Monday, October 12, 2009

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo with Okra

A traditional roux based gumbo made with shrimp, spicy andouille sausage and okra. Pass hot sauce at the table, add some hot, buttered French bread and a side salad to round it out.

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo with Okra

Delish. But, admittedly, homemade gumbo can take a bit of time between planning and preparing, though there are ways that you can save some time and make it an easier process when you get in the mood for gumbo. Next time you are chopping an onion, go ahead and chop an extra one or two and bag it in a zipper freezer bag. When you make rice for one dinner, double up on it and then bag and freeze half. All it needs is a sprinkle of water, cover and microwave to freshen it up. For okra, pre-sliced frozen okra works fantastic.

If you don't have shell on shrimp or just don't feel up to making a stock from the shrimp shells, next time you bake a whole chicken, save the carcass and make homemade chicken stock, cool it and bag it in freezer bags by 1 or 2 cup measurements. Chicken stock or broth works great for gumbo, as does plain ole water, or even a combination of the two.

One of the biggest time savers I use now for making gumbo is a homemade, pre-made and refrigerated dark roux - yes, just like you see on the grocery store shelf - and you can certainly use those here too. But I'm talking about making your own dark roux ahead, at a cost savings, right in your own kitchen, and then storing it in your fridge. And, get this. You make it in your oven. Yes! It really does work. The oven method works fantastic, you don't have to keep standing over a pot of hot oil and stir your arm off, and you can make up a big batch and store it in your fridge. If you like to make up a pot of gumbo frequently, whether it be seafood or chicken, try the oven method sometime to put up your own roux, you will love it!

Other than The Trinity, I use a little thyme and Cajun seasoning for seasoning this gumbo, and generally nothing else. My favorite brand is Slap Ya Mama, which comes in regular, white pepper and hot, and if you live locally, is available at Winn Dixie, Walmart and Rouse's market, among others. The white pepper blend, which I love using in gumbo, is a blend of salt, white and red pepper and garlic. If you don't have access to that brand, just substitute Zatarain's, or Tony's, or whatever your favorite blend is.

There are two camps of gumbo when it comes to tomatoes - a rich dark roux with no tomatoes, and one that does include tomatoes. While I don't typically add them to my chicken gumbo, I tend to include tomatoes when I make a seafood gumbo, though you can certainly reduce them and even leave them out. And, by the way, I'm not super endeared to any one gumbo recipe, so if you try one of mine that you like, save it, because I'm more likely than not to mess with it on down the line.

Look at that gorgeous roux! This one was made in the oven, taking away that stand-over, stirring time and producing a wonderful roux. If using a roux made ahead, simply warm it over medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot, stirring constantly. I used my cast iron Dutch oven. You can, of course, just start a fresh roux right on the stovetop as well, which is how most folks do it.


Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the hot roux; cook, stirring constantly until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Chop the tomatoes, reserving all the liquid. I use a pair of kitchen shears to chop them up right in the can. Add the tomatoes with their liquid to roux mixture. Add Cajun seasoning and thyme. Stir in the stock/broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to just under medium, and let simmer covered for 30 minutes.


Stir in the shrimp, chicken broth or water; return to a boil, reduce heat to just under medium, and let simmer covered for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, add the cooking oil to a separate skillet, and heat over medium heat. I like to use andouille sausage, which is a highly spiced smoked sausage that is blended with Cajun spices, adding a spicy kick and great flavor to these dishes. If you substitute kielbasa or other smoked sausages in recipes where it calls for Andouille, it will affect the outcome of your dish and you’ll need to make adjustments in the seasonings you use to make up for that flavor. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the gumbo pot. To that same skillet, add the okra; cook and stir until slightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the okra to the gumbo pot; continue simmering.


Add the raw shrimp to the pot and allow it to simmer a few minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Taste, add salt and pepper, only if needed, and adjust Cajun seasoning to taste.


Serve over hot cooked rice and pass a bottle of Tabasco for some extra kick. Add some hot, buttered French bread or rolls and some creamy gumbo potato salad, or a side salad to round out the meal.

A beautiful and delicious shrimp and okra gumbo made in a good ole cast iron Dutch oven.




