Saturday, November 14, 2009


Heat 1/3 c oil in heavy skillet, add 1/3 c flour,stir until caramel color- this is called roux . do not burn- set aside
In another pan saute 1 c  each chopped onions, green peppers, celery and 4 cloves minced garlic in a little oil, add 2 tsp gumbo seasoning* about 3-5 minutes
In a large stock pot combine roux and vegetables, stir in 4 c chicken broth, 1/2 lb sliced polish sausage and 1 c chopped tomatoes or 1 c tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 20 min. Add cooked shredded chicken and shrimp (approx 1/2 lb each) Heat through, shrimp can be previously cooked or raw (will turn orange when done).
Serve over cooked  rice.

  Now here is the thing about gumbo, it isn't exact, you can really change the recipe around to fit your taste. Most recipes include okra I omit it because I don't like it. You can change the basic amounts of vegetables as you like but in Southern cooking, onion, garlic and celery are considered the trinity.(correction, onion, bell pepper and celery are trinity) If you want more meat add crab or more sausage, bigger pot? double the roux and broth- no problem.
  Also if you should come across File' (fee'-lay) grab it, usually it is sold in good spice sections. You can make gumbo without it but they do call it File' gumbo. It is dried sassafras leaves. It can be a little expensive but if you have it throw in 1/2 tsp.
   Folks in the North don't always eat spicy foods, in fact if you use a little pepper it qualifies as spicy for some here. But for the adventurous.....make a pot of gumbo! (You ought to see  Yankees when you serve them crawdads!)
*make your own gumbo seasoning
   2 Tbs onion powder
   2 Tbs garlic powder
   2 Tbs oregano
   2 Tbs basil
   1 Tbs thyme
   1 Tbs each black and cayenne pepper
   5 Tbs paprika
   3 Tbs salt
Mix and store in airtight container
Photo is Zach, a family friend, eating a crawdad.


The Alleman family said...

Ok, being from South Louisiana, a true Cajun and eating and cooking gumbo all my life I feel the need to correct you on a few things. First of all, the "trinity" is onion, celery and bellpepper, not garlic although it's added pretty liberally to most gumbos. Second we usually have gumbo file' out on the table to add to your own bowl as you see fit, you can add it while cooking but if you do it changes the whole taste of the gumbo and will help to thicken it do you'll use less roux. Third, gumbo with tomatos is creole gumbo and not true Cajun gumbo, a real south Louisiana Cajun gumbo doesn't have tomato! Fourth, most gumbo recipes do not call for adding okra, only okra gumbos and yes there's a difference! In okra gumbo you use less roux because the okra itself helps to thicken it and if you smother your okra 1st and add a little vinegar or some tomato it'll take all of that slime right out of it! Lastly we usually don't use shredded chicken, if the chicken is left on the bone you'll have a much more flavorful gumbo and generally we use a smoked sausage or "taso". Now, there's chicken and sausage gumbo and then there's seafood gumbo and they're 2 different things. To be authentic if you're going to do seafood then go ahead and do shrimp and crab but keep your chicken and sausage seafood free! You are right in that this isn't an exact science, so by all means make gumbo the way you want to, add anything you want to add, I'm just adding a little lagnappe and letting you know what's traditional.

shannon i olson said...

Indeed I did get the trinity wrong! will correct that. I have a great cook book that explains all the detail in differences between Cajun and Creole, very fascinating. Far too detailed to get into for my little blog. Everyone has their favorite way to make gumbo, which is why it is such a great dish. Most people in the Midwest have never made it so I hope this will give them an easy practical way to get started! I searched 5 sources before deciding which gumbo recipe to post....and ended up going with the one closest to what I usually make. Many of my friends here, tried and true Northerners will barely even taste it. It is so good I hope they will be brave and go for it!!

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