There is something about making a big pot of gumbo that is satisfying to your stomach and your soul. The labor of love that goes into a roux creates a soulful connection with cooking that will have you making gumbo time and time again to perfect your roux. This year we chose to do a veggie gumbo with was quite possibly the best gumbo I’ve made thanks to my little roux helper. But as anyone from New Orleans would tell you, you can put anything that flies, swims, creeps, crawls, grazes, or grows in the ground and as long as you have a great roux you will have a great gumbo. Be sure to not cook your roux on high heat and be sure to stir continuously, not paying your roux attention will not make for a good gumbo. With the cold weather it seems like a great time to get a little cajun. Here’s MyScoop’s recipe:
Roux (see below for recipe)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 quarts vegetable, chicken, or seafood stock
1 package frozen okra
4 sprigs oregano, de-leafed
4 sprigs thyme, de-leafed
4 sprigs parsley, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
Optional Add Ins:
1 package Conecuh sausage
1 jar oysters
1 lb crab claws
1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
You start with the roux. (recipe below) Then in a large stock pot saute onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened on medium heat. Add celery and carrots and saute fro about 7 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomato and continue to saute for about 3 minutes.
Stir in roux, then immediately pour in stock. Stir together.
Add can of diced tomatoes and okra. Add herbs and seasonings. Reduce if needed and let simmer for 30 minutes.
If you are adding in seafood or sausage- stir in Conecuh cook for 20 minutes, stir in oysters and crab claws and cook for another 10 minutes.
When close to ready to serve, toss in shrimp and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve over rice and with toasted baguette slices.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all -purpose flour
Always use equal parts flour and fat. For gumbo in a large stock pot use 1 cup flour, 1 cup oil.
In a heavy skillet (I use cast-iron) over medium heat, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add flour and gradually to combine. After mixture is combined reduce heat and keep stirring continuously. This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour to achieve that dark brown/chocolate color. When it achieves that chocolate color remove from heat. Note: the roux will smell like burnt popcorn – that is what you want.
You can store your roux up to one week in the refrigerator and also freeze it.