Thursday, February 26, 2009

.shrimp & sausage gumbo.

Happy Mardi Gras week everyone!  Fat Tuesday was the other night and I had to make gumbo.  Love love love it.  The first time I ever tried gumbo was when Jim and I were first married.  One of the guys stationed on the ship with him was Creole.. he and his wife came from New Orleans.  All I can say is holy crap that stuff was hot! LOL  And this guy kept adding hot sauce to his bowl!  ACK!  I don't make mine nearly as hot.  I'm sure if you want it spicier, you can dump in more Tabasco, but if you've got people in your home who cannot tolerate too much heat (because there still is some heat in this), add more hot sauce to your own bowl.

There are a lot of variations of gumbo but the ingredients that are a must are okra and andouille sausage.. and you must serve it over rice.  Here's my version.

Chop up the following:  1 green bell pepper, 1 onion, 1/2 cup parsley, and 3 celery stalks.

You will also need 2 cloves garlic, minced.

You'll also want to slice up 1 cup of okra.  I'm glad I know what okra is, having lived in the south, because they didn't have this labeled at all in the grocery store.  In fact, I better check my receipt to make sure I was charged for the right thing!

Slice up about 2 cups andouille sausage.  This is a french sausage that is nice and spicy and has a smoky flavor.  Cut on the diagonal.

In a stock pot, melt 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) and add 1/2 cup flour.  Make sure you whisk as you add so you don't get lumps.  This is our roux.  Cook it over medium low heat, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn for about 15 minutes.

When the roux turns a nice brown color, add the chopped vegetables and garlic and stir to coat all the pieces.  Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often to make sure everything cooks evenly.

Add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 bay leaf, some salt, and 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce, or any other Louisiana hot sauce.  Mix well and cook again for another 15 minutes.  The heat will release the flavor of the cumin.

Add 8-10 cups chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.  Cook for another 30 minutes.

10 minutes before serving, add 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (medium to large size) and sausage.  Cover and let cook until the shrimp are nice and pink and the sausage is slightly shrunk.  It'll shrink a little because the fat is cooking out and all that flavor is marrying with the broth and veggies.

Taste and season again with salt and pepper.  Add more hot sauce if you want.

Serve over rice.  A true Mardi Gras dish for your whole family to enjoy!

Printable version:


Shirley said...

sounds and looks yummy!

Sheila said...

I love gumbo, but have never had it homemade. If we can't find fresh okra, which I've never seen, can we do frozen, which I have seen. Also, can we add more veggies to it or will it take away from the flavor?

Suzanne said...

Sheila, you can add whatever veggies you want to your gumbo and yes, I do believe frozen okra will work just fine. Add it around the time you add the broth so it has plenty of time to cook.

Celeste said...

what does okra taste like? I know it's hard to describe a flavor but I have never had it.

Suzanne said...

Celeste, the texture when it's cooked in the gumbo is soft like a cooked green pepper. When it's raw, or even fried, it's a little crispy like a jalapeno popper.