Saturday, September 5, 2009


More from New Orleans. I love that city and its food. This time we will cook one of its masterpieces, despite its humble origins. Gumbo is a delicious soup that can be cooked in many ways and with a great variety of ingredients. You can have seafood gumbo, chicken gumbo or endless combinations of what you have at hand. I will cook a chicken and shrimp gumbo.


½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup flour
Some salt to taste
2 tablespoons frozen corn
½ cup sliced okra
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove of chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green pepper
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
Some file powder
Some hot water, beer or broth
1 small cubed tomato
1 chicken breast
20 small shrimp, peeled
1 green onion
2 cups cooked rice

First we will have to make a sort of roux. We will put the oil in a pan and will heat it. When it is hot, we will add flour little by little, stirring continuously. This is important so that it does not get burned. You have to get a brown colour in your roux.
When the roux is ready, after ten minutes or so, we will add the onions, the celery and the green pepper. We will sauté them for a while. Then we will add the corn, the okra and the garlic. Just a bit later, we will add the chicken, cut in little pieces. We will let the chicken be cooked for a while and then we will add our liquid. You can add a bottle of your favourite beer. Make sure it is not cold. And you have to add some hot water or broth. The quantities depend on your taste. Some people like their gumbo thick, some like it more watery. You decide. But do not add too much liquid at the beginning. If you need it, you can always add it later.
A delicious option is to add an Andouille sausage cut in slices. It is really delicious. If you want to add it, this is the moment.
Now we can add the tomato and the spices. Add salt to taste.
Finally, we will add the shrimp and let it cook for a while, not too long. Add the chopped green onion and our Gumbo will be ready.
You can, you should, serve your Gumbo with some cooked rice. You can add the rice you want to your Gumbo.
If you want your Gumbo thicker, you can add some file powder to your bowl. And, of course, make your Gumbo with your favourite ingredients. You can add crabs, crawfish, the fish you want… You can season it with your favourite Louisiana sauce. I like it with a garlic Louisiana sauce. The possibilities are immense. Yummy!

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