Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gumbo & Potato Salad

Turkey gumbo is our post-Thanksgiving tradition. DH throws the carcass in a pot and makes stock, then one of us will make the Turkey and Sausage Gumbo with Potato Salad. DH did the honors this year. Several years ago, my dear friend Stefani who grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana -- a bastion of Cajun culture -- taught me a few things about gumbo: (1) Savoie's Roux is an excellent substitute if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, (2) okra only goes in seafood gumbo which should be served with a baked sweet potato, and most importantly, (3) chicken, duck or turkey gumbo should be served with potato salad rather than the rice we always had growing up. Spicy gumbo and creamy potato salad has since become one of my very favorite combinations. The gumbo is equally delicious made with chicken in place of the turkey.  Smoked chicken works especially well.

I don't usually follow a written recipe when making potato salad, but Stefani turned me on to the potato salad recipe in one of Emeril's cookbooks, Louisiana Real and Rustic. It's become my go-to recipe when making potato salad to serve with my Turkey and Sausage Gumbo.

Turkey  and Sausage Gumbo with Potato Salad


For the Turkey and Sausage Gumbo:
  •  1/2 pound of andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  2 quarts turkey or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups chopped or shredded cooked turkey or chicken
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
For the Potato Salad:
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 T. green onion, chopped
  • 1 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. creole mustard
  1. Heat a large cast-enameled dutch oven over medium heat. Fry the sausage rounds until they are a little crispy.  Remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
  2. Add the oil to the dutch oven and then the flour.  Stir constantly for about 20-25 minutes to make a dark brown roux.  You want it to be the color of chocolate.
  3. Add the onions, celery, red bell pepper and garlic to the pot.  Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Whisk in the stock then bring it to a boil.  Simmer uncovered for about 45-60 minutes.
  5. While the gumbo simmers, make the potato salad. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool. 
  6. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. 
  7. Put the potatoes in a salad bowl. Add the eggs, salt, cayenne, black pepper, celery, green onions and parsley. 
  8. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard and add to the salad bowl. Toss to mix well.
  9. After the gumbo has simmered, add the sausage, bay leaves and turkey or chicken and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
  10. Stir in the green onions just before serving.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes

Both andouille and smoked sausage are great in gumbo. Audouille sausage is widely available these days.  My Harris Teeter carries both a store-made version and Aidell'sCostco carries a turkey andouille sausage that I've used successfully in both gumbo and jambalaya.  Our favorite smoked sausage is Conecuh.  Conecuh is made in the little town Evergreen in Conecuh County, Alabama. The factory and store are just off I-65 and a convenient stop on our route north from the Gulf Coast.  When we first moved to the mountains, Conecuh was not available here so we would stop at the factory store and stock up.  Ingles has now started carrying their sausage, but we still like to stop at the Conecuh store.  Regardless of what type of sausage you buy, I think it is a good idea to cook the sausage separately to give it a little texture, but also to cook off some of the fat.

The  Potato Salad recipe is pretty adaptable.   I sometimes use yukon golds rather than red potatoes, and I generally don't bother to peel them. Emeril makes his own mayonnaise. I've never made my own mayonnaise (it sounds like a very dangerous indulgence to me) so I use Duke's.

Enjoy your gumbo and laissez le bon temps rouler!


JGH said...

Yum! so is the potato salad warm or cold? I'm guessing warm.

Didn't know that about okra - when I make gumbo it's usually with chicken & sausage, but I put in okra when I can get it (which I can't, always)

Where I come from in Florida it's a local habit to serve greek salad on top of potato salad. A tradition that doesn't seem to have been picked up anywhere else!

Lynn said...

My potato salad was room temp -- I serve it that way or cold.

There is a greek restaurant here that serves potato salad in their greek salad. DH ordered the salad because he wanted to avoid carbs, then mistook the potato salad for feta and mixed it into the salad! Should have just ordered a gyro... said...

This recipe is ideal for a project I'm working on -- gumbo for American writers. I shared it on my blog and added a link to yours. I also credited your photo with a link to your blog. Please let me know if that's not in line with your copyright guidelines. Thank you,