To aid the judges at Riverside Academy’s first annual Gumbo Festival in Reserve last year, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Roussel, founders of Roussel’s Restaurant in LaPlace, prepared the following rules for Mrs. Rose Boe, chairman of the Riverside festival:
1. Importance of Ingredients:
A. Chicken should be well cooked and not falling off the bones.
B. Andouille should be well cooked and a good quality (not fat).
C. Oysters should not be put into gumbo until gumbo is done. Add oysters last to boiling gumbo, bring to a boil and cut fire off.
The color of gumbo depends on the right color of the roux. If the roux is too dark, the gumbo will be too dark. If the roux is too light, the gumbo will have an unappetizing color – light.
There should be plenty onions, garlic, celery, green onions, and parsley.
This depends on the right quantity of flour in making the roux. Gumbo should have the consistency of a thin gravy or sauce.
5. Manner of Serving:
Gumbo filé should not be added to the pot of gumbo unless it is to be served immediately – it will be ropy. If it is to be served at intervals, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon to each plate on top rice, followed by hot gumbo juice.
Really the best way to judge gumbo is by the aromas of the different seasonings, the pungent and wonderful flavor of the gumbo. We suggest taste, aroma and color.
(Reprinted from an article by Waverly Root which appeared in November 17, 1971, issue of the New York Herald Tribune)
"For the last hundred years or so, andouille has been a slang synonym for a stupid or silly person; someone both tall and unintelligent is described as "un grand de pendeur d’andouilles" (a great reacher-down of sausage). This phrase has saved the rare word "dependeur" from oblivion; it is almost never used otherwise.
Its contemptuous character has not discouraged the lighthearted makers of Vald’Adol, banded together in the Confraternite des Taste-Andouilles, from calling its members "dependeurs" and one of its officers the "grand dependeur." Another popular expression the andouille has given to the French is "ficele comme une andouille" (trussed up like a sausage), which describes anyone whose clothes are too tight."
In answer to the question "What in the world do you do with andouille except make a gumbo?"
Mary Duhe – "Use rabbit, squirrel, or duck in andouille gumbo instead of chicken. We make a lot of game dishes."
Lyle Cambre – "Just slice it and eat it. I love it that way."
Dr. Gerald LaNasa – "Use as a charcoal hors d’oeuvre."
Andrea Bourgeois – "Dip barbecued or plain andouille on toothpicks into hot mustard. It’s delicious."
Joy Clement – "I fry andouille. Just prick it with a fork, add a little water to the pan, and fry until tender."
Sandra Cortez Boe – "My mother smothers okra down over andouille. Sometimes she uses smoked sausage too. It’s really good. And did you ever try a "dirty rice" made with andouille?"
Anna Martin – "I’ve eaten okra gumbo with andouille. My mother used to cook it that way and it’s good."
Donna Melancon – "Once I ate seafood gumbo and it had andouille in it too."
Lots of people – "Sauté onions and andouille, then smother cabbage down over it."
Still others – "Use it with snap beans and new potatoes."
Waverly Root, renowned food writer – "When andouille is served hot, it is usually accompanied by mashed potatoes or warm applesauce."
The Picayune Creole Cook Book – "This sausage is generally served with mashed potatoes, a puree of peas, or lentils. The chitterlings are first boiled in an aromatic water, with an herb bouguet, or in milk; they are then broiled, or baked in the oven for eight to ten minutes."
On the German Coast the dish is commonly called "red rice" because of its color, and the recipes are as varied as the people who make it. This is a "quick" recipe, for hurry-ups or beginners.
- 3-lb. frying chicken, cut into pieces
- ½ lb. andouille, sliced into thin "wheels"
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup (1 large) bell pepper
- 1 cup (1 large) onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. thyme
- Dash Tabasco sauce
- black pepper to taste
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 2½ cups chicken broth (canned or hot water with cubes)
- 1½ cups uncooked long grain rice
Brown all meat in oil. Remove meat. Sauté pepper, onion and garlic over low heat until vegetables are clear. Add seasonings, tomato sauce and broth. Simmer 10 minutes. Add rice and meat. Cover and cook over low heat about 25 minutes.
Fluff rice with a fork and cook uncovered about 5 minutes longer. Rice should be full and dry and have absorbed the color of the broth to be right. Add a bit more water if needed.
We got curious about how much andouille is produced in East St. John the Baptist Parish yearly. So we took the estimates of five producers – Three Sisters, Nat Jacob, Keating’s Store, Haydel’s Red and White and Diddy Jacob and averaged them out.
Without giving away any production figures we can tell you they produce an average of 53,050 pounds of andouille a year. That is 26 tons and 1050 pounds left for snacking. Remember that is only five producers, and only on the East Bank.
But shades of good eating! That’s a lot of gumbo