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Local TV Anchors Of Instagram Round 2, Bengals Fans Save The Day In Nashville & Cowboys Fan Is Caught By Girlfriend

I’ve very relaxed this morning playing with house money

Here I am on a Saturday morning with MY Bengals playing the Titans later this afternoon and there are zero nerves. I have a breakfast meeting with a business partner later this morning and I can go into it knowing that the nerves aren’t going to start going nuts. I’ll be fully focused on business because my playoff goals were achieved last week with the Bengals’ first playoff win in 31 years.

Now, I wouldn’t want to be a Titans fan today. Talk about nerves. Derrick Henry hasn’t played since Halloween and it’s a foot injury and it’s cold. Will the foot hold up for 20 carries? Will those 20 carries break the Bengals? Will Ryan Tannehill throw a pick and/or fumble? He had 21 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in 2021. It’s like the Bengals rolling with Andy Dalton all those years. Will Tannehill implode?

A year ago, the Ravens defense held Henry to 40 yards on 18 carries. You have to like the Bengals’ chances if they can keep him to 80 on 18 carries — and no touchdowns. If Ryan Tannehill beats you, then so be it.

As for the Bengals, they were picked to finish last in the AFC North. This is a zero-pressure playoffs for them. The pressure won’t build until they have to repeat this performance year after year, which makes this such a dangerous game for the Titans.

The Bengals are clear underdogs. The franchise has never won a road playoff game (0-7).

This is a can’t-lose game for the Titans. We’re talking about a franchise that, as a No. 1 seed (2000 & 2008) have lost their opening playoff games.

I’m heading into the basement with zero pressure while Clay’s off sweating bullets somewhere in Nashville just hoping the Titans can hold on and get to host the AFC title game.

• The Mexican vacation for Mike T. & Cindy T. of Idaho rolls on and these two sent more food photos to drive me nuts.

Hola Amigo,

Little change of pace last night, went to visit Mariscos 8 Tostadas Estadio, a seafood place in Puerto Vallarta frequented by expats and locals, not many gringo touristas. It’s been a favorite of ours for years. I know this might be unpopular, but I love fresh ceviche especially shrimp served with avocado slices, pico de gaillo and hot sauce on a fresh tostada. Cindy T treated herself to coconut shrimp, delicious!

Back on the El Pastor train today, after a swim and some pool time.

PS. The beach club below our condo had its Friday night bikini contest last night, the winner was…[smile with sunglasses emoji]

Adios Amigo!!

Miguel

####

Speaking of food, let’s dive into the gumbo recipe emails that flooded the inbox Friday afternoon and into the evening. At this rate, I’m going to need a secretary to give me the cliffnotes on these emails because the inbox is being overrun as this operation expands across the country. All I need to do is look at the email inbox to remind me the amount of people who read this column on a daily basis. It’s truly incredible.

Without further ado, let’s roll. There’s no particular order. I’m not favoring one recipe over another. This is way outside my expertise:

• First up, Ken S. in North Augusta, SC:

As usual, I enjoyed Morning ScreenCaps. Keep providing us with all the great content!

Gumbo is a topic I feel like I can speak to with authority, seeing as how my mother (still cooking at 87!) is both Cajun, and a fabulous cook…I’ve picked up a few cooking tips from her over the years. Herewith, are some tips for good gumbo:

1 – You can use a variety of meats/proteins, but 2 are better than 1, and 3 are better than 2. You’re pushing the envelope when you get to 4.

2 – Roux is crucial, you probably should cook it slowly, and very dark is best.

3 – You MUST use the “trinity”. (Onions, celery, bell pepper.)

4 – You can make a good okra gumbo, and you can make a good file’ gumbo, but don’t mix.

5 – And finally, the most crucial point! When making your roux, the best fat to use, hands down, is lard. (In a pinch, you can go with bacon grease, but it’s still not as good.)

Beyond that, it’s a matter of your taste, and what’s available.

