When suffering through the after-effects of a late night on the town nothing quite sets me straight like a bowl of gumbo. When served the traditional way (with white rice) it satisfies all my hangover needs; carbs, heat, salt and fat. Some may be tempted to skip the somewhat tedious step of making a dark roux; I advise against this. The time and energy spent lovingly stirring the flour/oil mixture is essential to gumbo, and in my mind is part of the magic that can turn a rough morning around.
Beginning this recipe using a good quality andouille sausage can add a lot of flavor, but when it's a gumbo emergency, I've been known to substitute other kinds of hot pork sausage. In this recipe the okra is used to thicken and add body to the final product, breaking down as the gumbo simmers and reduces. If you live in a part of the world where okra isn't plentiful in December take a look in the freezer section of your grocery store; cut okra can often be found next to the other pre-cut frozen vegetables. A bowl of gumbo, some white rice, a bottle of your favorite vinegar based hot sauce, a few sliced scallions and some hair of the dog and you'll have a bounce back in your step in no time.
- Yield:makes 4 servings
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 3/4 pound andouille sausage, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 2 cups chopped okra
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring often, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Remove sausage and reserve. Add shrimp and cook until just pink; remove and reserve. Add vegetable oil and flour to pot and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a deep dark brown color, about 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, jalapeno and green pepper and stir constantly until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Pour in tomato chicken stock and okra and bring to a simmer; cook until okra begins to disintegrate, about 25 minutes. Return sausage and shrimp to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over white rice topped with sliced scallions.