Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jan 30th - Seafood Gumbo

I think my version of this dish is somewhere between cajun and creole. So it's not classic but it's is very good simple to make. It does take time but it is not complex. I use the cajun trinity or mire pois but I don't use chicken or sausage. The ROUX or cooked oil/flour base is common as is the okra. The okra is what the dish is named for from the african word for Okra. The long cook time reduces what some people fear about the veg, that slight slimey-ness. I like it spicy and piping hot!

Seafood Gumbo

1/2 c vegetable oil1/2 c flour1 c diced celery (2 stalks)
1 c diced carrot (1 med/large carrot)
1 c diced bell pepper
1 c diced onion (1 small or half medium)
1 diced tomato fresh
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapenyos
2 c vegetable broth (1/2 - 1T seasalt if unsalted)
1 large tin tomatoes chopped
2 c okra chopped in 1 inch pieces

1 t dried sage
1 t dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 T dried parsley
1 T worchest. sauce
2-3 t tobasco sauce2 lb mixed seafood(we used a mixture of shrimp, cod, scallops, squid, mussels)

1-2 chopped scallions (green onion)

In a large dutch oven (large heavy pot), heat the oil on medium/high. Sprinkle in the flour as you whisk. Whisk until smooth. Whisk every couple of minutes until the ROUX turns a caramel colour (20 minutes). You may be tempted to chicken out early when it's just a light tan colour which is acceptable but the depth of flavour in cajun or southern cooking comes from the darkness of the roux. Be brave and watch it. If it burns and you see alot of black specks, start over.

Add the onions, carrots, pepper and celery. Stir and cook for a few minutes until tender. It will seem goopy but that's okay. Keep stirring. Add the okra. Cook for a few minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno. Don't scorch the garlic.

Add the tomatoes, tin tomatoes and broth. Add the spices, and the seasoning. Stir and combine well. Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Simmer covered for at least 2 hours. This will bring out the herbs and spices and deepen the flavour of the roux.

After 2 hours add the seafood. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve as is or on top of rice.


Preparation is alot of chopping. Cooking takes patience but I like involved evolving flavours like stews and marinades. Serve with your favourite hot sauce on the side if you need more kick. Don't use a smoky chipotle sauce tho. It changes the whole flavour profile.

We had a Palazzo Del Torre 2005, fantastic.

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