Soul in the Bowl Gumbo

Soul in the Bowl Gumbo

3 Tbsp. oil
3 Tbsp. flour
3 jumbo shrimp (8 – 12 per lb.) per person
6 oz. andouille sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 c. frozen sliced okra
1 c. chopped onion
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/3 c. red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne or to taste
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 bottle clam juice
1/2 c. white wine
1 c. shrimp stock (shrimp shells cooked in water can be used)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire or to taste
1 tsp. Tabasco or to taste

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the flour, whisk to make the roux. Cook, stirring constantly until the flour turns a dark brown, then set aside.

In another saucepan, sauté the andouille sausage, onions, celery and red pepper in the butter for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, and all the spices. Stir to combine, then add white wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the clam juice and stock, the Worcestershire sauce and the tabasco. Bring to a boil and add the roux. Let simmer for 10 minutes. If  the mixture becomes too thick then add a little more stock or water. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the okra and cook until tender. Add the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 3 or 4 minutes if using jumbo less for smaller shrimp. Do not overcook the shrimp.

If you have some jazz  or blues music, play it while you cook and serve this gumbo over a bowl of rice (this adds to the soul). Place a bottle of Tabasco on the table to pass around, seasoning to your heat tolerance. Close your eyes, take a whiff of the steam rising from the gumbo and you will be in New Orleans. Enjoy your bowl of Louisiana soul food.

Tonight, I’m serving my gumbo; bowled up over white rice, a small greens salad and fresh fruit compote.

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