This post is brought to you by Glutino Gluten Free.
I have written about making Gumbo several times here at Fabgrandma.com. The thing is, every cook has their own “recipe” for Gumbo, and even from one time to the next, that recipe changes. That’s because you make Gumbo with what you have on hand. Gumbo, which originated in Southern Louisiana in the 18th century, can be classified as an African dish if it is thickened with okra; as a Choctaw Indian dish if it is thickened with filé powder; or as a French dish if it is thickened with roux. I like to make mine using a roux, which is made of flour browned in fat. For my latest version of Gumbo, I used Glutino All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and olive oil to make my roux. But, because I am a southern girl who loves okra any way that it is cooked, I also added some to my stew.
Making a roux doesn’t have to be scary. You just need a heavy skillet, like the iron skillet I used and pictured above. Set the skillet on the stove, add the oil, whichever kind you use, and heat it up. When it is good and hot, add the flour all at once, just as if you were going to make a gravy. Stir the flour and oil mixture continuously until the flour is cooked to a golden brown. You can have it as dark as you like it to be, just don’t burn it. If it burns, you have to start over. Making a a good roux can take about a half hour or so. Don’t rush it, take your time. You can even make more than you need for your recipe, and keep it in the fridge until your next cooking project that uses roux. If you are ready to give it a try, here is my most recent recipe:
Fabgrandma’s Gluten Free Shrimp Sausage and Ham Gumbo Recipe
For the roux:
1/3 cup olive oil
For the Stew:
3 T olive oil
1 (12 oz) pkg frozen chopped onion, celery, & green bell pepper mix
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) pkg frozen cut okra
1 T Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 bay leaves
1 (16oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cubes Shrimp bouillon
1 lb andouille sausage
1 center cut sugar cured ham slice
1 lb raw shrimp
3 qts water
After you have cooked your roux, set it aside while you cook the garlic, chopped onion, celery, & green bell pepper mix in olive oil. Cook for about 6 minutes on medium heat, or until onions are translucent. Add the okra, Worchestershire sauce, thyme, cayenne pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, black pepper, salt and bay leaves to the pot with the vegetables. Drain the juice off of the diced tomatoes into the pot, squeezing it out of the “meat” of the tomatoes.
Add the tomatoes to the pan with the roux, and stir until mixed well. This will be very thick. Put the 2 shrimp bouillon cubes into a 2 cup measuring cup, add two cups of water, and heat for 2.5 minutes in the microwave. Stir to mix the bouillon cubes into the water, then add part of the water into the roux-tomato mix. Stir to mix well, adding more water until the 2.5 cups is all added in and the roux is like a gravy. Pour the gravy into the pot with the vegetables, stirring well to mix. Add the rest of the water to the pot.
Now, take the casings off the andouille sausage, and cut the sausage into bite sized pieces. Rinse off the ham slice, and cut into bite sized pieces. if there is a center bone, add the bone into the pot with the vegetables. Mix the sausage and ham together. Add about 1.5 cups of the meat mixture to the heavy skillet, and cook over medium heat until slightly browned. Add this 1.5 cups to the pot with the vegetables. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cook for about 2.5 hours.
Meanwhile, continue to cook the rest of the meat mixture until slightly browned, and set aside for later. Peel and devein the raw shrimp. Rinse, and set aside. At the end of 2.5 hours, add the rest of the meat and the shrimp to the pot of gumbo.
Cook, covered, for about twenty more minutes. Serve over rice, or with crusty bread or corn bread. Generously serves six to eight people. This is a good recipe to serve for several nights in a row; or for a dinner party.
What meat or seafood ingredients would you add to make this gumbo your own?
p.s. You can find the shrimp bouillon cubes in most Mexican stores. If there is not a Mexican store in your town, you can find it on Amazon.com.