As the weather turns cooler, Southern cooks’ thoughts instinctively turn to gumbo. It’s a stay inside with a good book while tending the pot type of dish that will bring the whole family to the table. While the proper recipe for gumbo is one of the hottest debates in Lowcountry kitchens, and one we’re not about to start here, these basic reminders will ensure that whichever recipe you choose, your gumbo will turn out just right for you.
- Start with your roux, and be sure to keep an eye on it. Burning the roux means starting over.
- Mix in a stock instead of water for a more complex flavor.
- Don’t forget the “holy trinity” of Cajun and Creole dishes: sautéed chopped celery, onions, and bell pepper. (Okra is a classic add-in, and a little garlic never hurt, either)
- Grab that book and settle in for a while. Slow cooking allows the flavors to marry together and prevents burning.
- Finish with Filé powder. Sprinkle this spicy herb made from dried and ground sassafras leaves over individual servings to thicken and season each bowl to taste.
No time to make homemade gumbo on National Gumbo Day? Don’t worry, these local restaurants have a pot already simmering.
Plums Restaurant – 904 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902
Blackstone’s Cafe – 205 Scott Street Beaufort, SC 29902
Southern Sweets – 917 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902