The Roadhouse now starts the work week off with great gumbo!
by Ari Weinzweig
The kitchen crew at the Roadhouse has committed to making their marvelous gumbo every single Monday! While it’s been added to the specials list here and there over the years, the days of waiting ‘til you arrive to see if gumbo’s “on tap” are now over.
There are, of course, a zillion variations on gumbo, so I’m not here to say that the Roadhouse version is “the right” one. But ours is authentic, well made, and pretty marvelously delicious. Gene Bourg, whose Cajun ancestors have lived in Louisiana for over 200 hundred years, wrote in Saveur, “There are as many gumbos (in Cajun country) as there are cooks.”
Like the language and the music, Cajun cooking is itself a blend of influences: the dishes of the original Acadiana, the foods of France, native American ingredients, the cooking of Africa, and the spice and style of the Caribbean. Gumbo is a true culinary stew that showcases various cultural influences. Beyond that, the only thing you’ll get most Cajun cooks to agree on is that a well-made gumbo is very, very good.
The Roadhouse gumbo starts with a four-hour roux—flour and butter slowly cooked together to become the thickening agent for the gumbo. A roux (pronounced “roo”) is a Louisiana specialty and perhaps the single most critical component of a good gumbo. The longer you cook it, the darker and more flavorful the roux. Add in a whole mess of good stuff: gulf shrimp, celery, onions and peppers (known as the Holy Trinity in Cajun cooking), fresh oysters, andouille sausage, lots of okra, oak-smoked chicken from the pit, and plenty of spices. Garnish with gumbo file (dried sassafras powder), serve over Carolina Gold rice from Anson Mills (organic, field ripened, 18th century heirloom varietal), and you’ve got an amazing meal!
That’s what we’re serving up at the Roadhouse Monday. Every Monday, lunch and dinner in a cup or bowl (and another one to go)! Put it on your calendar.
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