Squirrel File' Gumbo

Come here to discuss fishing for all types of panfish and catfish. We also want to hear your favorite fish recipes too!

Moderators: sumtershoaliefan, kokosing lover

Squirrel File' Gumbo

Postby Titaniumman » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:28 pm

Now that it’s prime squirrel season, I thought I’d provide ya’ll with my squirrel gumbo recipe.

There’s about a gillion different gumbos, but they can be separated into two main categories; okra gumbos and file’ (pronounced fee-lay’) gumbos. Okra gumbos usually have tomatoes cooked in them and file’ gumbos usually do not. File’ gumbos always have a roux (pronounced roo), but some okra gumbos do not have a roux. Although gumbos are not slimy, an ingredient that has slimy properties is needed to achieve gumbo consistency. Of course, the main difference between the two gumbos is that one uses okra to achieve the gumbo’s consistency and the other uses file’.

Anyone who has ever eaten boiled or steamed okra knows that it’s slimy, sometimes so much so that it “ropes” (has slimy strings in the gumbo), and the roping must be cut with a little cornstarch while cooking.

File’ is dried ground up sassafras leaves that were picked in hot weather when the sap was heavy in the leaves. Sassafras has a wonderful flavor. It’s used in sassafras tea and sasparilla, which was a soft drink popular in the 1800’s. Sasparilla evolved into rootbeer. These drinks all use the roots of the sassafras plant to avoid the sliminess. We use the leaves for gumbo because that's what we're looking for.

Both okra and file’ gumbos are ladled over white long grain rice, although some fancy Cajun restaurants like to pour the gumbo into a shallow bowl and place a mound of rice in the center for presentation. Both kinds of gumbos have an assortment of spices and one or several kinds of meat and seafood. I suppose you could have a vegetarian gumbo, but I believe my coonass ancestors would roll over in their graves if I ever made or ate one. I had an uncle in Louisiana who never had less than three meats at every evening meal. He was an architect. You should have seen his cooking building in his back yard. He had a wide assortment of stoves, ovens, grills, refrigerators, freezers, sinks, etc., and the whole place could be opened up with huge screen windows in warm weather.

My squirrel gumbo is a file’ gumbo. As I mentioned, gumbos can have several meats and seafoods. I like to use shrimp, canned oysters, and Eckridge smoked sausage in mine to keep the squirrels company. Feel free to delete or add critters as you see fit. Crab claws are a good addition.

    Four squirrels
    Crisco shortening
    Flour
    1/2 cup chopped celery (celery leaves add more flavor)
    2 tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 cup chopped fresh yellow onion (Vidalia is better)
    2 or 3 cans oysters
    1/2 to 1 pound medium sized shrimp thawed, shelled, and deveined
    1 package Eckridge smoked sausage (You can use another brand or Andouille if you prefer.) cut into bite sized pieces.
    Salt
    Ground black pepper
    Ground red pepper
    Long grain white rice
    Either a bottle of Durkee's gumbo file' from the spice section of a grocery store, or better yet, some homemade file' from friends or relatives in Louisiana

First off, I make sure my squirrels don’t have any bot fly larvae (commonly called warbles, wolves, or wooves) under the skin. After the squirrel has been killed, and the body starts to cool, any wooves will come out on their own. Supposedly, the squirrel meat is still good to eat, but call me picky, I ain’t eating nothing that just performed that scene out of the movie Alien.

Skin and dress your squirrels. I doubt any of you here need instructions, but in case you do, here’s a link:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/50414/squirrel_hunting_the_basics_of_the.html?page=2
Cut up squirrels into reasonable sized chunks. Some folks pressure cook the squirrels and then debone them. I don’t. I want my squirrel meat simmered with all the other ingredients, so dealing with the little squirrel bones in the meat in the gumbo is part of the eating experience.

Brown the squirrel parts in a skillet with a little olive oil. Set aside.

