It has been dripping wet cold around here lately.In fact, dare i say we even saw a snow-flurry.The kind that if you blink,you will miss it.Believe me it happened.So what do you like to eat and feed your family in the weather like this?Soup comes in mind.How about Gumbo?It is my husband’s favorite cold-weather dish to eat and i must add,we all,enjoy it too.I was pleasantly surprised when my 3 year old asked for second serving.
I have got the chance to taste various cuisine over the years.America is such a melting pot of culture.I have also been introduced to different food genre.Some were obvious to me like Italian,Chinese,Japanese etc…But some were surprising.After getting married,i was introduced to one such genre “Cajun” .I never knew before that and even after tasting it first time,i didn’t quite understand what to decipher.
Cajun cooking is synonymous with Louisiana cooking.Spicy food is what i think of with Cajun. But quite different from spicy Indian food.My husband’s favorite thing to order has been Shrimp Etouffee.If it is cold evening,it will be Gumbo.So i educated myself with this genre of food a little,just so i can cook.
- Spiciness of the dish doesn’t only comes from the hot chili sauce and pepper.Usage of Andouille sausage is very common in Cajun cooking.Unfortunately i can’t use Andouille.
- Seafood is popular choice for obvious reason of having large coastal area.
- Then there is “Trinity”.Louisiana trinity of onion, celery and green bell pepper.It makes the basis of Cajun cooking.
- “Roux”(Roo) is must in sauce based Cajun dishes.It is basically cooking flour in oil/butter until it is deep brown and toasty.Do not confuse the color with burn.It not only thickens the dish,it gives the unique nuttiness to the dish.”Roux” can pretty much make or break the sauce based dish.It must be made with undivided attention.
- “Bayou”( Ba-you) is another term you will often hear with Lousiana for having large swamp lands which it has.
- I decided to use only shrimp but you can use other kind of meat(sausage/chicken)/seafood(crawfish/crab etc).
- Seafood stock is great.I used homemade shrimp stock.( Yup,i am frugal that way,i save the shrimp shells and freeze it to make stock with it later on).You can use plain water but stock does add depth of flavor to the dish.
- Gumbo is spicy.I kept it very mellow for the little boy and girl of our house.I seriously wanted couple of drops of hot sauce in mine.Something about the cold weather,i like my soup and stew bit spicy.It takes the edge off from the cold i guess.