It’s Gumbo Time!

Gumbo—what do you think of  when you hear the word gumbo?  Perhaps Naw’leans, fleur-de-lis, the Saints (remember Bum Philips?), Jazz, the French Quarter, the Bayou… just to name a few. Of course some of those great Louisiana Chefs like John Besh, Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, come to mind. And let us not  forget Justin Wilson. I spent many a day watching Justin Wilson fix up a nice New Orleans meal, and will never forget how he could stir up a roux when making  gumbo. Watching him cook a meal was nice, then he would sit down with a glass of wine and make you wish you were sitting there with him savoring the food as well. Looks like he could cook up a mean gumbo….I gawr an tee! (you know I couldn’t leave that out). Gumbo seems to appeal to most everyone, and what you put in it can be tailored to suit your taste. Just serve it in a nice bowl over steamed white rice and some crusty bread to soak up that delicious broth. My bread of choice today was cornbread.

A meal that really leaves you ‘full and satisfied’

Add a sprinkle of file’ powder at the end to complete the experience. File powder  is a herb ground from the young leaves of the sassafras tree– a yellowwood tree with brittle wood and aromatic leaves and bark; source of sassafras oil. I tell you, I am thankful for the sassafras tree!

With the addition of crawfish

Stick to your ribs kind of meal

Oh my



Come, Let us make Gumbo!!


1 1/2 pounds shrimp

1 pound lump crabmeat

1 andouille sausage

1 smoked kielbasa sausage –about 4 cups total sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 pound (16 ounce bag) cut okra

1 can stewed tomatoes (or two–I used two)

8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth ** I used a combination of shrimp stock and chicken broth–1/2 of each. Well I had those shrimp shells stashed in the freezer –had to put them to good use

6 large cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

6 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce (or a brand of your choice–Tabasco sauce works also)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp file’ powder

1 or 2 Tbsp Creole seasoning

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup flour

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

I also used snow crab legs that was cooked separate and added last. I baked them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, wrapped in foil with butter

You can also add fresh mussels, crawfish, and scallops. I left those out for another creation later


Peel, devein, and clean the shrimp–set aside. Pick over the crabmeat to ensure there’s no residual pieces of shells and/or cartilage–set aside. Season both with the Creole seasoning.

To make the roux, heat the oil and flour in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over moderate heat (medium low), stirring continually.  We want a nice dark roux, and after about 15 to 20 minutes or so, you should begin to see a nice caramel color. Do not burn! Nothing worse than a burnt flour taste in your roux. Continue to cook and stir until it’s a nice dark chocolate brown. What that roux is going to do is add a nice rich color to the Gumbo, a great depth of flavor as well as provide a thickening agent for the base.

Next add the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and continue to stir until the vegetables are softened. Add the chopped sausage and stir that in. Next, the tomatoes and of course mix it in–followed by okra and  chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, a little salt and pepper–stir top with some of the parsley and scallions, cover and simmer for 1 hour with an occasional stir.  Add the seasoned shrimp, crab meat, and file’ powder and cook until the shrimp curl and turn pink.

Serve over white rice, and a sprinkle of file’ powder. Garnish with the rest of the parsley and scallions– Enjoy!!

The beginning of the roux, the base for the gumbo. Some say, it’s all in a good roux

Its beginning to take on a nice color. Adjust your heat as necessary. If you notice the flour clumping, the heat is too high and probably taking on a burnt odor–do not burn!!

Ahhhh….that’s a nice color. The longer you cook and stir, the deep the color. Justin Wilson was known for really getting a dark chocolate color on that roux. However, this was quite fine for me

Trio of onions, bell pepper, and celery, then garlic

Andouille and smoked kielbasa sausage

Enter the stewed tomatoes

Shrimp stock, chicken broth and the wonderful okra made their entrance to the Gumbo get-together

Seasoned Crabmeat

Our lovely crawfish all cleaned and ready

The shrimp and crawfish–seasoned with Old Bay and Creole seasonings as was the crabmeat

Adding the lovely Creole seasoned shrimp and crabmeat

Top it off with a little fresh parsley and scallions, cover and let her simmer

Served with white rice with a pinch of red pepper flakes;  chopped fresh parsley and scallions to garnish

And let us not forget to add a little more of that file’ powder–oh my! This was so delicious

With snow crab.

Its Gumbo Time !

     You’re Going To Love It


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. htiek
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 20:48:07

    That sounds good and looks so delicious! May try that one soon…ummmmm


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