If you know the right tricks, cooking can be a great way to gain control of your calorie consumption. Here in New Orleans we can make just about anything taste great, and healthy foods are no exception. Check out this list of calorie conscious swaps:
For three ounces of Andouille sausage you get a whopping 11 grams of fat. However,
the same three ounces of crawfish contain less than a single gram of fat. Many recipes come in both seafood and meat versions like gumbo, which can be made with crawfish or with Andouille. Skip the sausage and opt for the leaner shellfish!
Everyone loves a good condiment, but unfortunately not all condiments are made equal. Ketchup is high in sugar and mayonnaise is about 75% fat. Try Zatarain’s Creole Mustard (>1g fat per serving!) for a New Orleans recipe that’s been around since the late 1800’s.
“Slap YA Mama” seasoning can make just about any dish better, so why not use it to spice up an otherwise boring low fat/low calorie food? Use it as a rub on fish, a seasoning on cooked vegetables, or an extra kick in your broth-based soup. Seasonings are a wonderful alternative to high fat flavor-fillers like oil or butter.
Make a one-ingredient roux from flour and save yourself 2/3 of the calories of regular oil-based roux! Here is a recipe from Southern Cuisine Blog:
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread flour evenly across the bottom of a 15-inch cast iron skillet
Bake, stirring occasionally for approximately 1 hour
Make sure to stir well around the edges of the skillet so the flour does not scorch.
Cook Flour until the light or dark color is achieved depending on the purpose of the roux. The roux will become darker when liquid is added
When the desired color is reached, cool on a large cookie sheet, stirring occasionally
Store in a sealed jar for future use. 1 cup of oil-less roux will thicken 11/2 quarts of stock to a perfect gumbo consistency
2 tsp Pecan or olive oil
2 med onions (2.5 cups)
2 med bell peppers (2 cups)
4 stalks celery (1 cup)
6 toes garlic
2 whole Gumbo crabs, break in 4 pieces
2 diced tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
Shrimp or seafood stock 3 quarts
Oil less roux (see below)
Shrimp 2-3 lbs, peeled and marinated in hot sauce and your favorite Creole seasoning.
Crab claw meat
3 tbl fresh Parsley
3 stalks Green onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put oil in pot. When it’s heated move around until the bottom is coated. Put in the onion, bell pepper, celery. Cook till the trinity starts to caramelize, add gumbo crabs and cook until trinity is browned. Add diced tomatoes and garlic. Cook about 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the dry roux and simmer for 45-60 minutes with lid on. Add the shrimp, crab claw meat, parsley and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.Serve.
Oil less roux
Preheat oven to 375 ( Sometimes, I do this in my toaster oven)
Put in flour, I’ll make 2-3 cups at a time.
Bake, stirring every 7-10 minutes until desired darkness. At least 45 minutes.
Can keep in jar until needed.
Today we present you one of the most famous Louisiana dishes: Seafood Gumbo!
Gumbo is typically divided into two types. The combinations traditionally common in New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana are known as “Creole,” named after the Louisianans who are descendants of French and Spanish settlers. (The “Cajun” combinations were common in southwestern Louisiana, which was populated primarily by Cajuns. For a reminder of the difference between Creole and Cajun, click here).
But today, we are going to concentrate on Creole Gumbo:
So what is in Creole Gumbo? A Creole (New Orleans) gumbo is made with medium-brown roux and often has tomatoes and okra. The origin of the French word roux is derived from the French word beurre, which means browned butter. However, the roux used in gumbos is much darker than a typical roux made by the French.
The thick soup also contains a mixture of vegetables referred to as the Holy Trinity (onions, bell peppers and celery). We like to add garlic, green onions and parsley to create the Holier than Thou Trinity. Seafood Gumbo contains any combination of oysters, shrimp, fish, crawfish, and crabs. The Creoles favored okra in their gumbo rather than filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves). The word gumbo was derived from a West African word for okra, suggesting that gumbo was originally made with okra… so maybe the Creole’s have it right?
Another main difference from Cajun gumbo is that Creoles always add tomatoes to their gumbo. Tomatoes are used in Creole gumbo due to the influence of Italian immigrants to the city. Creole gumbo is generally not as spicy as Cajun gumbo.
Stay connected to find out about the Cajun Gumbo soon! YUM!
Schedule a cooking class with us here if you want to learn how to cook Gumbo.