Andouille Sausage and Roasted Poblano Peppers

“Sweetness. Saltiness. Sourness. Bitterness. Every delicious bite you’ve ever tasted has been a result of these four tastes coming together on your taste buds. We taste them as individual notes, and in concert.”

The Flavor Bible

Poblano Andouille

This particular meal is a symphony. Not only in flavors, but in textures and all other senses. I’ve started to think about how food is always improved by creating a better balance of tastes and textures. What’s better than a salty, crunchy tortilla chip? A salty, crunchy tortilla chip with a glob of cool, smooth, slightly spicy guacamole.

The Flavor Bible offers the following formula:

FLAVOR = TASTE + MOUTHFEEL + AROMA + ‘THE X FACTOR’

Taste being those four feelings experienced by the taste buds. Mouthfeel being the texture experienced by the rest of the mouth. Aroma being what the nose perceives. And X-Factor being everything else you experience from the dish (visual, mental, emotional, spiritual).

But back to the almost-musical andouille and roasted poblano recipe I found at Bitchin Camero

The plate is covered with cold, crunchy lettuce and bitter cilantro. It’s drizzled with olive oil. On top of that is a smoky roasted poblano pepper (soft, slightly spicy, but also a little bitter). Then we put a layer of soft brown rice mixed with salsa (spicy). On top of that is a warm medley of andouille sausage (salty, meaty and spicy), corn (sweet), onions (sweet) and salsa (spicy). Then we put chunks of quesadilla cheese (warm, creamy) and sour cream (cold, creamy). We took a bite, and instantly remembered what we forgot: a good squeeze of fresh lime (sour).

Every bite of this dish has the four tastes and a varied mouthfeel. You can hear the lettuce crunch in your mouth. You see several colors on the plate. You sniffle a little from the piquancy. And the kitchen smells great for hours.

I had leftovers probably four times during the week, and each time my tastebuds were equally happy. Make your tastebuds happy too. Make this dish.


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Gumbo

Gumbo Pot

This is the meal inspired by a sausage and a song. When the campus meat market started offering andouille sausage, I knew we had to make gumbo. Then our friend Kat discovered a song listed under the genre “gumbo funk,” and we had a soundtrack.

We cooked up a big ol’ pot of gumbo for Michael’s parents when we went to visit, and maybe Michael’s mom just loves us, but she couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. I can’t say I’ve had a ton of gumbo in my day, but this was the best one I’ve tasted. The vegetables maintained their form and taste, instead of becoming a pot of mush. The chicken, sausage and shrimp each brought their own flavors too.

The best canned tomatoes available.  Don't even try to argue otherwise.
According to Michael, the best canned tomatoes available. Don't even try to argue otherwise.

This Food Network recipe just called for chicken and andouille, but I felt like there should be some seafood. You can do scallops too. The only other change we made to the recipe was adding a combination of Cajun spices to the flour in which we dredged the chicken. In addition to salt and pepper, I added paprika, chili powder, celery salt and oregano. If you have a packaged blend, that works too.

Gumbo Dish

Change whatever you want in the recipe, but make sure you have some gumbo funk on the playlist.

Britt and Kat Gumbo


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