As the weather begins to change, Louisianians have got two things on their minds – football and gumbo!

     Everyone has their own special recipes and ingredients to cooking the perfect gumbo. Cajun Livin N Cookin host Rodney Dupuy shared some of his tips to creating the best dish possible. The key to making a good gumbo is all about the ingredients and the effort it takes to make a worthy meal.

First you make a Roux- Any gumbo lover knows that this dish is all about the roux. Rodney says they key to a good roux is to make it homemade, with a good mixture of flour and oil. Though stores have a good selection of pre-made roux, you cant beat homemade. Use a stock instead of water- Instead of using water, try a good chicken stock, or shrimp if you are making seafood gumbo. It gives more flavor to the dish. Use fresh ingredients- Rodney likes to add onions in his gumbo. Going to the store and buying your own and chopping it yourself guarantees freshness. Filet or okra- There are mixed feelings on whether to add filet or okra to thicken up the gumbo. Rodney prefers a filet, saying it makes it more flavorful. Smoked sausage or andouille- The most important thing is to have a good smoky flavor in the gumbo. Smoked sausage or andouille is the perfect meat to achieve that smoked flavor. Rodney will be hosting his second annual Gumbo Cook-Off Dec. 12, at River Rats Bar and Grill in French Settlement. The event will benefit the Dreams Come True organization, helping children with life threatening illnesses receive their dream.