Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gumbo goodness

Canned soup not your thing? Here's one of my favorite soup recipes, though it's really more of a stew. The flavors meld together seamlessly into one mouthful after another of gumbo bliss. I like to add more hot sauce to my portions, while my husband prefers a milder version. Feel free to ramp up the garlic in this recipe, if you like.

Seafood and Chicken Gumbo

Fresh okra is seasonal (late spring until first freeze), but you can also use frozen okra in this recipe. If so, eliminate step 1 below and add frozen okra in step 3.
(Serves 4-6)
1 lb. okra, trimmed and sliced (about 4 cups)
4 T canola oil or butter, or a mix, divided
1 medium green pepper, diced (1 cup)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 T flour
4 cups chicken stock, heated
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 T each chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried) and parsley
1 large bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 lb. uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined), crabmeat, or chicken (boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces), or a combination
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Tabasco or other hot sauce, ore more to taste

1. Heat 2T oil/butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add okra and sauté, stirring often, for about 8-10 minutes until “roping” (thin strands of white substance) subsides. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pepper, garlic and onion and sauté until veggies turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, herbs, salt, and reserved okra.
4. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. Stir in shrimp, chicken and/or crabmeat, cover and cook another 5-10 minutes until meat is tender. Be careful not to overcook shrimp.
6. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf, stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Add more salt if necessary.
7. Ladle into bowls over white or brown rice. Pass more hot sauce at the table.

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