"Son of a gun, we're gonna have big fun on the bayou!"
There are two songs I absolutely have to hear any time I'm making Cajun food. "Jambalaya" by Hank Sr and "Down at the Twist and Shout" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. The first one became even more important recently, when I finally acquired a little bitty jar of filé.
I've been singin' about filé gumbo for a couple of weeks now. I made some tonight. Yay!
My first challenge was figuring out how to make roux. Most gluten-free recipes I found just opted to forget that part and make gumbo soup. I was resigned to this possibility when someone on my GFCFNN (gluten-free, casein-free Native Nutrition) Yahoo group told me I could make roux with sweet rice flour. Which I just happened to actually have. Then I found a wonderful, delightful site with specific instructions from a genuine Cajun. (Her site is the top one to the left- Everything Free- well worth your time even if you can eat everything.)
My roux. Some lard, some rice flour... cook, stir constantly... it was a bit darker than this, but not much. Most Cajuns would not call this roux. But at this point it smelled much darker, on the edge of burning, which I had been warned it would do a lot faster than wheat flour. So, I called it done.
I sautéed the trinity in bacon fat (of course) and then stirred it into the roux...
But, I pressed on.
I added some thyme, filé, salt, pepper, and Tabasco, stirred that up, added some chicken broth and smooshed up canned tomatoes. I had sautéed the sliced sausage already, just to give it a nice crusty, caramelly goodness, so I plopped it with everything else. After it had simmered (and to my surprise thickened) it was time for the shrimp. The beautiful, ginormous, wild-caught shrimp. Mmmmmm...
Then it went on rice. Yummo!