It’s now time to make the roux. In a skillet, melt two heaping tablespoons of Crisco shortening. Mix in approximately the same amount of plain white flour. Continually stir the mixture to keep it from burning while it browns. The mixture should be a little thicker than ketchup. If it’s too thin, add a little flower. If it’s too thick add a little shortening. If it starts to smoke, remove it from the heat for a moment and reduce the heat. Keep stirring. Continue to brown it until it gets as dark as dark roast ground coffee.

Scoop the roux into a large empty pot. Add about four cups of cold water. It’ll sizzle, but that’s the way it’s supposed to do. For a richer gumbo, substitute chicken broth for part or all of the water. Turn the heat to high under the roux and water to bring it to a boil. The roux will melt and dissolve. Add the chopped celery, onions, parsley, garlic, squirrels, and sausage. Drain the juice from the cans of oysters into the concoction. Adjust heat to a low boil or simmer. Add water if needed to keep it like a medium thick soup. Cook uncovered for a about an hour until the squirrel is tender. Add salt, black and red pepper (or Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning) to taste. Add in the shrimp, and cook another ten minutes or so until the shrimp are done.

While the gumbo is cooking, make the rice. I usually use slightly more than two parts water to one part rice with about one teaspoon of salt per cup of rice. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, add the salt and rice and stir boiling for one minute. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer about twenty minutes. If the rice is not quite done when the water is completely absorbed, add a little more water.

Eating time! Put some rice in a bowl. Sprinkle file’ heavily over the rice. (I’ll bet you were wondering when we would get to the file’.) There should be enough file’ that almost the whole surface of the rice is the color of the file’. Place a few of the canned oysters on the rice. Ladle plenty of steaming gumbo ya-yak over the rice. All you need now is a big spoon and a tall glass of tea, rootbeer, or a beer.

As the Cajuns say when they’re eating something good, “Ay-hah, go home!” (Translation: This is too good to share, go away.)

P.S. You can add the remaining oysters to the remaining gumbo and freeze it. Later, you can thaw it out, heat it up and make some fresh rice.

Also, if you don't have any squirrels handy or you don't like squirrel meat, and you still want to make this gumbo, you can use turkey drumstick meat instead. Just boil the drumsticks in a pot for a while, then carve the meat out with a knife. No browning necessary.
Last edited by Titaniumman on Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I dream of a better tomorrow in which chickens may cross roads with no fear their motive is in question.
User avatar
Titaniumman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1820
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:31 pm
Location: Adams Ferry Road - Flint River

Postby JohnYaksJax » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:51 pm

Hey T-Man......you said: "(I’ll bet you were wondering when we would get to the file’)"

Yeppers....you got me on that one!!! Thought you forgot about it...LOL!!

I am a beer lover, altho I thought a good robust red wine might go great with this menu too...??? What'cha think??

Also, I think the CD player should start with "Rock 'N' Roll Gumbo" by Professor Longhair, and finish with the soundtrack from the movie "The Big Easy"......("Tipitina" is on both CDs!!)
End up the evening dancing with a nice looking lady to "Closer to You"...NICE!!!
JYJ
User avatar
JohnYaksJax
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Neptune Beach (Jax) Florida

Postby Titaniumman » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:43 pm

JohnYaksJax wrote:I am a beer lover, altho I thought a good robust red wine might go great with this menu too...??? What'cha think??

Also, I think the CD player should start with "Rock 'N' Roll Gumbo" by Professor Longhair, and finish with the soundtrack from the movie "The Big Easy"......("Tipitina" is on both CDs!!)
End up the evening dancing with a nice looking lady to "Closer to You"...NICE!!!
JYJ

You are on the spot correct, mon ami. A bottle of Mouton Cadet Bordeaux red is an excellent choice. You will find it in just about every well stocked grocery and liquor stores. At around $10 a bottle, it's cheaper than where it's made. I was in Nice, France just a few years ago. Room temperature, please.

