Several people have been blogging about gumbo of late- something to do with a football game? Mardi Gras, maybe? So stuck for dinner last night I relied on my blogging buddies and one famous New York Times Columnist- Mark Bittman to inspire me.
I was mostly disappointed that I didn't have all of the ingredients to make a traditional gumbo, but not really, I did have enough goodies in my pantry to make a gumbo inspired stew. I started off with the roux base that I love. It makes me feel like I have mastered some great secret of cooking- the mother of all mother sauces and proceded from there in gumbo like fashion.
Based on a recipe from Mark Bittman's
Column The Minimalist
The Almost Gumbo
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white unbleached flour
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic or to taste
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1/8 tsp cayenne or more to taste* I this is the amount I can get away with for tots.
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- approximately 4 cups of stock, veggie, chicken or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb of peeled shrimp * I used what I had in the freezer, once shelled it was about 1/2 lb and that was plenty.
- flat leaf italian parsley for garnish
Combine butter and olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan (big enough to cook everything!), cook on no more than a medium heat. Once it starts to froth. Continually stir until mixture starts to turn brown (Mark Bittman has a nice video that demos this in his column). When it is a nice golden colour add in onion and garlic, increase heat to slightly and keep stirring. Stir until onion is translucent and garlic soft. Add in other vegetables and combine everything. May have to add in a couple tbsp of liquid at this point. Saute for a a few minutes longer.
Pour in tomatoes and their liquid, add in salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and cayenne. Start adding in your choice of stock, 2 cups and then more depending on how thick you want it. Add in bay leaf bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for about 10 mins.
*At this point make rice. We added in frozen corn when almost done and mixed through, for an extra boost of veg for the tots.
After the 10 mins add in the prawns, stir through. Turn off the heat and put a lid on. The prawns will cook as the rice is finishing.
Thank you Chow and Chatter for the inspiration.
photos by me.