Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo

The other day I found myself thumbing through an old issue of Coastal Living magazine.  In that Fall 2010 issue I found this recipe.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  40 Minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings:  12


1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 (16 ounce) package andouille sausage, sliced
(next time I will use fresh sausage with casings removed)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 large celery ribs, chopped
1 medium head of garlic, about 8 cloves, crushed
3 cups fish stock or chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pound fresh okra, sliced and baked
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined if desired
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon file powder, optional 

Okra is a key ingredient in any Gumbo.
The dish derives its name from the Bantu word for Okra (kingombo).

  • Pre-bake fresh okra for 20 minutes or so in a 325 degree oven. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy soup pot.  Add sausage, and cook 3-4 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer sausage to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil to drippings in pot to equal 1/4 cup. Whisk in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, 20 minutes or so until mixture is a dark reddish-brown. This oil and flour mixture is called a "Roux" and adds a richness of flavor to the dish.  If you burn the roux by mistake, through it away and start the dish again.
  • The vegetable "Holy Trinity" of celery, bell peppers, and onions (w/garlic).
  • Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients, and saute over medium heat 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in stock and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.
  • Stir in sausage and shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Add crab, and simmer until heated. Remove bay leaves, and stir in parsley and file powder.
  • Serve gumbo over rice or grits. Season with hot sauce, if desired.

File powder, also called gumbo file, is a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree. Native to eastern North America, it adds a distinctive, earthy flavor and texture.  It can also act as a thickening agent.

Recipe Links:

Here is a link to the original recipe as published in Coastal Living, October 2010.

Here is a video of Scott Hargrove making gumbo.

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