Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo is one of my favorite feel good meals. Kinda like chicken noodle for most people it's my comfort meal. Still recovering from my wisdom teeth I decided to make it for dinner tonight. (Omitting the rice from my bowl because I didn't want to take a chance of it getting into the holes)

1 small white onion diced
1 large bell pepper diced
3 links of andouille sausage sliced
1 cup sliced okra (you can use frozen)
1 can of diced tomatoes drained
4 cups of chicken broth (I use 4 cups of water with 4 bullion cubes dissolved into it)
12oz of 70/90 shrimp frozen pre-cooked
1 bag of instant rice cooked
1/4 tsp of each: salt, paprika, chili powder, chopped bay leaves
1/2 tsp of each: black pepper, basil, and cumin
1/8 tsp Cheyenne pepper

You'll want to start by getting all your ingredients together and ready to go because a few of the beginning steps move quickly. This will help you move quickly and avoid burning anything.

Start by heating a large pot over medium heat. Then toss in your sliced andouille sausage and allow to cook for 3 minutes roughly until they start to brown up. Then stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

Now add your onions and peppers and spices and stir together. Allow this mixture to cook for 5 minutes. Then stir in your tomatoes and allow to simmer for another 4 minutes.

Now you want to turn down your heat to medium low and stir in your okra. Allow it too cook for another 5 minutes then stir in your chicken broth (or water with bullion cubes as I did). Allow this to simmer for 10 minutes.

By this time all the veggies have cooked and absorbed the flavors and your broth has a nice dark color to it. This is why I do it all in 1 pot (you can use a dutch oven and the results are better but alas...I don't own one. YET). Now you can stir in your rice and shrimp at the same time and turn down your heat to low.

Simmer all of this together for 5-8 minutes or until the shrimp are heated well. I use cooked shrimp so it's just a matter of heating the shrimp up. If you prefer to use fresh uncooked shrimp then here's how you'd do it starting after you add your broth.

Stir in your Shrimp ONLY. No rice. Turn your heat to low and allow the mixture to cook until your shrimp are pink. Then stir in your rice and simmer for 4-5 minutes on low heat so your rice can absorb the flavors.

And that's all there is to it. Now just scoop and serve. If you'd like you can make a stickier rice and instead of mixing it into the gumbo you can scoop it with an ice cream scoop and serve it on top of the gumbo. This makes for a pretty presentation if you're trying to wow guests. :)

(special note: this is for a milder version. I toned down the amount of Cheyenne to make the recipe milder for those with a less tolerant tounge. If you prefer spicier food you can use 1/4 tsp or even more but be careful and slowly increase the amount making sure to taste test after each addition.)

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