Ever since our first visit to New Orleans for our honeymoon in 2010, The Hubby has been asking me to recreate in our kitchen the delicious gumbo that we ate there. He even
begrudingly approved the purchase of a cookbook with a gumbo recipe in it from our favourite restaurant there (NOLA), even though I have 90 million cookbooks already (side note: and want more, more, MORE!) Then we went back to New Orleans in 2012, and again in 2014, and coming up again this year, and still I hadn't made the gumbo.
But then! My mom and I decided to make the gumbo together one night, and I surprised The Hubby with a hot bubbling pot of this Creole concoction the next day. He was stoked (well, as stoked as one can get over soup). I was redeemed.
So, I'm either a really good wife, or a really bad wife. Or both (but probably the second one). In any event, I'm glad that I put my cookbook (Emeril's Potluck) to good use and finally got around to making this gumbo. It was delicious, and one of those things that is better the second time that you eat it, and since this is a big recipe, the third and fourth and maybe even sixth time that you eat it too.
The stores didn't have any fresh okra when I was making this dish, so I purchased it from Safeway's frozen vegetable section and it worked just fine. Having never worked with okra before I was very surprised at the resulting 'goo' or slime that appears when you start cooking it. The slime just keeps coming and coming, and I just kept commenting and commenting on how, just, WEIRD it was, and my mom just kept tolerating and tolerating my incessant noticing of and commenting on the slime. But then the slime cooks itself away and eventually it becomes the thickening (and flavouring!) agent in this gumbo. You can't skip the okra...plus it's a fun science experiment to watch along the way.
We are heading to New Orleans again this year, and I can't wait! This time my parents are joining us too. But dare I say...I actually enjoyed this homemade gumbo more than the authentic stuff that we ate in the (ok, yes, very touristy, but still more authentic than say, Canada, for instance) French Quarter.
And if you're in the mood for Cajun / Creole food, here is an awesome Jambalaya Recipe that appeared on this blog back in 2012.
For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!
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Prawn & Andouille Sausage Gumbo
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch round slices
- 2 pounds okra (frozen or fresh), stems trimmed off, and then cut into 1/4 inch round slices
- 2 cups canned tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 pounds prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- Cooked white rice, for serving
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for five minutes, or until fat is rendered. Add the okra and cook, stirring continuously, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until most of the slime disappears. Add the tomatoes, onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic, then cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until the okra and the vegetables are soft and the slime from the okra has completely disappeared. Add the salt, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken broth. Stir well, and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, put your prawns into a medium sized bowl, then sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, and a dash of salt. Toss to make sure that the seasoning is distributed over all of the prawns, then set aside.
Once your pot is boiling, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the prawns and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
To serve put the heated cooked rice into a bowl, then top with the soup. Garnish with parsley and green onions.
Recipe Source: Emeril's Potluck - Shrimp, Okra, and Tomato Gumbo