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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gone a little Cajun

With boredom setting into our kitchen, we have started trying new recipes. So far so good. I spent the better part of yesterday making Authentic Cajun Gumbo. I started from scratch no cans here.

Made the roux, and didn't even burn it!!! Which having to deal with a 2 year old and make gumbo is harder than you think. But I did it. The smell that was simmering in our kitchen was mouth watering through the whole afternoon.I added some chicken to it and just used less sausage. Which I probably didn't even need to add anyways. It was so good. I also decided that it was so thick and delicious, to leave out the rice. I know you Creole and Cajun cooks might gawk at the fact I didn't make rice with it, but for us weight watchers people. Rice = extra points... and this didn't need it.

Authentic Cajun Gumbo Recipe (WW-2 pts a cup)

Feb 9, 2010 Alissa Williams

Cajun Gumbo Recipe


  • Roux (See Recipe Below)
  • 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2-3 lbs Crayfish tails, peeled
  • 2-3 lbs Andouille sausage, browned
  • 2 lbs lump crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilages
  • 2 tbs. Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning Blend
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 green Bell Peppers, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 cup tomato puree (optional)
  • 4 quarts stock (Shrimp, Chicken, Crab etc...) See below for Shrimp Stock Recipe
  • 2 Tbs fresh chopped Thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup green onion tops
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbs chopped, fresh basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs file powder (if you are not using okra)
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/4 Tsp cayenne


  1. Heat the roux in a medium sized heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Stir mixture until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, if you wish. Slowly pour in stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the browned sausage, bay leaves, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring gumbo to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until gumbo is slightly reduced. about 1 hour. Gumbo should cook long enough for any roux flavor to mellow, cooking on low heat for 1-3 hours will allow spices to combine and will give the gumbo a rich, aromatic flavor.
  3. In a small bowl ,season the shrimp, crab meat and crayfish tails with Tony Chachere's seasoning. Add the green onion tops, thyme leaves, parsley and basil leaves. Add to stockpot, cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. File does not reheat well, if you plan to reheat the gumbo, it is important not to add file to the stockpot. Instead, pass file at the table for guests to thicken to their liking. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serve in soup bowls over steamed rice.

How to Make Shrimp Stock

Make your stock the night before you plan on serving the gumbo. This will give the flavors time to set and will cut your cooking time in half for the following day. Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts of shrimp shells (what you would get for shelling 2 lbs shrimp)
  • 8 quarts cold water
  • 2 Tbs. oil

Sachet d'epices (listed below):

  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp, black peppercorns
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped, stems and all

The above ingredients are folded into a 4" square of cheesecloth and tied into a sack

Rinse the shells under cold water, sweat the shells briefly in the oil. Add shells to cold water in a large stockpot. Add parsley and sachet and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock thoroughly in a strainer layered with cheesecloth. Cool the stock completely in an ice water bath and store in refrigerator for use the following day.

How to Make Roux for Gumbo

Roux is going to be the base of your soup. Determining what type of roux to make will depend on which ingredients you will be adding to the soup. Don't be intimidated by the amount of time it takes to make the Roux, this is the single most important step in making Gumbo and it cannot be skipped. The end result will be well worth the amount of effort it takes to get this soup started.

Place a heavy,Dutch oven, (or iron skillet with deep sides) over medium heat and heat the oil until just smoking. Whisk in flour, a little at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until roux becomes smooth and thick. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon and reaching all over bottom of pan, until roux darkens to desired color. Be careful not to produce specs of black. The roux must remain an even color throughout process. If specs appear you must start over.

  • For a Light Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the color of peanut butter. Remove about 1 cup of the light colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for seafood gumbo.
  • For a Medium Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the color of a copper penny when ready. Remove about 1 3/4 cups of the medium colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for a delicious start to File or Okra gumbo.
  • For a Dark Brown Roux, cook the mixture an additional 35 to 45 minutes. The color should resemble dark chocolate when ready. Remove all of the remaining dark roux from the pan and cool completely. Set aside for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

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