In honor of Mardi Gras, here is my favorite rendition of the classic Gumbo!
Gumbo, a gorgeous rich and flavorful stew that is loaded with plenty of smokey sausage and in this version, shrimp! You can also add in chicken and/or crab meat to pimp it up a bit. Lawd! I love this food!
New Orleans has inspired some of the best music, gumbos and beignets, and so much more!
I remember my first trip to New Orleans, I was 15 and went with my mom and a group of friends. Two days before we were to go, I had to be a hero during P.E., and tore a ligament in my ankle playing basketball. First of all, I’m short, all of 5’3ish’, and would have to work so stinkin’ hard on that court. Second, these little legs were going as fast as they could, imagine a cartoon character with their legs spinning in one place before they take off, that was me! Before P.E. was over, I was on my way to the E.R.!
The time came for the trip and we made to New Orleans, but the hotel was soooo far away from everything … aahhh. It’s a very large and spread out part of the world, and there is so many amazing things to see, and we did our best to see it all in three short days. My sweet mama was awesome, taking care of her hobbling, whinging teenager, she knew that we needed a few decent bowls of some Gumbo goodness while we were there. Oh my, it’s good stuff! Well, that was the start of it all, and I’ve been hooked on Gumbo and all foods gloriously New Orleans style ever since. Yes, I sure enough loved that trip!
You don’t have to take a trip to New Orleans to have a bowl of delicious Gumbo nowadays, but if you do go, you’re in for a treat. For now, as a humble stand in, here is this mouthwatering Shrimp Gumbo to try!
- 10 oz Smoked Sausage, sliced ½ inch thickness
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 5 - 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 4 stalks Celery, diced
- 2 large Green Bell Peppers
- Small bunch fresh Thyme, leaves only
- 4 - 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper, ground
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ cup Okra, sliced
- 6 cups Chicken Broth
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1 - 14.5 oz can diced Tomatoes
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 10 oz raw Shrimp, shelled deveined and tails removed
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Flat Leaf Parsley, to garnish
- Cooked Rice, to serve
- In a large stockpot over medium high heat, add the Olive Oil and allow it to get hot, then add in the sliced Sausage. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes until they have browned well. Remove from pot and set aside.
- In the same stockpot, add the butter and allow to melt. Turn down the heat to low, and add the Flour to the melted Butter, stirring to mix. The mixture will become like a paste on the thin side. Continue to cook and stir for about 20 - 30 minutes until the roux mixture starts to darken and is a golden brown (like a dark peanut butter in color).
- To the roux, add the Onion, Celery and Peppers, mixing well. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add in the Garlic, Thyme leaves, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika and Okra, continue to cook for 5 - 8 minutes.
- Pour in the Chicken Broth and add the Bay Leaves, bring to a boil and then add in the Tomatoes and Lemon Juice, reduce to simmer, cook for 5 minutes.
- Now it's time to add in the cooked Sausages and raw Shrimp, continue to simmer and cook for an additional 8 - 10 minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Serve with cooked Rice and garnish with chopped Parsley, if desired.