Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup flour
1 medium onion
2 celery ribs
1 green bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
Chicken stock (preferably homemade)
White wine
Thyme and parsley (I use fresh)
2 bay leaves
1 can Rotel
Black pepper
2 tomatoes
Okra (optional)
Gumbo filé
Chopped green onions

Begin by making a roux with equal parts flour and oil (I use 1/3 cup). Roux is the basic thickener of many stews and sauces, and the outcome of the roux depends on how long it is cooked. For instance, in a basic béchamel sauce you may use flour and butter and cook only until the roux is smooth. For gumbo, we want to achieve a deep chocolatey-brown. This requires a lot of attention, as it is very easy to burn the flour.

While my roux browns, I like to saute my trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) with a pinch of salt until the onion becomes transparent and the vegetables begin to caramelize.

When the trinity is almost finished, add the garlic.

Once the roux becomes deep brown, you must act quickly! There is often carry-over cooking, so you must be precise in order to keep from burning the flour. I often lower the heat as the roux begins to darken. To be safe, I also like to keep my chicken stock nearby in case I need to immediately stop the cooking process.

Add the trinity to the darkened roux.

I like to add my hot chicken stock slowly at first to avoid any lumps. Once the chicken stock is added, bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the bay leaves, wine, and herbs.

For this gumbo, I used smokey dried Chorizo. However, I have also used different spicy Cajun sausages as well, all with great success. If you use something raw, I recommend grilling it first before adding it to the gumbo.

In with the Rotel!

At this point, you will want to taste the gumbo for flavor. If your sausage is salty, you want to be sure that all of the salts have had a chance to cook out into the stew before adding more salt.

Add the tomatoes and okra (if using) to the pot. The okra acts as a thickener, as does the roux- if you choose to leave out the okra, you might want to include more roux and add gumbo filé powder in the last several minutes of cooking.

Give the gumbo time to boil down (I usually wait a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld). About 10 minutes before you plan on eating, add the shrimp- they will only take a couple of minutes to cook.

I serve my gumbo on rice and garnish with green onions and homemade gumbo filé.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious. Have any leftovers?