You call that gumbo?

I love Alton Brown. If I was a girl, I’d probably lust for him. As it is, I just want to grow up to be him. I’ve driven for 4 hours and stood in line for 3 more just to have a book signed by him. I’ve watched every episode of Good Eats, many of them multiple times. “Feasting on Asphalt” was a thing of beauty. I want thin spikey hair.

But when I saw his episode about gumbo last week… well, let’s just say I was dissappointed. Roux in an oven? NO OKRA?? My god, man. You didn’t make gumbo. You made some sort of shrimp/baked flour/file soup. But you didn’t make gumbo.

Oh bother.

I recently went on a gumbo quest. There are lots and lots of recipes and not all include okra. A recipe I had from a friend who was from Louisiana did not include okra because she didn’t like it. I guess not all gumbo lovers have to love okra. From what I understand though, if you don’t use okra you must use filé.

I am curious about this oven roux, though. My recent attempt to make gumbo made me feel like my arm was going to fall off from all the stirring and I still didn’t get it dark enough. It was edible and good, but not what I was expecting.

The Cajuns in my family wouldn’t put okra in a gumbo if you paid them. Okra is fried, or stewed with tomatoes. They also thought the roux in the oven was a great idea.

Another Baton Rougean with Cajun blood checking in here. My mother has made the oven roux. She also has used her microwave. I remember as a child having to stir the roux when she went to the bathroom. But now she uses Savoie’s jarred roux (as I have for years). You can’t tell the difference.

As to the okra issue - even if you use okra you don’t add it until the very end. You don’t want slimy gumbo. In our family I love okra but hubby prefers the file’ (damn yankee :smiley: ). Anyway, I add the pre-cooked okra to my bowl and he adds his file’ to his.

As with all Cajun cooking, there is no wrong way - just different tastes. Don’t even get me started on the proper color for Jambalaya.

I thought file-based gumbos normally do not contain okra. Am I incorrect?

One or the other, never both.

Gumbo is an African word for okra, and orginally okra was the primary thickening agent in the mix. File is an okra substitute, originally used for when okra was not in season. For this reason, seafood gumbo generally had okra while game/sausage gumbo did not. I prefer okra gumbo with a medium brown roux and seafood, particularly shellfish (i.e. shrimp, oysters, and blue crab claws) with a little bit of andouille for spice. Note: nowadays, some folks don’t stand on ceremony and add all three, okra, file and roux (the unholy trinity* if you will) – unless done well, it can be overpowering. Unless it has okra, your a sorry ol’ chump :wink:

a gumbo jok – the trinity being celery, onion and green bellpepper.

Okra is gross. :stuck_out_tongue:

My sister in law has used the oven to brown her flour rather than the dutch oven/flour/oil method and it turns out pretty tasty.

The darker the flour, the richer the roux, and the more flavorful the final dish is.