Possibly the best gumbo I’ve ever made, for anyone who wants a suggestion, had shrimp, oysters and sautéed duck breast in it.

• John S. says:

South Alabama is pretty much Cajun Country.  I’m a Gumbo aficionado, you might even say I’m a  Gumbo Bro®. The key to a good gumbo is the roux.  It needs to be slightly darker than peanut butter if it gets too dark, just start over, it’s just oil and flour.  Use Crisco Shortening for the oil.  Make sure you temper the roux (step 6 under making the roux).

This is a recipe I’ve used for years: 

https://recipeland.com/recipe/v/south-texas-duck-gumbo-42160

Substitute the duck for whatever you want and I leave out the chicken rice soup. Seafood doesn’t need to be pre-cooked before adding it to a hot pot. 

Finally, track down some real fresh gumbo file.  Order some from somewhere in South Louisiana. 

• Subtle Hustle ‘R Dee’ who has ‘Cajun’ in his email writes:

Allow me to preface by stating that not only am I an authority on gumbos, but I possess the right to state that my gumbo is the single best gumbo west of the Trinity river. 

Gumbo is a pleasure driven deliverable and if you ever intend to share your creation with another, intentions are best served by putting a passionate effort into its creation.

Anything short of that effort should be dismissed on principal and just go to a restaurant who will put the passion in for you. All gumbos are different, but what remains the same are the common basics. Everything else are simply ingredients that are laying around that you might use to enhance the flavor, but the basic ingredients are a standard that should never be omitted. 

Behold. The secret to success for a gumbo is the effort put into the roux and the stock. It is ALL about the roux and the stock should not come out of a box unless you are preparing a field gumbo. A roux is the essence of a gumbo and the driver for the flavor of the finished product. A roux is the combination of either oil or butter and flour. Roughly equal parts that when first combined, have the texture of very thin paste. The texture will soften to a thick fluid as it cooks.

There are 3 “shades” of a roux, a light roux that cooks to a light or darker blonde. This roux will be used for seafood gumbos where you want the finished flavor to resemble the taste of the seafood. A medium roux will have the color between dark blonde and light brown. A medium roux will be used for gumbos that are for game or fowl. A dark roux will be the color of milk chocolate to dark chocolate without burning. This roux is more common when you are preparing a typical chicken and sausage gumbo or perhaps red meat game.

A roux should be prepared SLOW on a low heat and constantly turned so as not to scorch. A flavor infusion to a roux can be some chopped garlic or even a few drops of hot sauce at the end of the roux cooking process. There must always be care when preparing a roux. If your target is the dark roux, it is really easy to scorch and burn. A hot roux is also dangerous as it is the equivalent of napalm when it splatters. 

Prior to a roux, you want to prepare a stock. So use the unused parts of your protein such as chicken bones-neck parts, seafood shells or scraps or game bones and offal if you choose.  Add water to cover along with vegetable scraps such as onion, bell peppers and celery. You can add some peppercorns, fresh thyme, bay leaves and garlic with just a little bit of salt.  You can also add some gumbo file (ground sassafras). Boil, strain and set liquid stock aside. 

Prepare vegetables. What we include are what we call the holy trinity. This is a combination of onion, celery and bell pepper. There will be green onion at the finish to add once the gumbo is near ready. You can chop up some parsley to top when served.

Once your roux is complete add the chopped vegetables directly to the roux.

This is called “sweating” the vegetables. You will turn this combination for a few minutes and really just to get the moisture from the vegetables extracted into the roux. By adding the veggies to the roux, you will stop the roux cooking process and the marriage of flavors begins. Add stock, bring back to a boil and reduce to simmer.

At this point you can add your chicken, sausage or game and simmer till proteins and veggies are cooked to your texture. Try to add seafood only at the very end of the cooking process so as not to overcook. Some of the oils/ butters from the roux will come to the top, so while simmering, you can skim the oil off the top and discard.

