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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Seeking information about: file powder
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    Seeking information about: file powder

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    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:37 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi gang!

    I am making a gumbo today. I have perused a few recipes regarding > when to add the file powder.

    I found:
    - 10 minutes before serving
    - at table side, add to taste.

    What do you think is best? Will it change flavors if added too soon.
    I see it is a thickener, as well.
    DrGaellon
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:09 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.
    Kathy228
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:41 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    One "traditional" way is sprinkled on at the table, sort of like a condiment. But who's to say what's traditional? I've been told that if you add it while cooking... file gets stringy
    .
    Excerpted from Wikipedia:
    "... Sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, it adds a distinctive, earthy flavor and texture. Filé can provide thickening when okra is not in season. Filé translates to "string", suggestive of the powder's thickening ability..."
    k
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:44 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Ah. Thanks.

    I made the roux, everything is assembled.

    This particular recipe ( I have made before but it's been 2 years) calls for it as more of a seasoning at the table. I don't have any recollection doing that. It makes me wonder if I should do it that way or season the Gumbo with it. And how much? (headed back to double check)

    Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
    Chocolatl
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:56 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    In that recipe, I'd probably add the file with the scallions. You don't need a lot.
    DrGaellon
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:00 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Chocolatl wrote:
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    Um. Yes. You are correct. Like I said, not a fan... misremembered what I'd heard on some cooking show. Never mind me, I'll be in the corner, hanging my head in shame.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:01 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks. That's what I'll do. I'd hate for it to overpower the dish in any way.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:30 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Kathy228 wrote:
    One "traditional" way is sprinkled on at the table, sort of like a condiment. But who's to say what's traditional? I've been told that if you add it while cooking... file gets stringy
    .
    Excerpted from Wikipedia:
    "... Sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, it adds a distinctive, earthy flavor and texture. Filé can provide thickening when okra is not in season. Filé translates to "string", suggestive of the powder's thickening ability..."
    k


    Thank you Kathy, that's helpful. I think we were posting at the same time.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:31 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Chocolatl wrote:
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    Um. Yes. You are correct. Like I said, not a fan... misremembered what I'd heard on some cooking show. Never mind me, I'll be in the corner, hanging my head in shame.


    Eh, no need to hide in a corner. it's all helpful info!

    Thanks gang!
    Chocolatl
    Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:37 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Chocolatl wrote:
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    Um. Yes. You are correct. Like I said, not a fan... misremembered what I'd heard on some cooking show. Never mind me, I'll be in the corner, hanging my head in shame.


    Don't hang your head, please! Actually, I think there was a cooking show that said that. Not everything they show is accurate! icon_lol.gif (Don't tell Alton Brown! rotfl.gif )
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:00 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Just an FYI. The spice bottle Burma brand Gumbo File is ground, so no stringy stuff.

    It lists the ingredients as: Coriander, Thyme, parsley, Rosemary Bay Leaves and sassafras

    I added about 1/2 - 1 t to the pot.

    I had to simmer it a long time to reduce the liquid, but this is an awesome recipe.

    Thanks for you input, friends.
    Chocolatl
    Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:47 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour wrote:
    Just an FYI. The spice bottle Burma brand Gumbo File is ground, so no stringy stuff.

    It lists the ingredients as: Coriander, Thyme, parsley, Rosemary Bay Leaves and sassafras

    I added about 1/2 - 1 t to the pot.

    I had to simmer it a long time to reduce the liquid, but this is an awesome recipe.

    Thanks for you input, friends.


    Chi, that can't be the same thing. That's a seasoning blend. File powder is just powdered sassafrass leaves.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Chocolatl wrote:
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour wrote:
    Just an FYI. The spice bottle Burma brand Gumbo File is ground, so no stringy stuff.

    It lists the ingredients as: Coriander, Thyme, parsley, Rosemary Bay Leaves and sassafras

    I added about 1/2 - 1 t to the pot.

    I had to simmer it a long time to reduce the liquid, but this is an awesome recipe.

    Thanks for you input, friends.


    Chi, that can't be the same thing. That's a seasoning blend. File powder is just powdered sassafrass leaves.


    Ah haaaaa. Figures and I can see it's a blend. Once I discovered that I figured I was good to go.

    Thanks for clarifying. wave.gif
    ala-kat
    Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:28 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    [quote="Chocolatl"]
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    In that recipe, I'd probably add the file with the scallions. You don't need a lot.[/quote

    but, but, but....it's not 'gumbo' without okra, right?
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:18 am
    Food.com Groupie
    [quote="ala-kat"]
    Chocolatl wrote:
    DrGaellon wrote:
    Not being a gumbo fan, I've never used it myself. I am, however, given to understand that typically, one uses file OR roux, never both. If you want file as your thickener, you have to add it much earlier than the last 10 minutes.


    I haven't heard that about file or roux. My understanding was that one uses okra or file, never both, but always starts with roux.

    In that recipe, I'd probably add the file with the scallions. You don't need a lot.[/quote

    but, but, but....it's not 'gumbo' without okra, right?


    Could be but for this Northerner & city girl, I wouldn't know the difference.
    It was divine. Add okra and you would like it too! icon_wink.gif
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