some reason. Fine by me. It gave me a chance to go all out on tonight’s dinner.

The plan was gumbo. First we needed a roux, so I put Erin to work on that. Cajun roux’s are a different breed from the kind I grew up with. First off, I was always told that a roux should cook for about 10 minutes and have a light brown color. A cajun roux cooks for almost an hour, and turns a dark, burnt umber tone. Secondly, I was always taught that a roux was equal parts fat and flour, but the recipes I looked up had  varying amounts of flour, and the textures were probably all over the place as a result.

So we went to about a 1.5:1 flour to oil ratio and I left Erin to stir. Then I started making the chicken stock cause it’s shitty out and I’m on vacation and what the fuck else am I going to do with myself? So in go all the chicken backs and various other parts I’d been saving, along with some aromatics and herbs.

Those issues being taken care of, we just needed to figure out exactly what kind of gumbo this was going to be. Gumbo is one of those great dishes that has no canonical version. It’s a grab bag. Traditionally there’s a few different types of meat and/or seafood. This being vacation, we decided to splurge, and picked up crawfish, chicken, N’awlins style andouille sausage, and a hand full of shrimp.

I don’t really have a recipe to share, but you can get a good idea here. Gumbocooking.com seemed to be the best resource for gumbo tips and techniques and recipes I could find. If you’re interested in making gumbo, look at a few recipes from this site and you’ll get the idea. Most of them have pretty much the same base, then they just add falvors in on tip of it.

The final product came out great. Tons of layers of flavor, and totally worth spending all Saturday working on it.

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