Recipe: Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo with Okra

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 35 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds medium small (51/60 to 41/50) raw gumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid, chopped up, optional
  • 3 quarts shrimp or chicken stock/broth, water, or any combination
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 pound mild andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, chopped
  • 1 pound sliced okra
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, as needed, to taste
  • Hot sauce, (like Tabasco), for the table, optional
Instructions

Peel and devein shrimp; refrigerate until needed. Prepare roux by heating 1 cup of oil over medium high heat and stirring in flour until blended in. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until roux is fragrant and dark brown in color. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the hot roux; cook, stirring constantly until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Chop the tomatoes, if using, reserving all the liquid. I use a pair of kitchen shears to chop them up right in the can. Add the tomatoes with their liquid to roux mixture. Add Cajun seasoning and thyme. Stir in the stock/broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to just under medium, and let simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the gumbo pot. To that same skillet, add the okra; cook and stir until slightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the okra to the gumbo pot; continue simmering.

Add the raw shrimp to the pot and allow it to simmer a few minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Taste, add salt and pepper, only if needed, and adjust Cajun seasoning to taste. Serve over hot cooked rice and pass a bottle of Tabasco for some extra kick. Add some hot, buttered French bread or rolls and some creamy gumbo potato salad, or a side salad to round out the meal.

Tip: If you're lucky enough to have some leftover crab, clean about 4 medium sized ones and cut bodies into halves or quarters. Add them in with the sausage.

Cook's Notes: The addition of some tomato is a personal preference, though I almost always add it to my seafood gumbos. Gumbo is a dish that only improves with advance preparation, so make it ahead of time whenever possible. The flavors really need time to settle and mellow and it's always better the next day. Prepare, let cool and skim any accumulated oil off the top before storing. Use more roux for a thicker gumbo, or adjust your stock using more for a thinner gumbo; less if you like it thicker. You can also make a roux using your microwave, your oven, or use a commercial product.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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Posted by on October 12, 2009
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15 comments:

  1. where the heck have I been.. I missed so many of these posts, I have still been checking in on My New 30.. Lotsa catching up to do here. I love this new site.. its gorgeous.I'll be sure to grab the button and put this on my blogroll!

    This gumbo sounds incredible and so perfect for this crisp autumn day I am having here in NJ!!

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  2. Great Post...

    One week from TODAY, I will be on vacation on New Orleans!!!

    Thanks for wetting my appetite and matbe a recipe to make in a month to remind me

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  3. This screams Mississippi! Big AL would love this to be served from my kitchen. I'll have to make his day!

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  4. This looks delicious!

    I am convinced that there is just not enough gumbo in my life after reading this. Making one is a little out of my comfort zone, still. I wish we were neighbors...I'd hit you up for dinner. One day though, I will try. I will make my own dark roux and rock a gumbo. In the meantime, I feel compelled to visit my local Cajun restaurant. I am so craving this now!

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  5. Krista, I guarantee if you try this oven roux, you WILL rock a gumbo, no problem. Just step outside of that comfort zone gal!

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  6. Your gumbo sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing:)

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  7. What an awesome blog. I just found you through I'm Not in Kalamazoo anymore! I signed up for your emails. Thanks! I'm going to try some of your recipes!! It all looks so good!

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  8. My husband and I visited the Gulf in 2010, enjoyed the food! We stumbled upon a Gumbo contest at Dauphin Island, loved it! When we returned to Minnesota I found your web site and this recipe most resembled our favorite from that contest. I've made it several times since then and the family LOVES it! I used your microwave method for the roux - easy and successful every time. Thanks for all of your info and instructions! Mary R, Eagan Minnesota

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mary & you're so welcome!! Thank you for taking the time to come back and comment - I really appreciate the feedback. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

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  9. My roux is in the oven right now and I can't wait! I'm going to try this gumbo recipe in the crockpot today. Thank you for passing it along!!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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  10. Mary, I just made this. Made the oven roux 2 days ago. My son is scarfing a big bowl down right now with some egg noodles. I'm planning on this for main meal tomorrow. (If there's any left) This stuff is "make a dog break a chain GOOD!" Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome Scott & thanks for letting me know that y'all enjoyed it!

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  11. What if I don't have canned tomatoes can I use fresh tomatoes

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! You'll need about 3 cups - about 3 large - remember to reserve the juices!

      Delete

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