After a visit to the Parish for dinner the other night, I had a huge craving for gumbo. Funny how that happens - you go out for dinner and get inspired to make something. As luck would have it we still have a couple of packages of Big Guy's homemade andouille languishing in the freezer so the die was cast.
Along with a pound of shrimp and the "trinity" - celery, peppers and onion, it's about all that's needed for a pot of glorious Creole stew - Creole due to the addition of tomatoes. The fact that we had our first monsoon storm yesterday afternoon and the rain brought only slightly cooler temperatures was just a bonus. I mean, with all that steamy heat you'd swear you were in NOLA. Rather appropriate, don't you think.
Incidentally, if you're feeling insecure about making a roux which is a necessity when constructing a pot of gumbo, don't be. In this particular version, the roux is very quick to make, thanks to a very hot cast iron Dutch oven. It took a total of 4 minutes from start to mahogany colored finish so the key is to prep ALL your ingredients before you start because believe me, a roux waits for no-one.
My only complaint - hey you knew there had to be one, right? I sure wish I'd made a bigger pot!
Andouille and Shrimp Gumbo (from JBug’s Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
20 ounces seafood or chicken stock (low sodium)
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 pound smoked andouille sausage cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 pound medium sized shrimp, peeled & deveined
Freshly cooked long grain rice
Prep all ingredients before you start. Heat oil in heavy cast iron Dutch oven over high heat until almost smoking. Add flour, lower heat to medium high and stir being careful not to splash until dark reddish brown in color (takes 6 to 8 minutes stirring constantly). Do not under any circumstances leave the pot unattended. When the roux is a rich reddish chocolate brown, immediately add chopped celery, onion and bell peppers and stir well to combine. Lower heat to medium and cook until vegetables are softened – about 5 minutes. Add spices and cook for additional minute. Add stock, canned tomatoes. Boil for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer, add sausage and simmer for 15 minutes. Just before serving, add shrimp to gumbo and simmer just until cooked through – approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with rice. Makes 4 large servings.
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