Ask Chef Phyllis:
I love New Orleans, but I’ve only gone to Mardi Gras once. I like Creole food too. Most of the restaurants have a specialty, so it’s hard to decide what to order. My husband and I tried the Muffaletta sandwich at one place as well as the gumbo from the famous Cochon Restaurant—chicken and sausage for me, shrimp and okra for him. But the gumbo we liked best had shrimp and sausage in a red sauce. My family and I don’t like fish or okra, but this gumbo had the okra. (I’d like a gumbo recipe that’s easy and doable for a weeknight meal. Any suggestions for an easy one-pot recipe?
—Marcella Hopkins from South Padre Island, TX
New Orleans is famous for gumbo, a dish that isn’t just for Mardi Gras anymore. This Creole- inspired gumbo features shrimp and sausage in a delicate red sauce, and it’s made in one big Dutch oven. Like all Cajun or Creole food, the mirepoix is composed of celery, onion, and some spicy peppers. From beginning to end, this recipe takes less than 45 minutes to prep and cook. Even better, the clean-up is pretty much just the one pot. I hope this dish will bring back memories of your visit to the Big Easy.
One-Pot Creole Gumbo with Sausage and Shrimp
- ½ cup peanut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup arrowroot (recommended) or unbleached white whole-wheat flour
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons each cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin
- 1½ cups fresh okra, sliced, or frozen okra
- 1 lb. smoked or fresh Andouille pork sausage, sliced diagonally
- 1 (16 oz.) can organic tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails removed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 scallions, sliced, for garnish
- Louisiana style hot sauce such as Tabasco, Crystal, or Trappey’s (optional)
- Lemons wedges (optional)
- Large pot of steamed brown or white rice
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add arrowroot or flour. Stir well to make a roux. Add onions, garlic, celery, and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaves, remaining spices, and fresh or frozen okra. Stir well.
- Add the sausage to the pot and brown for 5 minutes. Next add the tomato paste and cook until it becomes aromatic. Slowly pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes or so.
- Finally, add shrimp to pot. Cook 8–10 minutes or until they just turn pink, being careful not to overcook. Remove bay leaves. Add butter and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve immediately: Spoon a generous ½ cup rice each into large soup plates. Ladle Gumbo on top and garnish with sliced scallions. Pass around extra hot sauce and lemon wedges, with Brioche rolls or crusty French bread on the side.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
- chemical- and hormone-free meat
- wild-caught fish
- pasture-raised, organic eggs
- whole, unrefined grains
- virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
- whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
- pure, clean, spring water
- sea salt
- raw and/or cultured milk and cream products
Creative Commons photo by jeffreyw