Green onions at the finish line for simmering and ONLY then you can add salt to taste. You can put some cajun seasoning in for taste as well. I have a rule when preparing gumbo and that is not to make it spicy. A guest can always add spice to their serving, but you can never take it away. A good gumbo will emerge. A day later, a very good gumbo will emerge and 2 days later, the same gumbo will be great.

All of this is the basic gumbo and if there is a want for other ingredients such as okra, you are free to experiment. There are no tomatoes in a gumbo, ever. Tomatoes added are called a creole. Here is a decent approved link with a full measured recipe: https://www.thekitchn.com/gumbo-recipe-23255645

If you love those you serve, love your gumbo first. They will be eternally grateful.

####

What an email. I don’t know if this is the proper way to make gumbo, but the details here are incredible. Go ahead and bookmark this edition of Screencaps for future use.

• Patrick W. in Kentucky writes:

Love the Screencaps, but never thought the group would ask about a topic I have an opinion on strong enough to share. Then Colin asked about gumbo. As a Kentucky boy I’m sure to get skewered by the Cajun Mafia for wading into such waters, but I don’t care. New Orleans can be a state of mind.

Gumbo recipes are all the same, but no two are alike. (Deep, I know) Trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper, protein or three, spices, liquid, and thickener. Oh yeah, and a roux. My original gumbo recipe was lifted out of “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen” and I challenge anyone who finds a picture of that book cover online to say that man doesn’t know anything about food. I’m also a huge fan of seriouseats.com, however, so I’ve adapted Prudhomme’s recipe with several more modern techniques. Instead of specific ingredient amounts I want to offer a few suggestions learned through trial and error.

Cooking the roux in the oven is the only way I do it now. If you have the time (it does take a few hours) it’s so much easier. You really want a dark roux for the recipe, and using the oven really expands your margin of error. You can work on other things, including prep when it gets close.

Remember that all sausage is not created the same. I’m not going to lie and say that I can get andouille in Lexington that compares to New Orleans, but I have found a made in-store version I prefer. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. On the chicken side, thighs really are the best. I buy in bulk, debone myself, and make my own stock to use for liquid. You can go with store bought stock, but homemade makes a big difference in flavor.

I like to make a big batch so I usually don’t include shrimp. Gumbo is in the food group that tastes better the next day, and I agree with my wife’s policy of no seafood leftovers in the refrigerator. When I find fresh shrimp, head still on, I separate out enough base for one meal and add the shrimp near the end so they don’t overcook. Use the shrimp heads and shells for a seafood stock to replace the chicken stock.

The last ingredient suggestion is OKRA. Using fresh in season okra for your gumbo is the best way to go. The slimy ooze you think of with okra helps to thicken the gumbo. There are other thickening options if okra isn’t in season, such as filé powder, which brings good flavor too.

Finally, rice works just fine but sometimes I like to have my gumbo over mashed red potatoes, skin still on. Don’t worry about lumps either.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from any other members that weigh in on the topic. Thanks for all you do for the Screencaps Community, and go Bengals!

• Jim M. in West Lafayette, IN is in on gumbo and another topic from Friday morning — the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle of booze:

Paula Dean’s Gumbo recipe  – with butter not margarine. I had it bookmarked on A Food Network page but when the world caved in on her for being a brat, they’ve taken it down. But you can find it here – Gumbo by Paula Deen Recipe – Food.com

I’m going to try our spicy homemade smoked kielbasa the next time I make it. One warning, it is a rue based recipe, and you do need to stay with it during that time. Having a superior piece of cookware doesn’t hurt either.

The most I’ve paid for a bottle of booze is $300 for a Bottle of Pappy 23. We just recently opened it to celebrate a special occasion. I enjoyed it. You can tell it is a superior bourbon. It is smooth, and I do mean smoooth. Like the skin on your Instagram models. But truth be told my favorite bourbon is Weller Antique 107. If you can find it at retail it’s only about $50. Paying the premium retail price is closer to $200. 

