February 22, 2012


In honor of Mardi Gras, I made gumbo last night. What an amazing new culinary endeavor! The history of this Creole/Cajun food is fascinating and the flavor combinations are terrific.

It seems that the word 'gumbo' originates from the West African word for okra, 'ngombo'. The Cajun version of this dish does use okra as a thickener. I made the New Orleans Creole version, which uses gumbo file, powdered sassafrass leaves, to thicken the stew. Interestingly enough, there is also a Choktaw word, 'kombo', which is the term for ground sassafrass. This dish has a deep history, which speaks to the cooking method. The longer you stew it, the better it tastes!

New Orleans Style Creole Gumbo Recipe:
There must be as many variations on this dish as there are cooks who prepare it. After much research, this is how I made it.

You will need:
1/4 pound deveined, shelled shrimp
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon each: paprika, cumin, thyme, oregano
1/2 teaspoon chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 small can organic fire-roasted tomatoes OR 4 fresh, chopped tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock (organic)
1/2 pound andouille or chorizo sausage, chopped (organic)
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken, chopped (organic)

Long grain brown rice

To garnish:
Gumbo file (powdered sassafrass leaves that thicken the gumbo)
Fresh, chopped parsley

To prepare:
Heat vegetable oil in a stock pot. Add chopped onion and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Add celery, garlic, and spices. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
Make a well in the center and add sausage. Sear on high heat for 5 minutes, then push aside.
Add chicken. Sear on high heat for 5 minutes, then mix with sausage and vegetables. 
Add tomatoes and chicken stock.
Simmer, covered, on very low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

About 1 hour before the gumbo is done, cook 2 cups long-grain brown rice in 4 cups water. After rice and water come to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and add 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 25 minutes or until tender.

In a small pot of water, boil the shelled, deveined shrimp for 15 minutes. Discard any water, add shrimp to gumbo pot and cook for 10 more minutes.

To serve, spoon rice into bowls, then ladle a cup of gumbo into each bowl and place a handful of fresh, chopped parsley and several tablespoons of file powder on top.

No comments:

Healthy Eating Program

Need to detox, uncover food allergies, feel nourished & satisfied?

I will tailor your Program to your dietary needs and health goals. Programs include shopping lists, prep/menu plans, recipes, mindfulness, & nutritional recommendations.

Click here to try a FREE sample of the Healthy Eating Program.

Real Time Web Analytics