Sausage & Shrimp Southern Gumbo
It’s almost time for Mardi Gras! Although I live in the north, I’ve traveled to the south and tasted some pretty dang awesome southern food–and one of the dishes that tops the yumminess charts for me is Louisiana gumbo. I’ve always wanted to make an authentic gumbo at home, and since Mardi Gras is coming up, I decided to give it a go. I haven’t actually ever been to Mardi Gras, but I’ve always been intrigued with the gorgeous masks and delicious foods and drinks from this grand Carnivale.
I looked at several gumbo recipes online and compared them and they all started out with a dark roux made with equal amounts oil and flour. I found myself wanting to reduce the amount of fat like I normally do, but something inside of me told me to stick with that ratio, so I did, and I’m so glad. The roux is so essential to the taste of the gumbo and to reduce the amount of fat in this case would ruin the base of the soup.
I also took this opportunity to try my Swiss Diamond induction saucepan on my flat stove top, to see if it performed the same as my other Swiss Diamond saucepan. Not that there would be any reason that it wouldn’t, but I’m happy to report that it works just as wonderfully on a flat stovetop as it does on an induction cooktop.
It takes some time to cook the roux, so I had a glass of wine to keep me company as I stirred the pot. I threw a bit of the wine in the gumbo too, just for good measure. Since I don’t have any seafood stock on hand, I used Thai fish sauce to simulate a seafood broth. It works really well for that. My gumbo tasted of seafood without being “fishy” tasting. I used chicken sausage in lieu of Andouille (both to offset the fat in the roux … and because I had some in my freezer that needed using), but substitute real Andouille if you want a more authentic taste. You can also substitute okra for the celery if you prefer. Okra is not something you find much up around here, and I’ve never gained a liking for it.
My gumbo tastes just like the REAL gumbo I remember … and I’m certain it’s the roux that gives it that authentic flavor. I’m looking forward to celebrating Mardi Gras with a bowl of spicy hot gumbo and a good cold beer. It’ll help take the chill off the frigid winter nights we’ve been having lately … up here in the north.
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 large onion, peeled & chopped (a heaping cup)
- 2 - 3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 heaping cup of chopped bell pepper
- 2 Tablespoons white wine
- 4 cups chicken or seafood broth - (or 4 cups water plus 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce)
- 1 15-oz. can of crushed tomatoes (or 1 pint of home-canned fire-roasted tomatoes)
- 1 - 3 teaspoons cajun seasoning (to taste)
- 4 - 5 bay leaves
- 6 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 lb. shrimp, tails removed
- Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Cooked rice
- Heat a nonstick saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and oil and heat until the butter is melted. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is about the color of milk chocolate, about 15 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, and celery and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is dark brown, another 10 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is evaporated.
- Stir in the broth (or water + fish sauce), tomatoes, cajun seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes.
- At this point, you can pour the gumbo base in a jar and keep refrigerated until close to serving time. You'll need to heat the base again to hot when it's close to serving time.
- Add the sausage, shrimp and rice, cook and heat until everything is nice and hot. Remove the bay leaves. Serve hot.
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