Spicy New Orleans Style Gumbo
I have never been to Louisiana. However, having eaten Gumbo several times in my adult life at various restaurants, I decided I'm a pretty big fan and it was time I make my own .
You guys, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Who knew Gumbo took so long to prepare and cook? Not me. not. me.
So here's the thing about cooking Gumbo- it's super super easy to cook, however it requires patience and attention. Especially for the roux. DO NOT RUSH THE ROUX! I could not safely make the roux with my child in the house. Oh no. If I became a roux pro, maybe I would make it if the TV were babysitting my wild child.
If you're new to Gumbo you may be sitting there thinking what the heck is roux? Roux is flour and fat (in this case I used oil) cooked together to thicken sauces. A roux can be cooked longer or shorter depending on a variety of different factors. In the case of a Gumbo, the roux is cooked longer and slower creating a dark, rich roux with a deep nutty flavor. As a general rule, the darker the roux, the less of a thickener it will be. If you burn the roux, you have to start over. So, like I said, do not burn the roux.
Once the roux is nice and finished, it's smooth sailing. The roux is the hardest part of the whole Gumbo making process.
Spicy New Orleans Gumbo
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Type: Main Dish, Dinner, Comfort Food, Stew
For the Roux:
1/2 cup high heat oil (canola, corn or vegetable)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
For the Gumbo:
1 large onion, chopped
4 bell peppers (I used 2 red, 1 green and 1 yellow), seeded and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces andouille sausage (I used chicken sausage), sliced
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons tobacco sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne (omit if you prefer more mild foods)
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed diced tomatoes with its juices
3 bay leaves
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons gumbo filé
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Green onions, chopped (for serving)
First prepare the roux- In a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until combined and smooth. Switch out the whisk for a long wooden spoon and stir the roux over medium / (medium-low) constantly for the next 15-20 minutes. Don't stop. Keep stirring. Do not let the roux burn, otherwise you will have to start over from the very beginning- clean pot and all. You know the roux is ready when it has darkened to a nice, rich deep peanut butter color.
Once the roux is nice and ready stir in the onions, bell peppers, celery and carrots. Allow the veggies to cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Stir as often as needed to prevent burning or sticking. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute before adding the sausage.
Add the cajun seasoning, tabasco sauce, cayenne powder and sugar and mix well to evenly incorporate the spices. Stir in the chicken broth with the stewed tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to a low boil before lowering the heat to medium-low, covering and simmering for approximately 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the shrimp to the pot and stir. Allow the gumbo to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Once shrimp are fully cooked, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the gumbo filé. Stir well. Add fresh parsley to the pot and remove the bay leaves before serving.
Traditionally served with rice, but also delicious with cauliflower rice or mashed potatoes.