The first choice on this list had to be our New Orleans Gumbo recipe. The key to an outstanding Cajun gumbo is a deep, dark roux. To get it just right, use a flat-bottomed wooden spoon to get into all the corners of the pot, and be attentive. Cook, stirring continuously, especially during the last 15 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed if you're concerned the roux is cooking too fast. There's no rescuing a burnt roux—best to toss it and start over.