Eating is OK

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Start with a roux . . .

No wait. Start by cutting up vegetables. If you start with the roux, you will be in trouble if the veggies aren't ready.

The Holy Trinity of New Orleans cooking:

2 cups each celery and green onion, 4 cups onion (not pictured: 1 T. chopped garlic)

Now go ahead with the roux:

1 cup each vegetable oil and flour

Cook and stir constantly until it's the color of a copper penny:

1 minute

5 minutes

7 minutes

Slide off the heat, add all the veggies except the garlic, and stir like crazy.

When things calm down a little, put back on the heat and add the garlic. Stir till the veggies are tender, then add the meat.

a package of chicken I already cooked in the crockpot with lemon, thyme, and onions, and a package of andouille sausage from Liberty Heights Fresh (not shown: second package of sausage)

After a little frying, add a couple quarts of chicken stock (packaged is OK--you won't get that much from pre-cooking your chicken).

Cook it for an hour or so. While it's cooking, skim off the grease that collects on top. About half an hour before you want to eat, fry up a package of frozen okra in butter until it stops looking like something from Ghostbusters:

Award-winning architect finds stirring okra soothing

Add the okra and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice. Add hot sauce or flaked red pepper if you like.

It appears to be impossible to find actual Cajun-style andouille (say "an-doo-ee") sausage in Utah. The three brands I've tried all have a lot of Cajun spice added. Niman Ranch brand from Liberty Heights was by far the closest, by me. What you get in New Orleans is just a smoked, ham-based sausage with small amounts of garlic and black and red pepper. It's a subtle sausage, unlike the in-your-face stuff that passes for andouille around here. Gumbo made with real andouille has a quiet smoky flavor that doesn't need any dressing up.

If your gumbo seems boring, order Big Kevin's seasoning from the New Orleans School of Cooking. Get their dried, sliced garlic, too. It's wonderful and you don't have to do anything to it except dump it in.


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