GUMBO WITHOUT OKRA OR TOMATOES
Another week of Sunday Slow Soupers, and another great soup. This week it was Sandi from Bugalu at Whistlestop Cafe turn to choose the soup. She chose her Gumbo. She says the key to good gumbo is fresh ingredients. When reading the recipe, I noticed it didn't call for okra or tomatoes, which I thought every gumbo contained. But Sandi said this is a Louisiana recipe that just has a roux base and that it is usually more of a coastal recipe when it contains okra and tomatoes. I decided to make two versions-one with okra and tomatoes and one without. I liked them both, but the one without the tomatoes was more intense in it's flavor. As far as seafood, I used, I decided to use items we had in our freezer that we caught this summer. So I used the chicken thighs and andouille sausage called for, and I used shrimp and rockfish. No scallops or oysters. Be sure and take the time to make a proper roux-it really adds flavor to the dish. If you need any help, click here for more detailed directions.
GUMBO WITH OKRA AND TOMATOES
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all purpose flour
1# chicken pieces
1# large shrimp, bay scallops, oysters
1# Andouille sausage
32 oz chicken broth
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt & pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less)
bunch of green onions chopped
In a large pot, saute onions and peppers. Add sausage and brown. Add water, spices, and chicken; simmer until the chicken is cooked through (if you use chicken on the bone you can cool it and pull it now) Use this broth as a part of your chicken broth.
Start the gumbo by making your roux. Use a heavy skillet and stir together flour and oil until it is a cocoa brown and thick, smooth consistency. You will want to start adding some broth to the skillet to thin your roux, then pour the it into the big pot. Stir like hell. Add chicken broth, stir some more until there are no clumps.
Cover and simmer. This will help to thicken the gumbo. Add cleaned shrimp and scallops, cooking on medium heat till shrimp are pink (10 minutes) Add the delicate oysters last. Remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Serve in a large bowl on top of a scoop of rice, with a garnish of green onions.
*You can make lots of substitutions here. Use any type of white fish, or crab, instead of oysters or scallops. You can use the dark or white meat on a chicken. You can use red or green bell pepper. Etc., etc. I didn't really follow the quantities listed, and added a lot more shrimp and fish than called for.