Sunday, May 15, 2011

THE DARING COOKS’ MAY 2011 CHALLENGE: GUMBO - LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!


Our May Hostess Denise of There's a Newf in my Soup!, challenged the Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we'd need from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew's Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

Hmmm yes I have to say it's good to be back to blogging again, April was a non-inspired month for me and I couldn't or wouldn't write anything here that was worthy to be posted. But I'm back and what a challenge! I love gumbo!


Denise gave us the freedom to use whatever gumbo recipe we had, but I chose to stick to the recipes she provided.



There's Mr. Crab sitting on a bed of brown rice ready for his pictorial :)




SEAFOOD GUMBO


1 cup (240 ml) canola oil

1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) flour

2 large onions, diced

6 jumbo blue crabs, each cut into four pieces (if unavailable, omit, or substitute another type of crab)

1 pound (½ kilogram) spicy smoked sausage links, sliced ½ inch (15mm) thick (optional, but encouraged if you eat sausage)

1 stalk celery, diced

1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup (240 ml) (160 gm) (5½ oz) sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch (15mm) thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available). If fresh or frozen is unavailable, you can leave it out because the roux will provide enough of a thickener.

Leaves from sprig of fresh thyme

3 quarts (3 liters) shrimp (prawn) stock

2 bay leaves

1 pound (½ kilogram) peeled and deveined medium Louisiana or wild shrimp (prawn) (Note: If you are buying whole, head-on shrimp, which you will need in order to use the heads and peels for stock, you will then need approximately 4 pounds (2 kilograms) of shrimp to yield enough heads/shells for the stock. Although the recipe only calls for 1 pound (½ kilogram) of shrimp, you will end up with a little over 2 pounds of cleaned shrimp (1 kilogram), which I found was perfect for this size pot of gumbo)

1 pint (475 ml) (450 gm) (16 oz) shucked oysters

8 ounces (225 gm) lump crabmeat

1 cup (240 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) minced green onions (scallions, or spring onions)

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Basic Creole Spices, to taste, to taste

Tabasco, to taste

4-6 cups (1 – 1½ liters) (650 gm – 950 gm) cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice

Directions:
1.Prepare shrimp stock, if using.

2. Prepare homemade Basic Creole Spices, if using

3. Make sure all of your vegetables are cut, diced, chopped, minced and ready to go before beginning the roux. You must stand at the stove and stir the roux continuously to prevent it from burning

4. In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes.

5. Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.

6. Add the blue crabs and smoked sausage and stir for a minute before adding the celery, bell peppers, garlic, and okra. Increase the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

7. Add the thyme, shellfish stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.

8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.

9. Add the shrimp, oysters, crabmeat and green onions to the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Make sure everything is ready to serve before adding the shellfish to the gumbo. DO NOT OVERCOOK your shellfish.

10. Season with salt and pepper, Creole Spices, Worcestershire, and Tabasco.

11. Serve in bowls over rice.

*I made only 1/3 of this recipe, didn't use crab meat anymore sinc

e I used crabs. I also didn't use oysters but the flavor of the sausage, shrimps and crabs was enough :)

*Instead of Basic Louisiana White Rice, I served my gumbo over steamed Brown Rice.


I had this for lunch today and I still have some leftovers for dinner. Thank you Denise for hosting this month's Daring Cooks Challenge!








15 comments:

Renata said...

Love your crab on the bed of rice :o) and your gumbo looks so light and delicious!

Audax said...

That crab is stunning and I have to say your gumbo is so light in colour and I bet it was delicious well done and thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words.

Cheers frpm Audax in Sydney Australia.

Clarabella said...

Great job on your gumbo, it looks delicious! :)

Ruth H. said...

Your crab friend looks adorable... so sorry he wasn't around for the end... ;) I am so glad you enjoyed the gumbo. I shold have reduced the recipe like you did... We have so much left-over! Great job on the challenge!! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

lisamichele said...

Your seafood gumbo looks wonderfully light and scrumptious, quite the antithesis of mine. I kind of wish I made a light roux and kept it all seafood, but my body needed beef lol

I'm sure Mr. Crabby was happy to be a part of such deliciousness :)

Cooking Rookie said...

I love that Mr Crab, looks like he was still hopiing to escape from the plate when the photo was taken :-). Lovely photos, and I'm happy to hear that you've enjoyed the challenge! And it was very smart of you to make only a 1/3 - my freezer is 80% gumbo now.

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I am so envious of your fresh seafood. It looks delicious. Great job. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Oh my! Your gumbo is just beautiful! Great job as always

Valérie said...

Oh, I love the photo with the crab! Your gumbo looks delicious!

My name is Andy. said...

Your Gumbo looks great!

FamilySpice said...

Wonderful job! I love gumbo. I wish I could have participated this month. Love your crabby friend!

Sarah said...

Welcome back! I'm glad the gumbo left you feeling inspired. The crab should have been honored to take part in a delicious gumbo.

Suzler said...

That looks gorgeous. :) I love the crab sitting on top. Ahhh, I want to eat this so much!

Denise said...

That's one beautiful crab! Glad you enjoyed the challenge as much as I enjoyed hosting! Looking forward to cooking with you the next one!

TaGa_Luto said...

Yum! I missed this challenge. Just came back from a vacation. This look so good. How have you been? ;)