Saturday, November 28, 2020

Gumbo and Other Things

 Fall and Winter is when Chicken and Sausage Gumbo comes out to play in Cajun land. While AZ is a long way from South LA I had a hankering for a bowl of Gumbo. There was a pot of chicken stock and boned chicken in the fridge, I just needed green peppers and some sausage to make a little bit of heaven. 

When making the roux I wimped out and stopped the roux at a dark chocolate instead of working without a net and going on to Black.  Truth is while black roux is a little richer flavor the difference is minor and the risk is great. BTW, it sure was/is a good pot of Cajun gumbo. 

If you have never been to the Lafayette, Breaux Bridge area of LA you likely have never had a good Cajun Gumbo. It is totally different than Creole which is the Gumbo most folks are familiar with and something I will eat only to be polite.

On to something completely different:

A lot of time in the shop I take things for granted. As an example my jointer push appliance. If you use a powered jointer you need a good and safe way to push the work over the cutting head. The best I've found is one I've used for several years, well may be more than several. It is easy to cut out and keeps the hand and fingers safe.

Another are doe's foot sticks to help hold wood for planing. A stop, a doe's foot and a holdfast is all that is needed to hold work flat on the bench. It is much faster than using a tail vise. The top appliance is for holding a board vertical for planing the edge, also faster than using a vise to hold the work. Another advantage of the appliance is immediate feedback if your technique sucks😇.

  Just some simple shop made appliances that are in almost daily use in my shop.


  1. I never tried a cajun gumbo but with the description you make of it I certainly would like!
    Up here with cold days coming it is time to spend more time in the kitchen and season for stews, braises and all kind of slowly cooked things.
    Yesterday we spent 5h on a roasted pork shoulder, a duck confit lasagna and a slow cooked piece of beef. House was smelling so good!!!

    1. Lionel,

      Makes me want to drive North :-). When I lived up North the kitchen was always the warmest room in the house so not only did it smell good with good thing coming out of it, it was also the most comfortable.

      The Gumbo is very simple, onion, green bell peppers, celery in about equal parts and as much garlic as you like. Cook in stock until all the flavor is out, then strain and throw away the pulp. Stock back in the pot along with whatever meat you are using. Season with a generous amount of Cayenne pepper. Chicken and sausage, mudbugs, or seafood of some kind are traditional. While the meat is cooking make a roux of equal parts oil (bacon grease is the best) and flour. Be careful, Paul Prudhomme called roux Cajun napalm :-), get as close to roux black as you are comfortable. Add the roux to the stock and serve over rice with chopped green onions and if you like gumbo file'. I always eat a big bowl as soon as I finish adding the roux, but it is better after setting overnight in the fridge and degreasing.


  2. Steve D10:15 AM

    I though gumbo had okrah in it. Can't blame you for leaving it out - sounds gross but haven't tried it.

    1. Steve,

      There are two basic types of Gumbo, Creole and Cajun. Creole was the food of the city and was heavily influenced by African slaves who did the cooking for the manor house. Creole will usually have both okra and tomatoes, if fact if in Louisiana and you question if a dish is Creole or Cajun the answer is usually found with one question, does it have tomatoes in it? If it does it is most likely Creole.

      Cajun is the food of the country, simple and influenced by the French settlers in the area outside New Orleans. Of the two I much prefer Cajun. I find Creole gumbo almost uneatable, as I posted earlier I will eat it to be polite but never if I can dodge it.

      Paul Prudhomme has been dead for several years so I do not know if his restaurant in New Orleans, K-Paul's, is still open but if it is it is a good place or at least was a good place to sample Cajun cooking with out the need to visit Lafayette Parish.

      In the old days I have ridden my motorcycle to Lafayette from Tucson to have a bowl of gumbo and a shrimp po-boy, then a little Luling Market BBQ on the way back home. Those were the days my friend :-).


    2. Steve D6:39 PM

      I did not know that. Maybe some Cajun gumbo is in my future.

    3. Steve,

      Careful, you might want to move to South Louisiana and start speaking French.

      ken :()

    4. Steve D7:59 AM

      I am a New Englander to my core, even though our food is nondescript.

      It's more than humid enough here, Louisiana would be out of the question.