|A gumbo made with a dark roux, a rich shrimp stock, the Trinity of vegetables, okra, shrimp and andouille sausage, shown here served with a scoop of hot rice and a scoop of Gumbo Potato Salad.|
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo with Microwave RouxYes, it's another shrimp gumbo, but... what sets this one apart is that it was a "hurry up" gumbo, made with my microwave roux - pushed just a little bit further than usual - and pretty much, mostly ingredients that were straight out of the freezer!
The shrimp were frozen. The shrimp stock I had made and put up in the freezer. You can also substitute commercial seafood or chicken broth, of course. Smoked sausage is also a freezer staple I always have on hand and can be quickly thawed in the microwave. I had even actually run completely out of onion when I decided to make this gumbo - can you imagine? No worries. I always keep extra chopped onion in the freezer.
Tip: When a recipe calls for chopped onion, go ahead and chop the entire onion and bag what you don't use in a zippered freezer bag. Same with the bell pepper. Didn't have any fresh, but I always keep quartered bell pepper in the freezer - problem solved. And, of course, the okra was also frozen.
Y'all, I promise, utilize your freezer and a microwave roux, and this is a gumbo that you can actually pull together in a flash. Gotta love that.
I made this gumbo when I made the Creamy Gumbo Potato Salad, and so the picture above shows a scoop of both rice and Gumbo Potato Salad in the bowl. Some folks do like both. I kinda lean more toward using one or the other myself, but hey, use both if ya like, and besides... it was a photo opp, what can I say!
Now... y'all know that I am typically a low and slow kinda southern cook, but I wanted to post this to show you that you can actually get a beautiful gumbo on the table with a smaller time investment. Not counting the time to clean the shrimp, which I did ahead, between prep time and cooking time, start to finish, this gumbo was probably ready to eat in under an hour. You could potentially cut that down further by using frozen, cleaned shrimp and by prepping the ingredients and veggies ahead of time, or by using the pre-chopped gumbo mix from the produce section of your store. And, not only that, but this really is a delicious gumbo that I'm gonna bet will take you by surprise.
I only issue one very strong caution. Remember, whether done on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave, roux is a mixture of very hot oil and flour. Use a good solid, and reliable glass container, like a Pyrex brand 4-cup Prepware cup (that's what I use) to cook it in, and use pot holders and oven mitts to handle the hot container for the stirring portion of the process. Please read over my entire microwave roux before starting just so you know how to do it and, if you decide to give it a try, I'd love if you'd come back and let me know what you think - good or bad!
As always with any gumbo, as delicious as it is day 1, it's even better the next day.
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Recipe: Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo with Microwave Roux©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 pounds of medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 3/4 cup of canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes, with liquid, chopped up
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 quarts of commercial or homemade shrimp stock, at room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 pound of andouille or other smoked sausage, chopped
- 2 cups sliced okra
- 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Perfect boiled rice
- Hot sauce, for the table, optional
Prepare the roux using the microwave method, or by cooking and stirring the oil and flour together in a skillet until brown. Please review the cautions and directions on my microwave roux before starting. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, reserving the liquid; set aside. I use a pair of kitchen shears to chop them up right in the can.
Carefully transfer the roux to a large, heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium high, stirring constantly. Add the chopped onion, celery and green pepper to the hot roux, cooking and stirring for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic. Slowly stir in the shrimp stock until fully incorporated.
Add the tomatoes and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce heat to just under medium, and let simmer covered for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, add the 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil to a separate skillet, and heat over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. To that same skillet, add the okra; cook and stir until slightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the okra from the skillet to the gumbo pot, and add the sausage and the shrimp; simmer, uncovered, on low for about 10 minutes. Add the Cajun seasoning, taste, season with salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
Serve over hot cooked rice and pass a bottle of hot sauce at the table for some extra kick. Serve with some hot, buttered French rolls and a side of gumbo potato salad.
Cook's Notes: Gumbo is a dish that only improves with advance preparation, so make it ahead of time if possible. The flavors really need time to settle and mellow. It's always better the next day. Prepare, let cool and skim any accumulated oil off the top before storing. If you don't already have an oven roux made, just combine 3/4 cup each canola oil and all purpose flour and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until roux reaches a deep, dark color.
Remember, if you are using andouille, go light on any additional Cajun seasoning. Add a little, taste and adjust. If you are using a regular smoked sausage, you will likely want to use a bit more Cajun seasoning. Again, use a little, taste and adjust. Can also substitute chicken stock or broth, or plain water for the seafood stock. Can also chop tomatoes using a food processor or blender, just enough to break them up, but not to puree them.
Okra and Gumbo filé: I used pre-sliced, frozen okra for gumbo. Gumbo filé, or filé powder, is a seasoning made from ground sassafras leaves and tastes a bit like savory and thyme mixed together. It is often stirred into gumbo at the end of cooking (but never boiled) to act as a thickener as a substitute for okra, or when fresh okra is out of season. Besides thickening, it also imparts a unique flavor to the gumbo, so even when using okra I still like to sprinkle a little into each serving bowl.
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