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Southern Comfort

Posted: Friday, Mar. 14, 2014

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

"Chef Troy" Gagliardo hosts a weekly cooking segment called "Troy's Everyday Eats" live every Tuesday on WCCB News Rising from 7 to 9 a.m. He has made over 300 appearances on the show showcasing over 1000 of his unique original recipes. He was also voted one of the Top Five best chefs in Charlotte in 2013. Troy has penned a cookbook called Pseudo Southern, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef and best selling author Fabio Viviani. His business Motown Spice Provisions supplies some of the top restaurants and country clubs in the greater Charlotte area for the past 10 years. He is a self-taught chef who learned early on the importance of family and food, and the connection between both, from his parents and grandparents. Contact him at troygagliardo@gmail.com. Visit www.cheftroy.net, and follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Southern Comfort

There are few things quite as satisfying as a spicy, piping hot bowl of gumbo topped with perfectly cooked rice and a splash of hot sauce. Really, what could make this dish even more comforting, satisfying or tasty? Lobster!

Think of lobster gumbo in the same way you would lobster mac and cheese because both build concepts of a modest, soul satisfying dishes by adding a bit of succulence into the mix.

The key to any great gumbo is the roux, or the standard thickener in many dishes. A roux is made of up equal parts of a fat and flour. A variety of fats can be used to make a roux. Traditionally for gumbo, a slower-working oil or lard is used instead of butter, because of the time it takes to develop a worthy gumbo roux.

Using a heavy-bottomed pan is crucial so the shortening doesn’t get too hot with the intense direct heat of a thin-bottomed pan. Use a constant medium-to-low heat to warm the shortening and whisk the flour little by little in until all has been incorporated. Keep whisking to develop a deep, dark chocolate brown roux. This process will take 25, 30 even 45 minutes when done correctly.

Sorry folks, there are no shortcuts when making a roux for gumbo because it is the major flavor component. The roux gives the gumbo its unparalleled comforting, deep, rich flavor.

If you take the time to do the roux right, the rest will be easy. This recipes uses andouille sausage for a nice background heat and tender lobster for a slight sweetness, but any protein or even vegetables can be used to round off the perfect gumbo.

For more great recipes visit www.cheftroy.net and be sure to watch Chef Troy weekly on WCCB Charlotte News Rising’s “Tuesdays with Troy” 7-9 am.

Lobster Gumbo with Andouille Sausage

• ¼ Cup-Shortening-or canola oil

• ¼ Cup-All Purpose Flour

• ¼ Cup-Celery-fine dice

• ¼ Cup-Green Bell Pepper- fine dice

• ½ Cup-Onion- fine dice

• 3 Cloves- Garlic –fine chop

• ½ Pound-Smoked Andouille Sausage-cubed

• To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper

• 1/4 Teaspoon-Cayenne Pepper

• 2 Tablespoons-Tomato Paste

• 6 Cups-Chicken Stock

• 1 Cup-Fresh Okra-cut into ½” pieces or frozen, un-breaded

• 2 Lobster Tail-shell removed-cut into bit size pieces

• 4 Cups-Cooked Rice

Directions

1. Warm shortening/oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot over medium heat.

2. Whisk in flour a little at a time until all has incorporated.

3. Continue to cook and stir roux until is a dark brown color, about 20 to 30 minutes stirring quite frequently.

4. Add celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, andouille cook 2-3 minutes stirring frequently or until vegetables are soften.

5. Season with salt/black pepper/cayenne, stir in tomato paste to melt.

6. Add stock/okra, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally.

7. Add lobster tail meat, stir in incorporate and cook for 5 minutes.

8. To serve, ladle gumbo into bowls top with a scoop of rice and a dash of hot sauce.

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