An accomplished music director, professor, and organist, Simon Whalley possesses decades of professional experience. Simon Whalley enjoys exploring new places by sampling their food, in particular becoming infatuated with gumbo while living in the United States. Gumbo is a complex dish with Creole origins that requires a lot of patience and care to perfect.
The base of any good gumbo is a roux. For a gumbo, individuals typically want to create a dark roux with the appearance of milk chocolate so that it has a rich, deep flavor. In comparison, a lighter roux will not provide the same depth of taste. The roux should be perfectly smooth, which is accomplished by constant stirring.
The vegetables in a gumbo should be fresh, crisp, and flavorful. Onions, celery, and green pepper- also known as the “trinity”- make up the foundation of the gumbo’s base. The celery should be diced very small so that the flavor is present but that no one is left chewing on chunks of it. The pepper and onion can be larger, as can whatever other vegetables individuals want to add. For extra flavor, these vegetables can be cooked in animal fat such as bacon grease.
Gumbos can have a variety of different protein combinations. If using meat, smoked varieties like andouille can give the gumbo an extra punch. When using shrimp, they should be added once the gumbo is removed from heat so that they do not become overcooked and chewy.