Gastronome is the official publication of the U.S. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The magazine provides coverage of local, regional, national and international Chaîne events as well as feature stories about members and member establishments.
Issue link: http://gastronome.epubxp.com/i/745503
DEATH BY GUMBO Prep time: 1 hour Yields: 12 servings This gumbo was created for Craig Claiborne of the New York Times . When he asked me to come to his home on Long Island to create a spe- cial dinner depicting the evolution of Cajun and Creole cuisine, I knew this unusual dish would be the perfect choice. INGREDIENTS FOR QUAIL: 12 boneless Bobwhite quail salt and cracked black pepper to taste granulated garlic to taste 1½ cups cooked white rice 1 tsp filé powder 2 tbsps chopped parsley 12 (1/8-inch) slices andouille 12 oysters poached in their liquid METHOD FOR QUAIL: NOTE: Although it is best to use boneless quail for this recipe, you may also use bone-in birds if boneless is not available. Season birds inside and out using salt, cracked black pepper, and granulated garlic. Season cooked white rice to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, filé pow- der, and chopped parsley. Stuff cavity of each quail with 1 tablespoon rice mixture, 1 slice andouille, 1 oyster, and a second tablespoon of rice mixture. Continue this process until all birds have been stuffed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. INGREDIENTS FOR GUMBO: 12 stuffed and seasoned Bobwhite quail 1 cup vegetable oil 1½ cups flour 2 cups diced onions 2 cups diced celery 1 cup diced bell peppers ¼ cup minced garlic 1 cup sliced mushrooms ½ cup sliced tasso 3 quarts chicken stock 1 tsp thyme salt and cracked black pepper to taste granulated garlic to taste 1 cup sliced green onions 1 cup chopped parsley METHOD FOR GUMBO: In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until a golden brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and minced garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until veg- etables are wilted. Stir in mushrooms and tasso. Cook an additional 3 minutes, then add chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Stir in thyme, bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 30 minutes. Season to taste using salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Place stuffed quail into gumbo and allow to simmer 30 minutes. When quail are tender and legs separate from body easily, remove birds to a platter and keep warm. Strain all seasonings from gumbo through a fine sieve and reserve gumbo liquid. Return stock to pot, add quail, green onions, and parsley, then bring to a low boil. To serve, place 1 quail in center of each soup bowl and cover with gumbo liquid. Who was your culinary mentor and what did you take from your experience with him/her? Chef Fritz Blumberg was the first European chef that convinced me that I had the basic skills, and if I was willing to learn that I could be really good in the kitchen. From him, I learned two important things I hold to today: 1) kitchen vision—the ability to see instantly what's going on around you in the moment, and 2) never assume anything too quickly. Take time to make a decision based on fact rather than emotion. How did you find your inner chef? Cajun men are born cooks. Our fathers were trappers and hunters, so at six years old we are taught the gift of cooking and self-sustenance. What is your favorite ingredient? The trinity: three important vegetables in Cajun and Creole cuisine— onion, celery, and bell pepper—that when mixed together become one. Do you have advice for non-professionals who want to elevate their cooking skills? Keep it regional. Keep it seasonal. Keep it simple. What is your favorite charity event? Each year, I am blessed, along with multiple national chefs, to par- ticipate in Dining by Design, a dinner benefitting the Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center and the ministry of Sister Dulce Maria in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. What was your most memorable Chaîne event and why? In June 2014, the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans hosted the U.S. Grand Chapitre. The Sonesta is home to my Restaurant R'evolution, so my partner, Chef Rick Tramonto, and I were honored to prepare the Bailli Appreciation Dinner. This evening was so special to me because we got to feature seven courses showcasing the seven nations—French, Spanish, German, English, Native American, African, and Italian—that collectively created the Creole cuisine and culture of Louisiana. G OUR CHAÎNE CHEFS 2 0 1 6 v 2 :: G A S T R O N O M E :: 19