Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Homemade Gumbo, NOLA style

A father is set to meet his daughter's boyfriend for the first time. She is from Texas, he is from Louisiana, New Orleans no less. As so many courtships are these days, a neighboring state is the closest you can get to the boy next door. But I digress...

The father knows exactly what he wants to ask the native New Orleanian. He wants to hear how the boy makes a dark roux (pronounced "rue"). The father knows there are different theories, old and new with the newer ones involving - gosh forbid - microwaves, but he is looking for the secret that has stood the test of time, having been passed onto him by his own southern nomadic ancestors. The trick is to burn it.

He could have tested him even more by asking him to name the Trinity (Onion, Celery, Bell Pepper, all together but in no specific order).

What you'll need...
2 Andouille sausage
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1/2 lb shrimp, de-shelled, de-veined, but tails on!
2 qts chicken stock
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stock of celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup of frozen okra, thawed
3 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon of Salt
White rice

What to do...
In a large Dutch oven combine the 1/2 cup of flour with the 1/2 cup of oil. Cook to combine over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, but also allowing the mixture to burn slightly. Continuing this for 20-30 minutes, the mixture will eventually turn a peanut butter color and continue to darken to even the color of chocolate. This is your "roux".

Add the "Trinity" - onions, celery, and bell pepper - and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the sausage, chicken stock, Bay leaves, and seasoning. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, allowing the stock to thicken to the right consistency.

Remove the skin and bones from your chicken. Add to the gumbo and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point you may want to get out your rice and cook, following the instructions provided on the box.

Add the shrimp to the gumbo and cook for 5 minutes while rinsing and chopping the scallions. Then stir in the okra. Like the roux, okra is a natural thickener, so typically a recipe will call for one or the other at the beginning, which is why it is important here to add the okra at the end.

Salt and hot sauce to taste. Serve gumbo into bowls, add a scoop of rice, and top with the scallions.

Serving Size: 6-8 bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Really bring a smile to y'alls face by serving it up southern style with some cornbread.

P.S. The boyfriend passed the test with flying colors!