With another year gone and the holidays behind us (at least the major ones, not to say that Valentines day is not a major holiday, especially for anyone looking to score some heavy relationship points!) this is a great time of year to kick back, put your feet up, pull a warm blanket softly around your cheeks and enjoy some comfort food. Anyone agree? I thought you would. Now when you combine that with the approaching Mardi Gras season there is only one logical choice...Shrimp Gumbo!
Shrimp Gumbo is the first cousin of beef and gravy over mashed potatoes, or if you prefer the step brother/sister of meatloaf and gravy served with mashed potatoes, only Cajun style. If you prefer your comfort food with some spice, the choice is obvious. So the next time you go to the window to see what the weather is like and you peel back the curtain revealing a crust of frost on the edge silhouetting a backdrop of snow-covered landscape, turn to your spouse, significant other, favorite pet (no one is looking) and say…. Shrimp Gumbo!
Shrimp gumbo is a fairly economical dish as it is made in large quantities and can be enjoyed for many days. Shrimp is the only ingredient that may constitute an investment, so watch for a good sale (buy frozen and stock up). This recipe may seem a bit time consuming, however after the roux it is super easy and quick to assemble. Have fun with it as it is a great two person cook. We (my husband and I) have as much fun making it as we do eating it. Now onto the recipe:
2 lbs unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (preferably Lea & Perrins)
2- 32oz containers chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1-2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup all-purpose flour
2+ tsp hot sauce
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 green pepper, chopped
cooked rice (sushi rice works well as it stands up to the broth heavy mixture)
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup semi-dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
Peel shrimp. Save shells and set meat aside, making sure to refrigerate.
Combine shrimp shells and chicken broth in large dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Cook sausage in a dutch oven over medium heat until browned. Remove sausage, set aside. Measure drippings, adding enough olive oil to measure 1 cup. Cook oil and flour in dutch oven over medium-low heat about 35 to 40 minutes. The mixture should initially be a fairly thick paste, if not add a little flour, careful to not add to much. Whisking constantly, until roux is chocolate colored. This is the work part. It helps to tag-team the whisking, although you do not have to vigorously whisk, just keep it moving. If you have to leave it for a moment just momentarily remove from heat, although not recommended.
Now that you have your roux where you want it add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook until tender. Your onions should just turn translucent, keep it moving. Stir in the cup of wine. Give them a few minutes to become happy with each other, stirring occasionally. Strain the broth and discard the shells (make sure you get them all). Stir in broth. Add Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, thyme, bay leaves, and as much hot sauce as you can enjoy. bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir, cover and cook for an hour. This is the most important step, DO NOT LIFT THE LID! You know you want to. Don’t do it!
After an hour add the sausage, shrimp, and green onions. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 to 7 minutes until shrimp have turned pink. Remove bay leaves.
Serve by ladling into a single serving bowl and add a large clump of cooked rice in the middle (an ice cream scoop works well for this; make sure you spray it first with some non-stick cooking spray and you will get well defined balls of rice) then resume your comfort position and prepare for a great nap afterwords.
WARNING: Do not operate motor vehicle or heavy machinery after consumption. You get the picture!
This recipe pairs well with a good Pinot Noir or semi sweet white. When it comes to Pinot the northwest is always a good call. Erath Pinot Noir is an excellent choice, it is soft and approachable and can please red and white wine lovers alike. Santa Cristina, Casasole is a delicious white wine selection. If you enjoy your food a little on the spicy side it pairs well. It has aromas of white fruit like apples and bananas while being lightly sweet with crisp and savory notes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe: Shrimp Gumbo
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About the Blogger:
Angel Lemons is the Seafood Manager at Martin's on SR 23 & Ironwood. She began her career with Martin's in 2000, working part time while attaining an associates degree in fitness at Southwestern Michigan College. She began working full time in 2001 after graduating, and has managed a number of seafood departments throughout the company. Angel enjoys spending time with her family, cooking out on the grill and trying new recipes with her husband. She's been proud to call the SR23 & Ironwood store her home for eight years, and looks forward to seeing you at her seafood counter soon!