Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dark Roux/Gumbo

I'll probably end up saying this a lot over the next few months, but I LOVE my World Cuisine class. Last night we finally got into the kitchen and Chef whipped up one of his specialties: gumbo. He made creole style gumbo, which means it was with tomatos, the cajun/creole trinity (onions, celery, and peppers) were cut into a medium dice (for the sake of presentation, as opposed to cajun style that would dice the trinity fine to be sure to extract all the nutrients), and there was a good amount of seafood in it (clams, oysters, and shrimp). The best part, and the trickiest part, was making the roux. In case you don't know, a roux is equal parts flour and fat (usually butter). If not cooked you have yourself beurre manie but as you stir it over heat and the flour breaks down you get roux. It took somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes to make and when it was done it looked just like dark chocolate syrup; after it cooled you wuold swear it was ganache. It was a lot of fun watching him make it and I took like 8 pages of notes in my little memo pad just on the roux. Then he started making the gumbo, throwing ingredient after ingredient in, letting them all cook a bit before adding the next thing. {Side note - andouille sausage is love.} He saved the roux and shrimp til the end, after it simmered for a while with all of the other ingredients incorporated. It was delicious. We ladeled it into bowls and garnished it with rice. And to make things even more wonderful, there is an Advanced Baking and Pastry class that meets at the same time and last night they made regular corn bread (with whole kernals of corn which my wife hates but I love) and jalapeno corn bread (which I REALLY love). It was perfect with the gumbo.

When we all finished eating I made sure that I was the first person at the dishwashing station and I busted my ass cleaning everything from both classes. I want to make a reputation for myself and I want the chefs to see that I'm not a pencil-pushing, cubicle worker who's afraid to get his hands dirty. I'm going to do everything I can to be the hardest worker and the best cook at that school, freshman or not.


t said...

Yes, andouille sausage is love. And no, you are not a pencil pushing cubicile worker. No one is ever proud or excited of the job they have at school, duh that is why your there. Again I am excited to see how excited you are about this and I am glad to see that you have made a difference between the morning and afternoon worker bee, to the evening charging horse of a chef in training.

I still think that beer came before husbandry, but I'll have to research it a bit more before I prove my case to you. (or admit defeat)

Cara said...

for what it's worth, steve, i totally sided with you on the husbandry/beer thing.