Monday, July 28, 2014

Gumbo is my superpower.

I have never claimed to be a chef or super hero in the kitchen.   When the words "invent-a-meal" are kids scatter like marbles across the floor.  They quickly find other  plans for the evening.   Yea, it quickly gives me much needed alone time.

However, when the word "GUMBO" is muttered....... magically they alter any plans for the evening and are available for family dinner and family lunch leftovers the next day.

Gumbo isn't as hard as one might think.  There are just a few rules.  First of all, an enameled cast iron stock pot is a must.  It needs to be able to withstand heat without burning for several hours.  My pot of choice is a Le Creuset stockpot.   I found it at Costco for a song a few years ago in an after Christmas sale.   But there are other less expensive brands.  Most likely, they all cook the same.

The second rule is you gotta stir......and often.   This is when I make kitchen rules about if you wanna eat...... you gotta stir.    The kids won't complain after they taste the awesomeness of this shrimp gumbo.  I promise.

Usually the evening before I will pre-chop my vegetables & sausage.  It just makes the afternoon easier.

Grab a stool...  you are going to be here a while.


The scariest part is making the roux.  It takes about 30 minutes of stirring and takes on the color of peanut butter at the end.   It even kinda smells nutty.   Just stir.  If by chance this is yucky.   Throw it away & start over.

After that, add those chopped veggies and sauté until they are clear and soft.

Pour in all that stock, juices & seasonings.

Keep stirring occasionally............  after about 2 hours or so you get this!!

Every bowl of gumbo needs some dirty rice served beside it.  This box is my favorite.  I like to make two boxes.  You gotta have rice for the leftovers!   It is Delish!

Shrimp Gumbo!!!

1 cup + 1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup flour

Melt the butter.  Add the flour and stir for what seems like forever and
the color is a rich peanut butter color.

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 finely chopped jalapeño 
a  handful of chopped green onions if you have it.

Saute until all of the above veggies are clear-like and soft.

3 cups shrimp or chicken stock
2 cups clam juice
1 can petite diced tomatoes w/juice
3 bay leaves
1 TBS parsley
1 TBS cajun seasoning
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir....  Stir...  Stir....
It now just needs to cook down and get thicker.

1 cup of diced okra ( I buy a bag of frozen)

Add an extra can of broth here if it looks too thick.
(I will use whatever kind of broth at hand I have at this point.)

Keep cooking & stirring occasionally......!

2 pounds shrimp - cooked
1 1/2 cups of smoked sausage (I like Hillshire Beef)

Have I mentioned stirring yet?  Well, stir some more.
I typically add the okra about an hour before it is done.  
The shrimp & sausage about 30 minutes later.
They pretty much just need to heat up.

You will know when it is done.  I say that because I am pretty sure that by now you have been doing some sampling...........

So tell me what's your superpower?

1 comment:

  1. Now I know what I can do with the fresh okra my neighbor let me harvest from her garden. I have a bunch of it!