Ah, gumbo. The delicious, hearty stew that combines all the flavors of Louisiana into one pot. But let’s be real here, gumbo isn’t just a food, it’s a way of life.
First off, let’s talk about the ingredients. Gumbo is like a giant melting pot (pun intended) of different cultures and flavors. You’ve got your spicy Cajun sausage, your rich and savory shrimp, your Creole vegetables, and let’s not forget the holy trinity of gumbo: onions, bell peppers, and celery. And let’s not forget the star of the show: the roux. That dark, nutty sauce that ties everything together and gives gumbo its signature flavor.
But gumbo isn’t just about the ingredients, it’s about the process. Making gumbo is a labor of love, a true test of patience and dedication. It takes hours to cook and stir that roux to perfection, and let’s not even get started on the chopping and prepping of all those vegetables.
But the real beauty of gumbo is in the sharing. It’s the type of dish that brings people together, whether it’s a big family gathering or a casual dinner party with friends. And let’s not forget the side dishes. Gumbo is never complete without a heaping helping of white rice, a few slices of crusty French bread, and a cold beer to wash it all down.
So if you’re ever feeling down and need a little pick-me-up, just remember: there’s always gumbo. And if that doesn’t work, just add more hot sauce. That should do the trick.
History of Gumbo
Gumbo is a traditional stew that is deeply rooted in the cuisine of Louisiana, particularly in the southern region of the state known as Acadiana. It is a melting pot of flavors and ingredients that reflects the diverse cultural influences that have shaped the region, including French, Spanish, African, and Native American.
The origins of gumbo can be traced back to the 18th century, when Louisiana was a French colony. The word “gumbo” itself is believed to be derived from the Bantu word for okra, “ki ngombo,” which was a key ingredient in many early gumbo recipes. Okra is still a common ingredient in gumbo today, but it is not the only one.
Gumbo is typically made with a combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and a flavorful roux that is made by cooking flour and fat together until it becomes a dark, nutty sauce. Other common ingredients in gumbo include onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs and spices.
Gumbo is traditionally served over a bed of rice, and it is often accompanied by a variety of side dishes, such as French bread, potato salad, and coleslaw. It is a popular dish for celebrations and special occasions, and it is often served at large gatherings and family dinners.
Over the years, gumbo has become a beloved part of Louisiana’s culinary heritage, and it is enjoyed by people around the world. Whether you’re a native of Louisiana or a newcomer to the state, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of gumbo to warm you up and bring a little bit of the Bayou to your table.
Gumbo Mojo Hojo
For lack of a funnier name for gumbo I had just got back from NOLA and still craving the excellent Cajun flavors I grew up on. Keep reading
I don’t regularly use tomatoes in gumbo as a preference and in general, think it pulls the dish over to a Shrimp Creole. You can add or subtract what you like. I mean, sometimes I love oysters in mine, but they have to be small… A couple three things to get right with gumbo is your roux, okra prep (if using), and my Aunt says you can never have too many onions. I agree and will jabber down the page.
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 12 oz okra (frozen cut 1 bag.)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs olive oil ( to coat)
- 4 cups white onion (chopped, about 2 large onions)
- 2 cups bell pepper (chopped about 2)
- 1 ½ cups celery (chopped about 6 stalks)
- 1 pound andouille sausage. (sliced, Sometimes I’ll quarter it long ways then cut for smaller pieces.)
- 1 pound shrimp (peeled deviened large 21/25)
- 1 pound blue crab (or lobster chopped into 1/4 “ or bigger cubes)
- 79 ounces chicken broth (84 ounce)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt ( to taste)
- Your needs will vary. 1 rice = 2 water
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cup water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbs garlic cloves (fine chopped )
- 1/2 tbs salt
The Gumbo Build
- This will include the roux and okra cook because they go tandem.
- High heat a large pan for okra.
- Low heat and large pot for roux.
- In large hot pan drizzle in olive oil, dump okra, and dash some salt.
- Stir gentle with whatever you want for about 4-5 minutes.
- Okra is slimy, cooking it fast or on high heat will break the slime and keep from ruining your gumbo. You’ll notice the slime break when cooking but still kinda visible. No worries it will not be noticeable in gumbo. Long slime drips when you pick one or 2 up means it is not ready.
- Take off heat and set aside for end.
- In bowl mix roux supplies flour, olive oil, and salt.
- Spray some non stick in bottom of pot.
- Pour mixture in and start stirring with a whisk. If a whisk will screw up the bottom of your pot then use a wooden spoon.
- Keep stirring you don’t want to burn but gently lay into a nice brown toasted color.
- Roux's go from light to dark. I like medium which is about the color of coffee with not a lot of milk. Think of it as coffee, 50/50, shot of milk, or black. You’ll smell the roux coming together, it’s a toasty type smell. It will also begin to smoke so keep stirring or pull from heat. If you like darker go for it, the key is no burn. If going for a light roux and pull from heat too soon it will be floury. At least smell some toasty coming off the roux. Image is an attempt to show my roux.
- K forgot where I was… This recipe is a little speedy-ier but normally I’ll cook the crap out of the sausage 1st thing because I like the brown bits and use the sausage fats to make the roux. Never fear this is awesome and less clean up.
- So dump sausage in your roux and give’r a stir til it sweats.
- Dump in your Trinity: onions, bell peppers, and celery.
- Turn heat up to medium and add a dash of salt.
- We are going to cook the piss out of the veggies so start stirring.
- Cover 3min, stir, cover 3min, stir... repeat until translucent.
- Open the 6 cans of chicken broth and dump in pot.
- Turn heat up to high and before too hot taste test with spoon if the mixture needs more salt.
- Add salt to your taste.
- Once you get a boil going dump in shrimp, lobster and stir in.
- Turn heat down to simmer.
- Dump in okra and gently stir in.
- Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat a saucepan to medium low.
- Spray in nonstick.
- Dump in butter and melt.
- Dump in garlic, dash of salt, and stir till your garlic isn't raw.
- Dump in rice and mix. I like to get it a little toasty stirring a couple minutes here but that's up to you.
- Dump in water and cover.
- Cook on low simmer for about 12 minutes until water dissipates (taste test).
- Turn off heat and uncover.
- Plate or bowl it up with a dash of Cajun seasoning.
- Make a little better with some green onion, parsley, and I always add some of our hot sauce which was Smoked.
You can add garlic if you want. I wasn’t driving to the store for more, all I had was 2 cloves.
© Texas Butter®
Gumbo Mojo Hojo
Amount Per Serving (355 g)
Calories 2201 Calories from Fat 1026
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 34g213%
Vitamin A 6635IU133%
Vitamin C 360.2mg437%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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If you don’t have any Texas Butter I guess we’ll overlook it if you use what’s in your pantry. Be sure to ask how something turned out or you have questions. Expect grammar errors, these are not checked much other than what my browser flags. Well, in general I can’t spell worth a crap. Thanks – Shawn