Festivities are underway in New Orleans and everyone is craving the distinctive blend of flavors in Creole cooking. Mix Spanish with a little French and African American and there you have it. If you are a Top Chef junkie like me (season finale is tonight!) then you have seen gumbo dishes pop up quite a bit. That's because this year's finale is being hosting in the Big Easy by Mr. Emeril himself.
Now, locals of New Orleans are very passionate about their gumbo. God forbid that you serve it over grits. Rice only folks. And your roux must be very dark. No woosie stuff. Lastly, this recipe has a hundred variations. Feel free to add your own personal touch.
Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 small cup onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 pound fresh okra, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- About 2 teaspoons filé powder
In 4-quart heavy stock pot over moderately high heat, heat oil. Reduce heat to moderately low and whisk in flour. Cook, stirring frequently with wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, until mixture becomes dark brown and has intensely nutty aroma, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in onion, pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in stock. Raise heat to moderate and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add bay leaves, shrimp, sausage, and okra and simmer, uncovered, until okra is tender, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves and stir in salt, cayenne, and black pepper.
Divide rice among 4 large bowls. Ladle gumbo over, and serve with hot sauce and filé powder for sprinkling on top.