Today is National Gumbo Day! Hooray!
For anyone who grew up in Louisiana before the internet, learning to make a gumbo was a right of passage. Somebody, whether it was your mama, papa, marraine, parrain, mami, papi, grand-mère or grand-père made sure to pass on the family recipe. It doesn’t matter if you learned to cook a gumbo with fowl, seafood, or z’herbes, everyone learned to start the dish the same way – first you make a roux. Roux, pronounced “roo”, is a mixture of fat like butter, lard, or oil and flour. Used as a thickening agent, roux also adds flavor to a gumbo. The second thing learned is to never leave the skillet because it’s not that hard to burn a roux.
This week Louisiana lost one of her native sons, Chef Paul Prudhomme. So, in honor of both he and this delicious day, allow the Chef to teach you how to make a roux. It doesn’t matter if you like it light or dark, that’s the first step.
See my post from last year here for a bit of history on gumbo. Bon appétit!