Thursday, July 19, 2012
Last Thursday I got the most amazing okra from my CSA box from Feeding Crane Farms. In the midst of my exhausting bout of prelims (one month of intensive studying while we write three five-hour exams that are ten days apart, which get to determine if we have a summer or not, and then if we stay or the program should we fail the retakes in the fall) I wanted something to distract me from the pain, and decided I'd use this opportunity to make gumbo!
Luckily for me, gumbo was May 2011's daring cooks challenge, so there was a nice play by play instructional recipe ready for me to follow. I didn't change much from her chicken and andouille sausage recipe; except I accidentally got spicy pork sausages instead so I fried those up seperately, drained the oil, and added them in. I'm sure it took away some of the authenticity, but it sure was delicious! Oh, and the spice mix I made was a combination of different creole spice mix recipes, based on what was available to me.
The roux took ages to brown--a good 30 minutes. Of course, that might be because I realized a little more than halfway through browning the roux that I'd forgotten to prep my vegetables! I had to turn off the burner, continue whisking until the roux was cool, cut up my vegetables, and heat the roux back up while whisking away once more.
Everything else went swimmingly, however, even though active cooking time was at least an hours worth. I will say--her note about skimming the fat off wasn't a joke! I got almost a full cup of fat back from the gumbo--and I only made a half recipe (i.e. I started with half a cup of oil). The rest must have come from the chicken (which I bought whole from the co-op) and sausages.
This is one of those recipes that the moment its done you say "ugh, never again" and then after you've eaten you sigh and say "yeah, definitely making that again" while rubbing your belly.