Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cajun Gumbo in Far Away Holland

Roxi has been wanting to make chicken and sausage gumbo for a couple of weeks now, but I have been reluctant since I don't have to ingredients I'm used to here in the Netherlands. I'll let you in on a little secret....neither of us have ever made a roux before and usually rely on a pre-made jar or powder. But there is a first time for everything! With some tips and pointers from Roxi's dad, we set to it at about noon on Saturday. We don't exactly have the perfect stove and pots for making roux, but we improvised as best we could. It was a slow process because I have always heard that the trick to making a good roux is to cook is slowly enough that is doesn't burn otherwise your gumbo will taste burned. So with the gas heat as low as it could go, I slowly poured the flour into the heating oil as Roxi kept it moving to avoid sticking to the pan. For about three hours we alternated the stirring as the color slowly began to change. Finally after barely increasing the heat, the roux rather quickly changed from a light tan to a very dark brown.

The perfect chocolate color of the finished dark roux.

So as long as it took, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be to make a roux from scratch. From there on it was relatively easy as Roxi and I are used to making gumbo from this step forward. The only other trouble we had was with the size of our cooking pot. It wasn't exactly big enough for all of our chicken and sausage, but we made it work with a little finesse! The end result was perfect and Roxi and I agreed it'll be homemade roux from here on out for us! It's just funny that it took us being five thousand miles away from Cajun country to try our first roux from scratch. But you do what you have to do if you want that taste of home away from home!

Picture perfect gumbo with a side of Dutch style potato salad to make for a perfect international dinner!

No comments: