Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya | TigerDroppings.com

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Stadium Rat
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Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


quote:

I just glanced and saw "cooked shrimp" and said no way Jose


This comment by CITWTT from the "Jambalaya" recipe thread reminded me of this subject.

Poppy Tooker, in researching Madame Begue's old cookbook, had this to say in the Times Pic:

quote:

The most treacherous part is when you add the shrimp," Tooker said. "How do you keep them from getting mushy? But...whenever she used shrimp in a recipe, she boiled them first." It was probably a food safety issue, Tooker speculates, but it completely altered their texture.

And when she added boiled shrimp to Begue's jambalaya and gumbo, following the 19th century directions, "The shrimp were not overcooked. They were perfect. The moisture in the cooking liquid of both plumped them up a little further. The color really impressed me, and seemed more vivid. They had this perfect toothsome quality.

So I began to try to puzzle through this. Why in the world? And in talking to other people about this procedure, I discovered that most everybody's grandmothers and great-grandmothers did the same thing! It's a technique that's evolved that I think deserves a revisit.

Somebody here needs to try this and report back.







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andouille
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


That is interesting, have not noticed that in reading old Creole cookbooks. I always buy head-on shrimp for gumbo, peal them and use the shells for stock, add the shrimp to the gumbo about 15 minutes before serving. The only downside, and it is not really a downside, is that the shrimp release a lot of liquid and thins the gumbo a bit. But the liquid the shrimp release is pretty tasty shrimp juice, so no problem.

Theorizing, and I will try it, if you boil and peal the shrimp ahead of time, you can save the water for stock, and add the shrimp last to the gumbo. If they are firmer and better color, not sure why they would be since they are being 'boiled' in the gumbo, it might work better.

Since I'm not of the 'this is the way my momma did it' school, I'll try it on the next pot.






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Stadium Rat
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


It might have something to do with the fact that they're cooked,then COOLED, then reintroduced. The cooling might tighten up the outside so that when you put them back in, no more moisture can escape. Sort of like what searing meat is supposed to do. I will try it too, but I don't get shrimp that often.





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Jimbeaux
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


My guess is that the shells protect and shield the meat of the shrimp when they boil. Once boiled, the meat has locked in the moisture and flavor, and the outer layer is sealed.







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Stadium Rat
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


Here's a recipe from one of the oldest Creole cookbooks, "La Cuisine Creole" by Lafcadio Hearn. Sure enough, the shrimp are precooked.







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LSUAfro
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


Mushy shrimp in gumbo is one of my food pet peeves. You can have a great gumbo, but in the last 20 minutes you can completely f it up.





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CCT
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LA
Member since Dec 2006
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


What's a pod of pepper?





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Stadium Rat
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


quote:

What's a pod of pepper?
Got me.

ETA: I think it's just a pepper. A pod of seeds.



This post was edited on 12/8 at 9:08 pm


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LetTheValleyShake
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Marrero
Member since Mar 2006
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


I like to sear my shrimp in liquid crab boil before I put it in the jambalaya.





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Gris Gris
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GRIS GRIS MARIE, REST IN PEACE CIT!
Member since Feb 2008
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


I add seafood just before serving and only to the amount of gumbo I'm using at that moment. If I make a large amount to freeze. I freeze it sans seafood and add it just before serving as usual. No mushy seafood.





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Martini
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Member since Mar 2005
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re: Pre-cooking Shrimp for Gumbo or Jambalaya


I will sleep on this because y'all have confused me. I don't pay that much attention if you ask me. Peel and dump in.





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