Monday, January 24, 2011

Mixmaster Monday

Today I begin a new feature called "Mixmaster Monday". Every Monday, I will be posting a new recipe or something culinary-related. I hope you enjoy it!

I chose the name "Mixmaster" because - quite unrelated to cooking - my dear mother always used to say that driving in a car with me was like driving in a Mixmaster, and it has been the stuff of mirthful family legend ever since. Not only that, we still have the original Hamilton Beach Mixmaster that my mother had before she was married 60 years ago. So, how could I not use such a memorable, meaningful word?

Here is an image of a mixer that is very, very similar  to the one at home. I'll post a photo of the real one when I get home.

So, now, on with Mixmaster Monday!! YAY!!

The first edition of MM will be featuring a recipe for a traditional Louisiana specialty, given to me by Perry, a born-and-raised Louisianan that I met here on my ship. Out of the blue, he asked me to print a copy of gumbo tips for him one day, which was just a list of ingredients and some shortcuts. I asked him about the amounts of ingredients, because they were not listed. He said they were all in his head, he just jotted down these notes for the cooks here on board to use. As a favor to me, he came back a few days later with three recipes; Gumbo, Oven Jambalaya and Crawfish Etouffee (pronounced ay-too-fay).

Today, then, I will be presenting Perry's Gumbo recipe. I can't wait to try it when I get home!

Perry's Genuine Louisiana Gumbo
  • 1 large chicken
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, cut
  • 5 or 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 2 lb sliced smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
Place chicken in pot with water, cut celery, quartered onions, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp cayenne and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium boil until chicken is tender. Should be about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the chicken and strain the broth. Save broth.

In a heavy duty pot about medium heat, combine flour and oil. Stir constantly until roux is dark (color of Hershey bar), about 25 - 30 minutes. Be very careful at this stage of making your roux, it is easy to burn and will have a very bitter taste. When you have your finished product ready to make your gumbo, take some roux out and set to the side. You can always add roux, but never take away.

Add your chopped onions, chopped celery and chopped garlic. Cook vegetables until very, very soft, about 15 - 20 minutes. Add sausage, remaining cayenne and remaining salt. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add broth and stir until roux mixture is combined. Bring liquid to boil and reduce to medium simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Check your consistency every 30 minutes, it should not be as thick as a chowder, but thicker than a vegetable soup. You may need to add water if it's too thick.

While liquid is simmering, debone your chicken and throw away the bones. Roughly chop the chicken and add to pot and cook for additional 30 minutes. Add chopped green onions right before you serve. Best with white rice. Enjoy!!

Remember, to save time and easier, just brown your flour (flour only) on a sheet pan in the oven, 350F. Keep a close eye on your flour!! And, you can brown a lot and save for future use.



  1. Maggie Looking forward to the Etouffee Recipie. Made it here a while ago and Shit on Toast would have been an improved taste I am sure. Oh and you can't get Crawfish in Alberta or Manitoba, not sure about the rest of Canada. It apparently is great using shrimp although I have never had it with Shrimp


  2. Oh and I am definitly going to try the Gumbo

  3. Yes, I was wondering what a good substitution for crawfish would be, as we don't have that in Newfoundland, either. I was thinking lobster, but shrimp would likely work well, too. I shall have to ask Perry. He's my go-to guy for Louisiana cuisine, and I want it to be as authentic as possible!

  4. Shrimp would be a great substitute for crawfish. I apologize for not thinking of the accessibility and availability of crawfish. But I will put together a shrimp etoufee recipe and forward it to you Margaret.

  5. Hi 'anonymous',

    I'm guessing that's you, Perry? NO need to apologize, duckie... I gave you recipes for Flipper Pie and Moose Casserole, and I'm pretty sure there are not a lot of seals or moose hanging out in Louisiana!! That said, whatever you can give me re: shrimp would be much-much-much appreciated! :-)

  6. Etoufee with the shrimp was a hit. I think I may try cream of celery soup next time. I used 2 cans of soup too. It was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  7. Oh I forgot what do you mean by Slurry? I left the oil business awhile ago and that is where my mind heads at the mention of slurry. I assumed it is thickening Flour or cornstarch and water.



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