April 29, 2008

Gumbo, Day Two- GUMBO by Guest Blogger Mimi Nunu!

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to try my hand at a homemade pot of gumbo largely due to not-so-subtle hints my brother had dropped. The first thing that needed to be done was to make a roux. This is described in previous my previous post.

Next I chopped up about what is often referred to as “the Trinity” of New Orleans cooking – celery, green pepper and onion. I used about 2 cups of onion, 1 cup of celery and half cup of green pepper. Most recipes called for more green pepper, but I am not so found of green pepper so I reduced the amount.

I fried the trinity in the roux for a few minutes and then I added 8 cups of chicken broth to the trinity/roux combination.

I decided to add 3 proteins to my gumbo– shrimp, andouille sausage and Cornish game hen. Many recipes said to use either seafood only or sausage and chicken. You can really put whatever you want in it, it’s your gumbo.

I read that game hen would flavor the gumbo better and I had one in the freezer, so I roasted it, shredded it, and added the hen and the drippings to the pot.

I also fried a 12 ounce pack of Aidell’s andouille sausage in olive oil for about 5 minutes, just enough time to carmelize it a bit, and added that to the pot as well.

I then steamed a pound of medium size shrimp in a pot with a handful of chopped celery and Zatarain’s concentrated shrimp and crab boil. You only need to add a drop of this stuff! To say it is spicy is an understatement. Once the shrimp was cool, I removed the shells, chopped into bite-size pieces, and added the shrimp stock and the shrimp to the pot.

Now that all of the proteins were added to the roux/trinity/chicken broth combination, it was time to add some spices. I did not measure any of these I just eyeballed each – fresh parsley, paprike, thyme, oregano, basil, worchestshire, and garlic.

I let the pot of gumbo come to a boil, then lowered heat to a simmer and cooked for about 2 hours.

Finally it was time to eat!

I prepared some ordinary white rice, ladled the gumbo over top of the rice, and added a few splashes of hot sauce to my own individual bowl (my brother, mom and dad also added hot sauce) and we all dove in.

The whole thing was a fairly long process but well worth it. Everyone said it was great and I got my brother’s stamp of approval. He said I can make him gumbo anytime but I think this might be a once a year meal!


JB said...

That look delish - how many hours did it take all together? It looks very long and involved. I want some!!

nunu said...

It did take long! The roux and game hen took about and hour and a half on day 1. On day 2, the prep, chopping veggies, and frying sausage and cooking shrimp took about an hour. Then I cooked it for 2 hours. So actual time I spent doing things would be about 2 1/2 hours, with an additional 2 hours cooking up in the pot. Almost a 5 hour meal!