Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Seafood Gumbo

I’ve been meaning to try some Cajun recipes for a while now, but haven’t had the chance. Gumbo always seemed a little intimidating as well – I thought the dark roux required would be a much longer time commitment, but really as long as you’re near the stove there’s not much to it. This recipe is a mashup of these two:
using the little bit of shrimp I had on hand and what was good/cheap at the fish market.  Typically you see oysters, shrimp, and crab (blue crabs, shell on) in this dish. If you don’t have shellfish stock on hand (this is the first time I’ve ever had it, thanks to some lobsters I had a few months ago), you could substitute chicken stock as well. You’ll probably want to use whole crabs in that instance to impart some additional flavor in the broth; the lump crab meat in this recipe only cooks for a minute.  Also, I used a “seasoning salt” recipe from a bbq book in place of Cajun/Creole seasoning on account of the fact that it’s fairly similar and was already in my pantry.

¼ cup bacon grease (or vegetable oil)
1/3 cup flour

½ large onion, diced
2 “frying peppers” (that’s what the produce store called them; they’re about the size of poblanos) or 1 bell pepper, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced

1 quart lobster stock (or other shellfish stock)
½ lb. frozen cut okra (not thawed)
1 cup diced tomatoes
Bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon seasoning salt (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb lump crab meat
1 lb bay scallops
2 lb mussels, cleaned
½ lb. shrimp, deveined and deshelled

Green onions
Ground Filé powder

Seasoning Salt:
½ cup salt
¼ cup paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon ground oregano

Melt the bacon grease in a 6 qt. dutch oven, and add the flour. Stir to combine, and continue to stir regularly/frequently for 20 to 25 minutes. You don’t have to be hunched over the pot, spoon in hand for the duration, but stay nearby. The roux should darken to the color of chocolate milk.

About 1 minute into cooking

20 minutes of cooking

Add onion, peppers, celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to incorporate with roux. Add in garlic and cook for another minute.

Add stock, frozen okra, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire, seasoning salt, paprika, smoked paprika, and black pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for half an hour, uncovered. Adjust seasonings. 

Add shrimp, mussels and bay scallops and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the crab meat and cook for another minute. The shrimp should be pink, and the mussels should be open to indicate that they’re cooked.

Serve over rice, and stir in filé powder (add to individual servings, not the whole pot – it will make the gumbo stringy if you try to reheat it with filé in it) and garnish with green onions and parsley.


Post a Comment