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    Shrimp Gumbo

    I went through a Cajun faze while I was in Bozeman and developed a taste for their spicy, rich food. This food may not be very good for me, especially some of Prodhume's butter saturated recipes, but I get a jones for it sometimes that nothing else will fill. In this version I at least opt out on the butter.

    Okay.... I know that some people argue about whether authentic gumbo should have okra or filé powder for thickening. Well, you'll just have to understand that I don't use either. I use a roux instead. So there.

    Serves 1 person, or two people who don't want to feel stuffed, or four people who don't like Cajun food. Also - This is just a recipe. It won't make you a good cook. But this recipe is easy, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Non-liquid:
    • 1/3 cup diced celery
    • 1/3 cup diced onion
    • 1/3 cup diced bell pepper
    • 1/2 pound peeled shrimp
    • 1 1/2 cup diced pork sausage
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • chopped scallions for garnish
      Liquid:
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup clam juice
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    Spices:
    • 1/2 tsp each salt, white pepper, leaf thyme, oregano, and cayenne
    • one whole bay leaf

    1. Start by getting all of the ingredients laid out and ready to go. I try to cut large chunks of sausage and dice the veggies very small. I have more garlic in the picture than I call for in the ingredients, but I just like garlic that much. The extra green stuff in the picture is fresh thyme, but dried is actually better. I just didn't happen to have any.

    2. The first thing to cook is the roux which will thicken the gumbo. If you haven't made a dark roux before I'll warn you that this can be very frightening, but it's really not that hard. Some pointers: 1)The smoke alarm will usually go off if you don't use enough ventilation. 2)If the roux actually burns it will taste icky, so start over. 3)Use a whisk, take the pan off the heat frequently, and stir constantly. Don't let it ever sit. 4)Don't let this stuff get on you. If it splashes on you, you'll be very unhappy. Don't have it splash.


    3. Heat 3 Tsp vegetable oil (not olive oil) over medium high heat and have a half cup of flour at hand (you won't use all the flour). When the oil is hot add about two tablespoons of flour and mix it in quickly. When it's incorporated add a third tablespoon and mix that in. The idea is to quickly brown the flour without burning it. You want the roux rather thick so add small amounts of flour to thicken during the mixing process if it thins out a lot. Continue cooking until it's very dark, maybe a little darker than the picture above. When you think it's dark enough, take off the heat, toss in the veggies and mix to slow the cooking process. Add all the spices and mix a bit more. Set aside.

    4. In a sauce pan, heat all of the liquid ingredients to a slow boil and then spoon in the roux/veggie mix, stirring to completely dissolve between each addition. Press in the garlic. Add the sausage and simmer the whole thing for about ten minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    5. Add the shrimp and stir a few times as they cook in three or four minutes. Spoon over rice and garnish with green onions.

    Any comments? Let me know and I'll include them below.



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