Gumbo . . . The word draws grins and contented looks from our boys every time. Their dad’s gumbo is by far a good, if not great, representation of all things good in the fall.
What is gumbo?
Gumbo is an aromatic stew or soup hailing from southern Louisiana back in the 18th century or so I’m told on good authority (my friends and Wikipedia).
Ingredients usually include flavorful stock, a thickener, shellfish or meat, and vegetables— including celery, bell peppers, okra, and onions.
Don’t like seafood? Try chicken and/or sausage as your “meat.”
All good gumbo starts with a basic roux (pronounced “rooh”). Just flour and oil put together in equal parts.
Gumbo at our house
My husband Darrell browns his roux on top of the stove in an iron skillet. Here are a few of his tips:
- Stir roux constantly over medium heat until golden brown.
- Avoid overcooking or scorching.
- Add the roux to your gumbo in order to increase the consistency and flavor.
- A shortcut to making the roux is browning the flour in your oven, but check it often!
- Eat gumbo after a day or two of “sitting” the mixture in the refrigerator. (Ingredients will have time to “meet-and-greet.”)
What to serve with gumbo
Most gumbo down our way is served over white rice. For a different take, try brown rice. Takes longer but very good!
We like garlic bread, but crackers will work, too.
How about a side salad to balance your meal?
I enjoyed this delight last weekend. Our three sons and our beautiful daughter-in-law came over for the seasonal treat that took Darrell about 5 or 6 hours to make. Chopping, dicing . . .you get the picture.
Time required. (Thanks, honey!)
Gumbo. That’s what’s cooking in our kitchen.