But when I’m mixing Manhattans, it’s Bulleit Bourbon all the way – for less than $30 for a 750ml bottle.

Let’s do some quick hitters before I head off to breakfast:

  1. Jeremy, whose beer snob email ran on Friday, was a huge hit.

Brandon B. was impressed:

Never written before but relate to almost everything. It took Jeremy’s email to break my silence. That was a work of art belonging to the Screencaps Smithsonian. I read it numerous times and it paints such a vivid picture of the Bros (IPA Mafia) that we all run into when me and my boys are just trying to crush a few Busch lights and throw some darts. Immediate emailer HOF! I hope he can continue to contribute at that caliber.

2. Chris D. in Nebraska has some thoughts on the bourbon wars:

I’m disgusted by what the bourbon bros have done to my favorite alcoholic drink of choice.  About 10 years ago, you used to be able to honest to goodness just pick up a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, Old Fitzgerald off the shelf and pay whatever the MSRP is.  Nowadays you have to pay eye watering prices which I just refuse to do. 

The most I’ve ever paid for a bottle is about $200. I somehow got my hands on 2 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle 10 year for about $150 each when I was in Ojai, California of all places back in 2011.  Now that stuff goes for $2k/bottle plus rights to your first born which is lunacy.

I tell you what though, that Pappy was incredible stuff.  When my grandfather was still alive, I’d pop over there every other week to check in on him, help out with stuff that needed to be fixed, you know, just routine stuff that he couldn’t quite do himself anymore.  We had a tradition where we’d turn on some jazz, drink a couple Manhattans and just shoot the breeze and catch up on stuff.  I remember busting out the Pappy instead of our usual Makers Mark (which is still quite good!) and his eyes lit up on that first sip, “Holy shit he said, this is the best stuff I’ve ever tasted.”  He was right, it was incredible.  Lots of good memories over the years with him.

3. Ken Z. in NOLA has a message for all the gumbo warriors:

GUMBO – All those coon asses are going to tell him to make a roux from scratch.  That takes way to long, all he needs to do is buy a bottle of Savoie’s Old Fashion Dark Roux.  My neighbors love my gumbo and I really do live in Metairie.   Pass along my email.  I will send it over a bottle and a receipt.

4. Grammarly, the app I use to quickly correct spelling issues inside Screencaps is down this morning. Don’t sweat the errors. It’s nearly impossible for me to correct copy when we’re talking about several thousand words on a Saturday morning. And Cortney the Copy Editor is off on weekends, so don’t go after her.

5. It’s been an interesting week to say the least. I never know what weeks are going to look like because you can’t plan out this stuff. Then things like this happen. My work becomes massive headlines around the world. And it’s not just Fox. This week’s story was picked up by all sorts of outlets.

6. What an absolute pleasure it’s been doing this job that has never felt like a job. I get to wake up on a quiet Saturday morning, pound out a few hundred words, embed the TV Anchors of Instagram, food photos, animals being cute and then a payroll department pays me.

I might not end up the richest guy on the block, but I wouldn’t trade this career for one that made me a few extra dollars with way more misery.

Thank you for the support this week and remember…I’m working 7-days a week through the Super Bowl. It’s self-imposed. Clay’s not ordering it. You, the readers, deserve playoff Screencaps on the weekend and so that’s what we’re going to do.

Have a great Saturday and stop by tomorrow to see if my Bengals cashed in any of that house money.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

5 Comments

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  1. Dear god, I wish I never clicked on this article. I’m completely nauseated now. Let’s just go over some of the low lights…South Alabama is pretty much Cajun country….making a roux in the oven….. tomatoes are essential….. after reading those 3 statements I’m currently looking for an untrained doctor to give me a medication free root canal and a prostate exam at the same time. I need some relief from what I just read.

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