Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recipe: Gumbo

Yes, New England girls make a decent gumbo. We had out-of-state company. Happily, Michael and Paul have become fast friends. Paul's a great guy...we often prep and cook together. Each summer, I spend two wonderful weeks on his boat and beach. I decided to make my gumbo. Since I don't have the recipe down to a science, Adele (Michael's parents cook/housekeeper) was taking notes. I'm going to be her in a few years...we are so alike. With my darling Washington guests, I invited three mutual friends. I usually make two monster pots. The recipe below is for one 10 quart pot.

Shrimp & Ham Gumbo

2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4-5 ribs celery, chopped
1 stick butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups boiling water
12 cups water
cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups cooked ham, chopped
3 (14 1/2 oz.) cans cut okra OR cut okra with tomato, drained
2 to 3 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled & deveined

I prefer to cook the fresh vegetables, prior to making my roux. Add a couple inches of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the peppers and celery, cover and cook until barely tender, but still firm. Drain into a colander...the heat transfer will finish the cooking process. To make a roux, heat the butter and oil in the pot. Quickly, add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and the flour. Whisk constantly, cooking over medium heat, until your roux is a rich medium brown color...8 to 10 minutes. Whisk constantly to avoid burning it. Now whisk in the boiling water...small amounts at a time. Add paprika, garlic powder and chili powder. Add 12 cups water, ham, vegetables and okra. Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes. Add rice, then salt and pepper, to taste. Lightly sprinkle on cayenne pepper...adjusting to taste. Add more, if desired. We like our gumbo spicy. Add shrimp and cook 12 to 15 minutes, until pink and cooked through.

Notes: I purchase a lean, canned ham...using the remainder for (frozen) sliced ham 'steaks' for the grill and also finely chopped ham for great microwaved omelets. I don't care for Andouille sausage. I added Jimmy Dean bulk (Hot) cooked sausage, slightly crumbled and drained in a colander. If desired, add one half package and use the rest for, what else...microwaved omelets. I'm a fairly good cook, except for rice. Visit your favorite Chinese/Japanese restaurant.
Recipe - Gumbo
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From Washington DC. I now reside with my husband in the beautiful New England state of Massachusetts. I hope you enjoy my digital scrap kits and scripts. I'm the new kid on the block and create 'tagger size' only. You can e-mail me here



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