Get a taste of New Orleans right at home with this hearty shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo.
We took a road trip to New Orleans with a few friends the summer before senior year of college, and it was an absolute blast. I love traveling, and it's so fun to go places I've never been before. I was amazed at how different New Orleans is than so many places in the U.S. - walking through the French Quarter made me feel like I was in another country!
And the food...oh the food! Beignets, po-boys, jambalaya, alligator (yep) - we had SO MUCH AMAZING FOOD! But one thing that has always stood out in our minds and made us make yummy noises just by remembering it...was the gumbo. Oh, the gumbo! It was everywhere and it was delicious. There was even a bar that had a little gumbo cart inside that sold a huge cup of gumbo for $5! It's so much fun to make food that has a special memory attached to it, and needless to say this particular dish is near and dear to our hearts.
This recipe tastes JUST like the gumbo we remember from NOLA, it's so amazingly tasty. Pete's brother was over one night when we made it for dinner and he said (and I quote), "this might be one of the best things I've ever eaten." Yeah. It's that good. It's thick and hearty, the broth is velvety and the dark roux gives it a deep nutty flavor. The vegetables hold onto a slight crunch so it has great texture, the shrimp is cooked perfectly, and the andouille adds that unmistakable cajun flavor. Yummy!
I used Alton Brown's recipe but I made a few tweaks to make it a little bit easier. His recipe calls for whole, head-on shrimp but I had two problems with this: 1) I couldn't find whole, head-on shrimp at my regular grocery store, and 2) I had very little interest in going through the whole process of making my own shrimp broth. If that sounds like something up your alley, by all means - give it a try! But I decided to just swap in some seafood stock instead. I also like to cut the sausage and shrimp into smaller pieces, it isn't quite as pretty but it makes it easier to eat - you can get a more even distribution of ingredients in each spoonful.
As you see in the photo - we used a gluten-free flour blend in place of regular flour to make the roux because Pete is avoiding gluten right now, but you can definitely use regular flour.
Alton's recipe has a really unique method for making the roux. Usually you make a roux by cooking the flour and oil together over medium heat on the stovetop, but the downside to that method is that it takes about 20 to 25 minutes of constant stirring to make a dark brown roux. Alton's method is to cook the roux in the oven, which allows for a much more hands-off approach (you only have to stir it a couple times during the whole process) but it takes a lot longer - about an hour and a half. Choose whichever method works for you! I like the oven method because you can easily prep the rest of the ingredients while the roux is cooking, but obviously you have to plan a little ahead of time so you aren't eating dinner at midnight.
Cook the oil and flour together until it's dark brown, you want it to be about the color of chocolate.
When the roux is done, put the pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, celery, green peppers and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir.
Slowly add the seafood stock while stirring constantly.
Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the andouille sausage in a separate pan, and cook the rice.
When the 35 minutes are up, turn off the heat, add the shrimp and sausage and stir to combine.
It might seem weird to turn the heat off BEFORE you add the raw shrimp, but shrimp cooks really quickly (and overcooks really quickly!) and the carryover heat cooks the shrimp PERFECTLY!
Add the file powder while stirring constantly. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Serve the gumbo over rice - and get ready to be transported straight to the French Quarter.
I love getting a little bit of both the sausage and the shrimp in each bite, and the rice perfectly soaks up the saucy base. Yummy noises await you!
Serves about 6
- 4 ounces vegetable oil
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 cup diced onion (about ½ of a large onion)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (1-2 large ribs)
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper (about ½ a green pepper)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 1/2 cup peeled , seeded and chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme , chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 32 oz. seafood stock
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage , cut into half and then into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 pound raw large shrimp , peeled, tails removed, de-veined and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
- 1 tablespoon gumbo file powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.
Once the roux is done (it should be dark brown, the color of chocolate), carefully remove it from the oven and set over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, celery, green peppers and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt & pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir. Slowly add the shrimp broth while stirring constantly. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the andouille sausage in a separate pan, and cook the rice according to package instructions.
When the 35 minutes are up, turn off the heat, add the shrimp and sausage and stir to combine. Add the file powder while stirring constantly. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fish out the bay leaves, and serve over rice.
Per serving (1/6 of recipe, does not include rice): 191 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 817mg sodium, 11g total carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 16g protein
Adapted from Alton Brown's Shrimp Gumbo