Bonjour mes amis and welcome to Foodie Fridays.
On today’s plate: Andouille and shrimp gumbo over dirty rice and red beans. And for dessert: Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
First make a roux. That’s what they say in Cajun country since the basis of a lot of their cuisine requires it. Simply, a roux is flour browned in fat. While that seems like an easy task, it’s actually much harder than it looks. That is, if you’re trying to get it to look and taste right.
Then add the trinity. No, this has nothing to do with religion. Actually, the trinity consists of green bell peppers, celery and onions. They are essentials in traditional gumbo.
Then add everything but the meat. This means herbs, spices, stock and whatever else you want. Just not the meat. Not yet, anyway.
Gumbo comes in many different forms including a lighter roux (New Orleans/Creole style gumbo), and varying types of meat as well as spices and herbs and even consistency. Once you add the trinity, you can also add your herbs and spices. Of course, Cajun food is known for being spicy hot but that’s more of a phenomenon created by famous chefs than a Cajun tradition. Don’t get me wrong, they like their heat. Like me, they like it enough to give it a kick but not to overpower the dish. Needless to say, I added plenty of cayenne.
Finally, add the meat. This is where you can add just about any type of meat you want. Seafood is very traditional as is chicken and andouille sausage. I went with the andouille/shrimp combo.
I happened to mix a few dishes into this one. Gumbo can be eaten as a stew/soup or over rice. My gumbo was a bit thicker and so I served it over dirty rice with a little red beans on the side (yes, it was gumbo and red beans and rice all in one).
And for dessert, I had originally planned Banana’s foster. Until I realized I had no bananas or dark rum. I guess I’ll save that for another day. Perhaps sometime near Mardi Gras (laissez les bon temps roulez!).
It was a wonderful meal topped off with a great dessert. I’m not sure why homemade frosting tastes so much better, but it does. Actually, homemade anything just tastes better.