Friday, December 01, 2006

Louisiana Gumbo

My week has been full of studying. This means that my cooking has consisted of warming up leftover gumbo, making oatmeal, microwave spinach and grilled catfish, and spinach omlette. Nothing exciting. However, making the gumbo WAS exciting. This is SUCH a good recipe. It comes straight from a Louisiana kitchen but is low fat. Don't worry, taste doesn't suffer ANY. I've had a native Louisianan tell me that it is great and my family raved over Thanksgiving.

It takes lots of chopping but really doesn't take that much time. You can even prep the night before and cook the next day. The recipe says that okra is optional; I don't understand this because, to me, gumbo isn't gumbo without okra! Also, this was the first time we've used liquid crab boil. If you don't have this and already have dry crab boil, you can use it. I think I used 2 Tablespoons of dry but just put some in and taste. I think the liquid form was spicier. This can be served with rice. We usually put the gumbo is a bowl and put a scoop of rice on top. That way you can get as much rice in your bite as you want. I think that cornbread is required for this, as well. The recipe for the corn muffin in the picture is up's from Baking from My Home to Yours!
We made this gumbo at the beginning of November but stopped after adding the chicken and sausage. Then we cooled it and put it in large ziplock bags and froze it. When we pulled it out to serve, we thawed it, added the shrimp, okra, and green onions and cooked for the remaining 20 minutes. This is great served right away or after freezing. SO, even thought it makes a LOT, it does freeze VERY WELL! FYI, we use one of those REALLY BIG (I don't know what size but it's probably 1.5 feet tall!) stock pots to make this. That's how much it makes. Now for the gumbo...
I've entered this in the Soup Challenge over at Running with Tweezers. Check out all the other recipes after December 8th.

Louisiana low fat Gumbo
1 1/2 cups flour
4 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped bell pepper (about 1 is a cup if not too big)
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green onions (really kind of optional)
3 T minced garlic (we used pre-minced and it was great but I usually use fresh)
2 cans rotel tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 gallon well seasoned chicken stock (Cook your chicken in 1 gallon of water and you have FRESH chicken stock; don't go buy it unless you just want to)
~6 chicken breasts
2 lb sausage, chopped (we use turkey kielbasa)
2 lb raw shrimp (we use frozen)
8 bay leaves
1 teapoon thyme
1 T. liquid crab boil
Tony's Chachere's
1 T parsley flakes
1 cup (that's all???) okra (I use a whole bag of frozen, I think about 12 oz)

Place flour in baking pan and put in 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon until pecan brown color is obtained ( probably could have gone further here). Season chicken well with Tony's and boil in gallon of water until done. Chop. Boil sausage (if uncooked) in water until done, drain.
Saute veggies except green onions in 1 cup chicken stock. Add roux (cooked flour) to beggies followed by hot stock. Add tomates, tomato sauce, W. sauce, bay leaves, and thyme. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add chicken, sausage, and crab boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Add shrimp, green onion, parsley, okra, and Tony's to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot with rice an cornbread and a green salad!


Anonymous said...

It looks good Claire! I love gumbo....good to know that you can freeze it because it would be too much for us. Might be good for when I had a lot of family in though. Thanks for sharing it!

Lauren said...

Looks very great, I love that its low fat too.

Anonymous said...

I have never had gumbo...I will have to give it a try.

Erika W. said...

Oh yum! I love gumbo too, but I've never been adventurous enough to make it. That's very interesting about toasting the flour in the oven...

Unknown said...

Gail - OH, boy is it good!!! You should make some, especially with family around. I would also think that you could probably reduce the size without much problem.

Lauren - The roux in traditional gumbo is SO fattening. The baking of the flour in this one cuts back on that but the flavor is still AWESOME!!!

Peabody - You've got to try some even if it's from a restaurant or something. The canned gumbos don't work. Maybe throw a gumbo party sometime! ;-)

Erika - It's really just a lot of chopping and throwing stuff in the pot and letting it flavor itself! I love how you toast teh flour...takes the fat out of the roux.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your gumbo recipe. It looks fantastic! I'm with Lauren and it's good to see a low fat gumbo recipe that tastes good.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Hi Claire - I am just back from Louisiana and was looking for a Gumbo recipe. I will give yours a try! If you like things about Louisiana, you might be interested in the story I just posted on Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

Unknown said...

Alisha - No problem...we've made this on New Years' Eve the past two years and if I have a party here, I may do it again!

TW - Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Hope you like the gumbo! The begniets at Cafe du Monde are definitely MUST EATS when in NO!

Anonymous said...

OHa a little gumbo! I posted about gumbo in November. Have you ever tried making your gumbo with left over turkey? Beauxtiful!

Unknown said...

Sandi - Thanks for stopping by! I have never tried it with gumbo, but if I ever do a turkey on my own (it's just me!) I'll definitely have to try that!

Anonymous said...

1. Not all gumbos have okra. In fact, meat gumbos are not supposed to have okra.
2. A true Louisiana gumbo actually uses a wet roux that you make in a cast iron pot with equal parts oil and flour.
3. I'm a Cajun guy doing graduate research on gumbo and I if my comments seem negative it is because I am tired of coming across websites such as this that claim their recipe is a "Louisiana Gumbo".

Unknown said...

Anon - I hope you come back to read my response.
1. I realize that the definition of gumbo is not "a stew that contains okra." However, I enjoy okra in gumbo so much so that if it is missing, it isn't as good to me.

2. I realize that gumbos typically use a wet roux...*however* if you will go back to the post, you will see that this is a low fat gumbo...thus, no wet roux!

3. I'm sorry if you took offense to me calling this a Louisiana gumbo. That was really a reference to the fact that it came from a Louisiana family...a long time Louisiana family. I am by no means an expert of gumbo, and am glad that there are people who are, but the title was not meant to be technical.

I hope that you enjoy your studies. I would love to see recipes you have for different types of gumbo...maybe I could try some of them out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire -

I just googled "low fat gumbo" and found this recipe/post. I'm going to try it tonight.

I realize my comment is WAY late, but better late than never, eh?

And to your anonymous commenter, the word "gumbo" is the French interpretation of the West African word for "okra," so gumbo, just by its definition, should have okra in it.