Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tonight I conquer gumbo

It's been about 6 months since my black roux fiasco... and thus the sting of said cooking humiliation has worn off a bit... so I reckon it's time to try again and be humiliated anew. I'm reasonably confident that I know what color roux I'm going for... see it over there to the left, with full size pics here... no confusion this time as to WTF "the color of an old copper penny" or "between milk chocolate and dark chocolate" means... at least I hope not. If I screw it up, I'm not going to be afraid to throw it away, even if it means making gumbo at 2 AM. Some things are important, damnit!

From the non-roux mistakes I made last time... buying peeled and deveined frozen shrimp(thus having too few shells for a good shrimp stock) and not getting Andouille sausage... I corrected both with a trip to Whole Foods. The shrimp were fresh from Maine(though have been sitting in my fridge since Sunday night) and are of the perfect small size for gumbo... I'll have to devein them myself, which isn't super exciting, but neither is it hard.

I'm really looking forward to the whole process actually... making a roux is something that feels like "real" cooking to me, and it's still a skill I need to learn. In addition, gumbo involves a lot of fine dicing... which I used to dread as a huge time investment with disappointing results... but now look forward to, even though I'm not much faster and only marginally more uniform in my cuts.. knowing the right techniques, even if I can't always execute them, makes practicing more fun. I'll report back with the results.

photo by flickr user Andrew Huff used under a Creative Commons license