Mumbo gumbo

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s starting to get a little chilly here in Texas (chilly here is when it’s 50-degrees).  Sothis weekend we made sausage and shrimp gumbo.  Gumbo is a Southern thing, and being from Chicago, it took me 20 years to figure out how to make it.  I tried several recipes from cookbooks, and they always turned out horribly.  Fortunately, we have several Cajun friends who’ve nurtured us through the gumbo making process.  Our friend Cheryl was also kind enough to invite me over and give me gumbo making lessons.  The following recipe is a combination of Cheryl’s, our friend Sherri’s mom’s, and Emeril’s, plus some modifications of our own.  I know you’ll like it:

Libby’s sausage and shrimp gumbo

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 1/2 cups chopped onions*

1 cup chopped celery*

1 cup chopped green bell peppers*

1 pound smoked jalapeno flavored beef sausage (or kielbasa), cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

4 bay leaves

7 cups water

1 – 2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp (heads and tails removed)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

4 green onions, chopped

Cooked hot white rice (or potato salad, if you’re a real Cajun, and not from Chicago like me)

Combine the oil and flour in a heavy dutch oven, over medium heat.  Stir slowly and constantly for 20 minutes, making a dark brown roux, which will be the color of chocolate.  After about 10 minutes, your kitchen will smell like something is burning, causing your husband to rush in, accusing you of burning dinner.  Tell him everything is under control, and continue stirring.

Add the onions, celery and bell peppers (or the frozen mire poix blend, if you are lazy like me).  Continue to stir for 4-5 minutes, or until wilted.  Add the sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves.  Continue to stir for 3-4 minutes.  Add the water, and stir until well combined.  Reduce heat to low, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about a couple of hours.  Add the shrimp, and cook until they are cooked through.

Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley and green onions.

Serve over cooked white rice (or potato salad, which my friend Sherri recommends), in soup bowls.

Serves 6-8.

*If you live in the South, you can find frozen Cajun blend in the freezer case of your grocery store.  It might also be called Cajun seasoning blend, or just mire poix.  I usually use the frozen mire poix instead of cutting up the vegetables, because I’m lazy, and that’s just the way I roll.

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