Cooking Louisiana  -  The Trinity
The Trinity = Onions, Celery and Bell Pepper, The Trinity as they are known, are the beginning of many a fine dish here in South Louisiana. In my 30+ years of cooking I've almost always cooked these vegetables down until they were almost mush. Why, because that's the way I learned to do it from the old folks. This holds true especially for pot roasts, gumbo, jambalaya, sauce piqaunts, etc.

I see so many of these recipes that instruct to sauté the vegetables until they are wilted or translucent (clear). That's fine for many dishes but when it come to the old Cajun/Creole dishes going the extra mile makes the dish even better. Translucence is achieved quickly and can leave the vegetables somewhat al dente. Even my recipes indicate cooking the veggies in 30 minutes or so. In actuality (depending upon the amount) this process can take up to an hour and that sometimes is dependent upon the amount of vegetables and heat.

My point is that you can take this additional step to make your dish even better. I'm sure you've heard or read stories about all day cookouts us Cajuns do. I'll tell you this... it's not surprising for a big pot of jambalaya to be started at 6:00 in the morning to be eaten for lunch. A lot of the time is taken up cooking the vegetables!

It's as simple as this:

Equal amounts of onions and celery, 1/2 the amount of bell pepper... all chopped.
For instance; 2 cups onion, 2 cups celery, 1 cup bell pepper.
Some people say 1/2 the amount of celery and bell pepper to onions. I personally use more celery.

In a little oil on a medium-low fire begin sautéing the onions. Stir every few minutes. Now if you want a little browning don't stir so often, but watch them closely so they don't burn. Continue this for about 10 minutes then throw in the remaining vegetables. Again stir every 5 minutes and cook for about 20 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water and continue to cook. You'll see that the vegetables have reduced in size and they all start to look the same.

In a 1 gallon gumbo use 3 cups onions & celery and 1-1/2 cups bell pepper.

One more thing... garlic... If you're browning onions, or even the trinity, don't put the garlic in until the other veggies are almost done. If you burn garlic you've ruined it. Garlic is best very lightly browned.

Click here to learn how to cook the trinity down Cajun style. TRINITY COOKED DOWN LINK

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