Finally, some gumbo weather

PB130864The weather in my neck of the woods is “officially” cool–the daily high hasn’t broken 78 degrees in a whole week!  Time to pull out a big (enameled) cast iron pot and make some gumbo.  After digging through the freezer, I uncovered some Wayne Jacobs’ andouille, cut-up okra, and a container of shrimp.  A trip out the back door yielded yellow & green bell peppers, green onions, bay leaves, and fresh thyme.  All I need now are onions, garlic, seasonings, and a nice, dark roux.  Oh, some oysters would be nice, too….

Andouille, shrimp, oyster & okra gumbo

  • 2 T bacon grease or other oil
  • 2 cups sliced okra (1/2 inch rounds)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (or peanut)
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 4-6 branches thyme, tied together with cotton string
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb andouille, skin removed, quartered lengthwise & sliced
  • 2 cups shrimp, deveined
  • pinch of cloves & pinch of allspice OR 1 capful Zatarain’s liquid crab boil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 pint oysters
  • 1 bunch green onion tops, thinly sliced

PB130845Heat bacon grease in a pan; add okra and pan-fry, stirring frequently, until all sliminess is gone (approximately 10-15 minutes).  Set aside.

In a 7-quart or larger heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until a pinch of flour dropped in sizzles.

PB130850Whisk in the flour, then switch to a flat-ended implement (like a spatula) and cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it is chocolate brown.  Add onions to the hot, browned roux, stirring to combine.

Cook the roux-coated onions until softened, then add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic.  Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables begin to soften.

PB130857Pour in two quarts of cold water, add andouille, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and cayenne, and bring to a boil.  Cook at a rolling boil for 25-30 minutes, then add shrimp, cloves & allspice (or crab boil).  Reduce heat; boil gently for 25 minutes, then add lemon juice, oysters, and green onions.  Cook an additional 15-20 minutes.  Serve over hot, cooked rice.

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