High point of my trip to New Orleans: Laughing my butt off at the intoxicated guy getting his face washed by a 3 legged bulldog. OK, it’s a tie between the drunk-licking tripod pup and the beignettes at Cafe Du Monde!
Only regret: Didn’t get to visit the Emeril’s Delmonico (which was walking distance from our hotel, WHAT???) or the Commander’s Palace which was once home to both Lagassi and Prudhomme (again, Lagassi AND Prudhomme? WHAAAAAAAT???)
I definitely need to visit The Big Easy again, but since I can’t any time soon, I’m just trying to get all of the Louisiana out of my system with some Cajun cooking. So here you go, my recipe for Zydeco Gumbo! (Adapted from Boudreax’s Zydeco Stomp Gumbo at Allrecipes.com, which you can visit by clicking on the picture below.)
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
- 2 small or 1 large cooked Andouille sausage links, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 6 oz can or bottle beer
- 2-3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, with liquid
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
FIRST STEP: MAKING THE ROUX
This is all the trouble the gumbo will give you. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan with the oil. Then turn the heat on low and add flour slowly. Whisk constantly while adding flour and continue stirring thereafter until the roux turns a deep mustard color. (Traditionally gumbo is made with a dark chocolatey-colored roux but I was a chicken and didn’t want mine to burn so I made mine blonde, which is also perfectly legitimate :).)
This takes time and patience- about 40 minutes worth. The roux (gumbo base, similar to a gravy) can be stored refrigerated indefinitely if sealed in an airtight container. If you want to try making a darker roux, by all means be my guest, but if your roux develops black specks you have burned it and will have to start over. Last night at 11 I didn’t really want to take that chance. Maybe next time :).
AFTER MAKING THE ROUX:
Heat chicken stock and beer to boiling. Add roux and stir to combine. Transfer liquid to a crockpot and add in all other ingredients except for shrimp. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Add shrimp just about 10 minutes before turning off crockpot, it will cook very quickly. Serve over fluffy white rice. ENJOY!