The roll of roux in gumbo, etc.

Would you care to share your recipe? I promise I won’t bring it to any pot luck you attend. :wink:


I see gluten-free “tech” as pretty much in its infancy. Gluten-free baked goods that imitate fluffy breads, buns, etc., are gradually getting better.

No seems to have really tackled gluten-free roux yet, or at least that tech hasn’t become common knowledge. Any advice?

Gumbo without roux is really just seafood and okra soup with gumbo spices. There is nothing wrong with that but it isn’t gumbo. There is a lot more to gumbo than that and truly good gumbo is very difficult, time-consuming and usually expensive to make. Learning to make proper roux alone is difficult for most cooks and it is extremely easy to burn it too much.

You can’t make rolls from roux.

Sure you can, dude, they’re call roullx.

Funnily enough, I posted it in a thread you started about a year and a half ago:

Laissez les bons temps roller

Thanks for looking that up! I’d have to cut the recipe in half, as there are only two of us. I’ll use Emeril Lagasse’s seasoning recipe, since that’s what I use in jambalaya and I made a ton of it.

To get back on-topic, I haven’t made a really dark roux. I’m anxious to try it.


You make it sound a little too easy. I am from Louisiana too and good gumbo cooks are few and far between even there. Done correctly, it takes the better part of a workday to make a decent batch and it isn’t cheap. Two year ago, my Texan mother who lived in Louisiana for over 20 years finally succeeded in making her first really good batch of gumbo for a family dinner. It was excellent by any measure but not cheap (she put over $200 worth of seafood in it) and she slaved over that stove for longer than she has for any dish before or since. There were plenty of leftovers so she carefully loaded them into a large storage pot and put them in the garage refrigerator. My stepfather got mad about something stupid like he usually does the next day and threw upon the refrigerator door and knocked the pot over straight onto the garage floor. I honestly thought they were going to get a divorce over it and tensions ran high for the next couple of days. The (deceased) gumbo really was that good.

Oddly enough, the best gumbo cook that I know personally is my yankee ex-wife that went to college in Louisiana. However, she is a world-renowned expert in all gourmet foods and can cook just about anything to chef levels of expertise. The times when she made gumbo for visitors, I was the one that went to the store to get the ingredients (and pay for them). I was always astounded at the cost. You can fit an awful lot of expensive seafood in a large gumbo pot. One notable batch was $300 alone.

I think that I can make really good gumbo by myself because I have done all the individual steps myself at various times successfully but never from start to finish. It ranks pretty high on the time and difficulty scale overall. Good gumbo cooking requires several different skills ranging from classical French to creole to seafood that aren’t within range of your average cook without assistance and practice.

See, there’s the thing. I’ve been alone most of my life, so I have no problem eating leftovers every day until they’re gone. The SO… Not so much. So I have to be careful to make small batches. The good news is that I always make ‘too much’ and we have leftovers that are better the next day. The other good news is that making smaller batches is cheaper. Whenever I get to it, I’ll probably just use shrimp. Maybe some andouille.

Hm… I wonder if I still have file powder in the cupboard?

Okra and filé are pale substitutes for roux. Although I would like to try filé because the Creoles learned it from the Choctaws and I like to try my hand at Native American cuisine. The sort of thickening provided by okra is mucilaginous and I don’t know anybody who likes wet okra. I like crispy-fried sliced okra when not a drop of water touches it. But to be fair, the name gumbo itself refers to okra.

No, neither of them can stand up to the buttery toasty richness of roux. I like to cook Creole style, where they don’t destroy the roux by overcooking it, and they use butter as le bon Dieu intended. I like to use whole-wheat flour, which lends even more savor. Whole-wheat roux is dark to begin with, and I cook it to the color of melted chocolate ice cream, which corresponds to a nice blond roux made from white flour. Just be careful not to get any on your skin: it’s nicknamed “Creole napalm” for a reason.

Just don’t walk away from it. Roux demands your presence and attention until it comes off the stove, or you risk having burned bits or ruining it completely.

I won’t claim that my gumbo is particularly authentic – I know I’ve simplified a lot of steps because I don’t have the time and the skill to make perfectly authentic gumbo.

But I go for taste, and in taste, mine is still the best :slight_smile:

What, exactly, *is *gumbo? All I know about it is the name, one of the most unappetizing I have ever heard, and that it is somehow related to okra.

(Yes, I am from the North.)

Stew, in the simplest of terms. Wiki speculates: in Bantu, the vegetable okra was known as ki ngombo or quingombo

I learne sort of a lost roux technique that is ultra-old school and just happens to be gluten free.

You finely chop a gargantuan amount of onions, green peppers and celery and then saute them in your preferred oil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Do this basically forever or until your vegetables have basically disintegrated.

Next add several cups of stock and simmer, stirring occasionally for another infinite time period, adding water as necessary.

Next, run this mixture through a fine strainer. All that should be in their are translucent scraps of cellulose. All the vegetable goodness should have dissolved into the liquid.

Simmer this liquid, until it thickens. Eventually, it will condense into a mixture virtually identical to the oil/flour type roux. Turn up the heat and whisk aggressively until you’ achieved the desired color. Be advised that this mixture is a lot more delicate than the flour/oil type, and is prone to burning or getting over done very fast.

The flour/oil mixture takes about 5 to 10 minutes to make. This version takes about 5 or six hours. I am assured though that this was the original and traditional way of doing it and that the results are incomparable.

I do it this way myself and think it’s much better, but I understand why this method fell into disfavor, as the oil/flour method is probably 80% as good with only 3% of the effort.

Try it once if you are feeling adventurous.

Shouldn’t that be role-r? Or even rouxer?

(Ok, bad joke. Back to my cave.)

The usual ratio for a mirapoix is 2:1:1, onions, bell pepper, celery. Your tastes may vary.

It’s usually not a taste thing, but more dependent upon how much of a given ingredient I happen to have on hand, and what it’s quality is.

Similarly, when I make salsa during the winter and the tomatoes are scarce and poor, I tend to have a very oniony salsa. In the summer I tend to go overboard with the tomatoes and fresh green peppers, because they are so plentiful and good.

If that sounds like I have pretensions of seasonality, I apologize. More often it’s just about how much of a given thing is in the fridge.

The still better news is that gumbo freezes quite well, so you can make a batch, then freeze several smallish containers to have again another time without all that work.

It is unnecessary. I don’t use it, and my chicken-and-andouille gumbo has been praised from Baton Rouge to Vietnam.

True. Preparation of a dark roux is psychological warfare, cook versus flour. You must convince it that you are going to let it burn, without actually doing so. Looking away during this staring match can spell defeat.