Monday, November 10, 2008

Gumbo- Free Style

A couple of weekends ago I was rumaging through my freezer. I found a ham bone left from some holiday. My goal was to develope a meal around this ham bone. I took it out of the freezer to thaw and went off to do my weekend chores.

First I had a hair salon appointment. En route it hit me...make a gumbo. While waiting for my always behind stylist, I wrote out a listing of things I needed to make this gumbo. This included shrimp, andouille sausage, crab, chicken, celery, onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, salt, pepper, creole seasoning, flour, vegetable oil, shrimp stock, chikcen stock, green onion, okra, file powder, rice and whatever else was in my refrigerator.

I purchased a package of Trader Joes seafood blend with shrimp, scallops and calamari plus a package of frozen shrimp, and turkey andouille sausage. I had some chicken wings which I cut into wings, drummettes and tips.

I started out with my ham bone to develop a stock- simply simmer in some water.

I then took my time to develope a rich dark roux made from 1/2 part each of vegetable oil and flour, slowly browned to a dark mahognany color. Lots of care not to burn the roux.

Trinity- Onion, bell pepper and celery. No specific amounts. I diced one whole medium sized onion, 1 green bell pepper and 3 stalks of celery.

Add trinity to the rich mahogandy roux and cook to vegetables are slightly limp. I then added the simmering ham broth.

Red Pepper and Bay Leaf- I think next time I'll cut back on the red pepper. The creole seasoning I used also had cayenne in it which resulted in a spicy gumbo. G and I loved it, but the faint at heart for heat would have a problem.

Chicken Wings- cut into drummette, wing and tip. I did add the tips to gumbo to better flavor the broth.

Sliced Andouille Sausage, tomato sauce and diced tomato was added and the gumbo simmered for about an hour.

I browned the okra in a separate skillet with a little oil, salt and pepper. This to minimize the slim from the okra. Some like the slimmy effect to thicken the gumbo but I don't. I do like okra though.

The okra, and seafood were added last. This simmered for about another 20 minutes.

Something I learned from my son was to concentrate the gumbo broth. I took about 4 cups of the broth (actually already gravy like) and reduced it to 2 cups. This was added back to the gumbo. I adjusted the seasoning with a little salt and pepper.

Serve over rice with a sprinkling of file powder and cut green onions.


Moon said...

I think I can smell that gumbo. Yum.

I've never liked okra because of the slim, maybe I'd try this.

Sophie said...

Very impressive gumbo, it looks like it was made with a lot of love and flavor!

ctoshio said...

the gumbo looks great how do prep the okra to not be slimy i love it too. my old sitter that took care of me and my sister got me into the southern food. i have fond memories of her cooking.i hated when she made grits. but when she serviced it the next day pan fried in butter nice and crisp on both sides i loved it and course with a little pan gravy is great too

ctoshio said...

can you tell us all how you get your okra looking that way without the slim. and how about the pan fried grits i told you about at work i forgot how she made it

Vince said...

Dear Sylvie, your cooking looks terrific, especially that gumbo. I make a mean gumbo too, I don't mind saying. I just made some for Christmas, and my wife suggested in enter it into a contest. Are you aware of any Los Angeles gumbo competition I could enter?

Sylvie said...

Sorry vice. I haven't heard of any gumbo competitions. Chile and BBQ are all that I am aware have sanctioned competitions.