Friday, February 16, 2007

Mmmm, Gumbo!

For Superbowl Sunday, we made our favorite (read easy) gumbo. When in New Orleans a few years ago, we sampled the gumbo of nearly every eating establishment in the city and for those who have been there, you know that's a lot of gumbo! Here is the recipe we made, upon request by my step-mother. It's a slightly modified version of the Filé Gumbo from The Gumbo Shop cookbook. The only modifications I made were to reduce the salt from 2 to 1 tsp and to add a pound of shrimp. For those who like okra (you know who you are), this recipe may disappoint, but I encourage you to try this quicker and (imho) equally tasty alternative.

1 (2 ½ pound) chicken
3 quarts water
½ C. plus 2 Tbls butter
2 C. chopped onion
2 C. chopped green bell pepper
2 C. chopped celery
¼ C. minced garlic
¼ C. filé powder
¾ lb. smoked sausage, sliced in ¼ in rounds (spicy Andouille is preferred)
1 lb large frozen (cooked) shrimp
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 C. tomato sauce (I've substituted 2 C. of canned chopped tomatoes with pleasant results)
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
Steamed rice

Cut and cook the chicken in a stock pot, covered with 3 qts water, bring to boil then simmer 1 hour until meat is tender. Remove chicken and cool, then remove from bone and tear into bite sized pieces.

Strain the stock and skim fat off of the cooled stock.

In same stock pot (or Dutch oven), melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and bell pepper until tender allowing veggies to stick and brown a bit.

Add chopped garlic and saute 2 minutes.

Stir in filé and sauté (stirring often) 5 minutes.

Add sausage, salt and peppers and cook 10 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and Tabasco and cook 10 minutes allowing it to stick to bottom of pan.

Slowly add 8 cups of the chicken stock, stirring continuously, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Add more stock if too thick or too spicy.

Add chicken and shrimp and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice.



At 5:21 AM, February 17, 2007, Anonymous Jim said...

That looks great! I may try it.

Who likes okra? Besides me, I mean.

At 7:49 AM, February 17, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

I was about to grab my bowl and show up on your doorstep... until you added the shrimp. I know: I'm weird.

I just have this specific set of rules about seafood. Things that look like large bugs (lobster, crab, crawfish, shrimp) or mucus (oysters, clams, snails) are right out. Oh, and things with suckers (because they make me think of the Detroit Redwings).

It would have been easier to just say "I'll only eat fish", wouldn't it? Although I have been known to ingest some shrimp or crab when needing to impress tablemates on a cruise, or the president of our company when he invites me to dinner (which has never happened). I just have to swallow quickly, without chewing.

At 8:39 AM, February 17, 2007, Blogger mis_nomer said...

Ooh. looks yummy. not sure what file powder or cayenne pepper is, but it shouldn't matter eh? :)

with jim on the okra. (we call 'em ladies' finger.)

At 10:13 AM, February 17, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Jim, I guess you're not alone in the okra eating world. Probably anyone living south of the Mason-Dixon line (which includes Singapore, btw) likes okra. Just more evidence that you are really a Texan at heart. Oh, and you'll need to turn up the heat on this sure to use spicy sausage and double the Tabasco...just for starters. ;-)

Foo, you can leave out the things with pinchers...that was just my's just as good (for you, better) without. But not eating things with suckers? You haven't tried my husband's octopus salad, have you? Mmmm...

Mis_Nomer, the file powder is the key ingredient and sometimes hard to's actually ground up sassafras leaves and it makes a good thickening agent. Not sure if they sell it by a different name in Singapore? Cayenne is just ground red pepper (and I know you can get that in Singapore! ;-)

At 9:50 AM, February 18, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

Tried your husband's octosalad? No.

Unless... there was that one morning I woke up on a strange sofa with that tentacle stuck in my teeth.

At 3:54 PM, February 20, 2007, Blogger Stephen said...

Sounds yummy. Complicated, but yummy. I haven't had any gumbo in years.


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