And surprise, surprise... I'm working on a Cajun night CD collection for the river. I'll add your suggestions to Hank Senior's Jambalaya, Melanie's Look What They Done to My Song, Ma, The Beatles' Michelle, a French version of Bonnie & Clyde, Don't Mess with my Toot Toot, and some other Zydeco music.

I have definitely gotta work on that pretty girl up close dancing thing.

My German friends at http://germanrestaurant.com/ are having a casino night for charity. I put together a gambling/Las Vegas CD for them. I'll post the song list over at Off Topic soon.
I dream of a better tomorrow in which chickens may cross roads with no fear their motive is in question.
User avatar
Titaniumman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1820
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:31 pm
Location: Adams Ferry Road - Flint River

Postby celticfisherman » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:29 pm

If I bring you the squirrels will you meet me at the shoals in front of your place with a hot bowl of this in a few weeks??? Man that would be service!

Sounds good T-Man. Might do this with rabbits tomorrow.
Image
User avatar
celticfisherman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:01 am

Postby Titaniumman » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:23 pm

I knew it was going to be a pleasure to read your post when I saw your handle on the reply.
celticfisherman wrote:If I bring you the squirrels will you meet me at the shoals in front of your place with a hot bowl of this in a few weeks??? Man that would be service!

If necessary, put them tree rodents in the freezer. I might go out to Gap of the Mountain on the Colquitt Trail in Upset County and pick off a few of them critters what has been feasting on those huge acorns up there on the cliffs, myself. I promise you, when we can set up a time, I'll do the cooking and provide all of the other ingredients, including some cognac and good cigars!

Let's do it when the weather is just a tad warmer. Maybe we can get a few of the others of the infamous, er,... I mean illustrious posters here to join us.

...and, you know who you are.
Last edited by Titaniumman on Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I dream of a better tomorrow in which chickens may cross roads with no fear their motive is in question.
User avatar
Titaniumman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1820
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:31 pm
Location: Adams Ferry Road - Flint River

Postby BasserDrew » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Let me just say this, there are a lot of good cooks on this board and not many people can do up some ribs like Swampthang, a steak like Sparky or fish like Blackwater, but T-man and his neighbor made me some shrimp one time that is as good as anything I have ever tasted in my entire life! I'll never forget the shrimp and potatoes that night T-man. That was a couple crazy days right there too so it was good that I got some hearty food. I bet this squirrel gumbo is out of this world too. Squirrel is very good but it has been a long time since I had some.
User avatar
BasserDrew
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 3891
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:56 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Postby Titaniumman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:30 am

Hey Drew,

I forgot about those shrimp and taters. I was so glad that it worked out so well for you. My neighbors still talk about that lure preparation presentation you made. Impressive.

Your post above got me thinking. What about the 'Palooza at my place this year? Plenty of camping room. My well isn't filtered yet, so I would recommend bringing drinking water, but I've got two thirty gallon charcoal grills, electricity, and septic. There's plenty of firewood.

There wouldn't be any charge for GRFers to camp. Jim McDaniel is a friend of mine, but I've brought him enough revenue over the last few decades that I don't mind cutting him out of our contribution this year. This year, we could make the Palooza spread across two weekends and include all the weekdays in between. Everybody could come for what days were good for them. I, myself, probably wouldn't be around all of the time. Private property with 200 feet of Flint River frontage sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Some time in the month of May?

We wouldn't be near any restaurant, but as you said, there's plenty of good cooks here, and each could pick his night.

Oh, the fishing location ain't too bad neither. :D
I dream of a better tomorrow in which chickens may cross roads with no fear their motive is in question.
User avatar
Titaniumman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1820
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:31 pm
Location: Adams Ferry Road - Flint River

Postby celticfisherman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:08 am

T-man,

I will start hoarding some tree rats right now. I'll be hunting several days this week I am sure. You got a deal!!!!!

We got bunches of them over on my place. Slide over this way one day and we can pop a few off.
Image
User avatar
celticfisherman
Green and Gold Thigh
 
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:01 am


Return to Bream Fishin', Catfishin', and Cookin' Em Up!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron