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Saviolo

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 2,897

Journal Archives

Seafood Gumbo Recipe!

So, I've been leading up to this one for a couple of weeks now, with a couple of basics recipes (the dark roux and the shrimp stock), so here it finally is, our amazing seafood gumbo! I love this recipe a lot. My hubby worked for a large and famous Cajun fine dining restaurant down in Houston, and this recipe is adapted from the gumbo they made (and probably still make) there. It's extremely rich, hearty, and delicious, stuffed with veggies, shrimp, andouille sausage, and crab meat.

There are a few ingredients in this one that aren't always easy to get if you're not in the south, or if you live in a food desert. Andouille sausage is not always easy to find, crab meat is not always widely available, and something like gumbo filé (ground sassafras leaves) can be tricky to find if you don't have a big spice store or ethnic market nearby. Many of these things you can replace or omit. If you can't get crab meat, you can always add a nice whitefish to the gumbo, just give it time to cook. The filé is great in this dish, but if you can't get it, you can leave this out. You can also replace the andouille sausage with any nice flavourful and spicy sausage like chorizo.

Anyway, I love this recipe and it's unbelievably delicious. Also, thanks again to everyone who's been watching, subscribing, and especially sharing our videos. We're almost at 900 subscribers, and we can't wait to get to that 1000 subscriber milestone, where we start to get a few extra benefits from YouTube! Thanks so much everyone!

Dark Roux method/recipe

So, a few weeks ago we did a recipe for a roux through a béchamel sauce to a mornay sauce to make mac and cheese. This week we're doing another back-to-basics recipe with this dark roux. Now, a dark roux is significantly different from a basic roux. The long cooking time completely cooks the flour and causes some chemical changes that make it behave differently from a standard roux. There will be more oil separation, and you need to use more flour in proportion to the fat that you're mixing it with, otherwise it will come out extremely greasy. It also doesn't thicken things quite as seriously as a basic roux, but it also adds an amazing toasted popcorn flavour and aroma to whatever you add it to. It's a big basis for a lot of Cajun recipes, like the gumbo that will be coming next week!

You can switch up the kind of oil you use for this recipe. It should be a neutral and high smoke-point oil. When hubby worked at Brennan's of Houston, they used cottonseed oil, and in this recipe we used grapeseed oil, but canola oil will work as well. I would recommend against something like olive oil.

(slightly cheating) Shrimp Stock Recipe

A bit back to basics this week. We save our shrimp shells when we cook shrimp because if you ever want to make shrimp stock, you'll need'em! They freeze very well, and last a long time in the freezer. Now, I say this is a slightly cheating shrimp stock, because we're actually using chicken stock as the base here. We wanted just a little extra richness in the stock because we wanted to use this in our gumbo (which will be the video in a couple weeks!). You can also use just plain water for this, and it will work just fine.

The trick here is that you want to let the temperature rise in your stock as slowly as you can manage. A very low heat and an uncovered stock pot for the best results. It should never boil, and a gentle simmer (with just a few bubbles breaking the surface) is ideal for extracting the most flavour without getting a bunch of dissolved proteins that may make the stock taste off. Also, unlike chicken or beef stock, it takes a pretty short time to make, and should be used right away. You're not going to get much more flavour extraction after about 45 minutes to an hour of cooking time, so take that into account when timing your cooking.

Mustard Seed Slaw Recipe

So, after a couple of very rich recipes (mac and cheese followed by meatloaf), we wanted to do a little bit of a palette cleanser before we get into MORE rich food (some big Cajun recipes coming up!) with this hot and sour slaw! It's a super simple recipe, and really excellently delicious, especially with big rich and unctuous dishes like the mac and cheese.

We like to buy leeks fresh when they're in season, cut them into sections, and keep them in the freezer year round to use in dishes like this. Freezing them really tenderizes them, and it makes them easier to cut, too! We sliced these while they were still frozen, and it's much easier than chopping fresh raw leeks. The mustard seed in this dish adds a pleasant little heat to the whole dish, but it helps if it's had a bit of time to sit, so it's best to make this the day before and let it sit overnight.

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