Baby, it’s cold outside. Bitingly cold!! And when it’s cold, while the rest of the world is dreaming about soups and chillis, in my house, we’re wondering about the last time we ate gumbo, and if it’s too soon to cook again.
There’s lots of gumbo recipes out there. And you can make it any way you like (although some ingredients will make native Louisianian’s like myself frown upon you, and probably not eat your dish), but the one of easiest to make for anyone anywhere in the world is the Shrimp & Sausage gumbo. You can get shrimp from anywhere (frozen is okay if you can’t get fresh; just make sure to thaw before cooking).
1 1/2 Small onions
1/4 Bell pepper
1 cup Flour
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 cooking spoon Gumbo file’
1 1/2 lbs shrimp
1 lb Chicken gizzards (optional)
Sausage (your preference on type and quantity)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parsley
Serving size: 1 pot
Chop bell pepper and onions and set them on the side in separate bowls. Use a food processor to make this process faster.
If you’re adding chicken gizzards, start here.
Defrost and clean gizzards by taking off fatty residue.
Boil pre-cooked/gumbo crabs and defrosted gizzards in UNCOVERED gumbo pot (these are boiled the longest because they may take the longest to cook).
Remove fatty residue from top of pot periodically.
Add water periodically to maintain volume.
Heat cast iron skillet, then ON LOW FIRE, mix 1 full cooking spoon of flour with olive oil and stir periodically. Keep adding flour and cooking oil until the bottom of the pan has about 3/4 spread.
Keep stirring mixture for about an hour. The goal is the consistency and color of fudge.
Once roux is fudge colored, add half of one small onion to roux and sautee’.
Peel shrimp, and place heads and tails in a separate pot.
Add water to the top of the top of shrimp heads and tails, and boil for 15 minutes on medium heat.
Shrimp, sausage and seasoning mix
Lightly sautee’ remaining onions, bell peppers, sausage and shrimp with goal of softening onions and bell peppers, and until shrimp begins to pink. Add parsley as well.
Check to see if gizzards are soft. If soft, add shrimp, sausage and seasoning mix to pot of boiled gizzards.
Use a strainer to remove the shrimp heads and drain the remaining stock into a bowl.
Add this shrimp stock to the gumbo pot.
Add gumbo file’ to pot, scraping and stirring pot from the bottom to top.
Once gumbo file’ is mixed in, set on low fire and cook for another 1 hr.
Enjoy over a large spoon of rice. But before taking a picture of that well worked for bowl of gumbo, remember two things:
- Tomatoes do not go in gumbo. Try it and again, every local will look down upon you and their ancestors in the beyond will pull your toes from beyond for disrespecting our food.
- Gumbo is to be eaten like soup. Meaning, while everyone has their preference for how they like their gumbo, there should generally be more juice than rice.