The 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
Heat 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.
Whisk 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.
Pour 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.