Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

  Going with our themed nights, after our Italian Dinner, we had a New Orleans night.  My friend Chase brought us a muffaletta from Jason's Deli (an awesome sandwich, though not terribly authentic).  We made gumbo and a pretty stellar bourbon peach bread pudding (recipe to come in the near future!)  Gumbo is really easy once you get the technique down... and really, the only technique is making a proper roux.
   A proper roux is a thing of beauty.  For my gumbo, I use a "peanut butter" roux.  All that means is that it is the color of peanut butter.  It thickens the broth and adds a wonderful depth of flavor.  You can use premade roux if it is available near you (which it isn't in TN, as far as I know), but it is simply butter and flour (or butter, oil and flour).  You can't get much cheaper than that.  Also, it isn't hard to make.  It just takes time.
The pan in the upper left corner is a peanut butter roux.
The large pan is what your vegetables will look like with the worcestershire sauce.
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C flour
1 med. onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 lrg stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 C worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
6 C water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (or any seasoning salt)
2 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne
12 oz smoked turkey sausage (1 package), cut into half moon shapes
12 oz-1 lb peeled, deveined raw shrimp (thawed if purchased frozen)

   In a small pan over med-low heat, melt butter into oil.  Add flour, whisk constantly to avoid lumps and burning.  Cook until it is about the color of peanut butter.  This will take roughly 20 min, but can be done ahead of time and cooled.
   Heat a little oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Cook onion, pepper, and celery (You can use a bag of the frozen mix, if you can find it.) until everything is very tender.  It will take 15-20 minutes (same time as the roux, so you can stir both at the same time!)  Add garlic, worcestershire, and soy sauce. Stir quickly for 1 min so as not to burn anything.  Add water and roux; whisk quickly to avoid lumps.  Add spices, lemon juice, and sausage.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.
   Stir in shrimp 5-7 minutes before serving.  Cook through.
   Serve over rice.  Top with Tabasco and filé, if you like. 
   Serves 6.
 Pictures of finished Gumbo by Heather Clemons Photography!

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