We’re getting toward the tail end of November now and that means winter is just about a month away. Rather than shivering at home with a sandwich and bag of chips, wouldn’t you like to have a meal that will warm you up while giving your taste buds a thrill? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to read our guide on how to make New Orleans style gumbo at home. This spicy gumbo recipe is accompanied by a recipe for a gumbo-inspired omelette that makes a great side dish.
If you find yourself asking, “What is gumbo?”, we’ll address that question now. Gumbo is a delicious and often quite spicy soup that is especially popular among the Cajun population of Louisiana. It was originally conceived by Louisiana people of Creole descent and its name is believed to come from the Bantu (a language comprised from several different Nigerian dialects) word for okra, which is “ki ngbomo”.Most gumbo specimen will feature a meat of some kind in their makeup and this one is no exception. The gumbo recipe we have for you is for a spicy shrimp and hot sausage gumbo with rice and a grand array of vegetables. What that said, we’ll now list the gumbo ingredients out for you.
- 1 lb fresh shrimp
- 4 chopped hot Italian sausages
- 2 cans of chicken broth
- 8 chopped okra pods
- 1 full chopped onion
- 1 full chopped green bell pepper
- 1 full chopped poblano pepper
- 4 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Old Bay seasong
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp ground Chipotle pepper
- 1 cup peanut oil
- 1 cup white rice
- 3/4 cup flour
Now that you have your ingredients assembled, it’s time to go about the preparation. While there are many ways to make gumbo and the steps (at least the very earliest ones) are somewhat interchangeable, we found the following schedule to work best.
1. Take six hot Italian sausages and place them in water in a medium-sized cooking pot. Let them come to a boil on high for 10 minutes and then allow them to simmer covered for 10 more minutes. When they’re ready, take them out of the pot using tongs. Chop four of them up into chunks but save the other 2 for the omelette side dish recipe we’ll get into a bit later. Remember to press the grease out of the sausages so you don’t end up with an overly greasy gumbo stock.
2. Remove and discard the tails from the shrimp. Then, using a knife, chop them up into approximately 1/4” pieces. Save six of the shrimp for the omelette.
3. The next step is to finely chop your onion, garlic cloves (saving 1 for the omelette), green bell pepper, and poblano pepper. When cutting the green bell pepper, first remove the top and then slice out the seed-laiden core in the middle and discard it. Do the same with the poblano pepper, only this time remove both ends and push the seeded core through the bottom.
4. Once you’ve chopped up the other vegetables, you can chop your okra pods. Chop off and discard the top and bottom of the okra pods. There’s no need to remove anything else this time – just chop it on up. If you’re not a fan of the somewhat slimy texture of okra, worry not. When cooked up in gumbo, it acts as a thickening agent for the broth and when you eat it the sliminess is all but gone. After you’ve chopped your vegetables up, save about 1/10 of the bell pepper, poblano pepper, and onion for the omelette.
5. Now you’re ready to start on the rice. Pour a cup of white rice into a small saucepan and add water. Put it on the stove on high heat, stirring often. Let it come to a boil then cover it up and simmer for 20 minutes to evaporate the water. Even during this time, remember to stir periodically. If you don’t do this, you risk blackening the bottom of your saucepan, which is quite a pain to clean up.
6. With your other ingredients ready, it’s time to start the stock. Take a large saucepan or cooking pot and pour in 1 cup of peanut oil and 3/4 of flour. Mix them together on high heat and let them boil together for five minutes.
7. After five minutes, reduce the heat to medium and add in your vegetables and spices.
8. Stir in the vegetables for three minutes and then pour in the cans of chicken broth.
9. After stirring for one more minute, add in the shrimp and sausage. Raise the heat back to high and keep it up until it comes to a boil. Allow the gumbo to boil for three minutes and then turn down the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Your finished gumbo should look a little bit like this:
As you’re waiting for your gumbo to cool, you have the perfect window of opportunity to make the accompanying omelette. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 large eggs, brown or white
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 6 chopped fresh shrimp
- 2 chopped fresh sausages
- the remaining portions you saved from your chopped vegetables, minus okra.
1. Crack three eggs and pour their contents into a small to medium mixing bowl. Make sure to remove any shucks that might fall in.
2. Scrape in the remaining sausage, shrimp, and vegetables.
3. Using a whisk, briskly stir the eggs, meat, and vegetables together until the mixture is yellow and nearly opaque.
4. Generously spray a frying pan with non-fat cooking spray. Then pour the mixture from the bowl into the pan and heat it on high heat. Watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. The middle parts won’t cook as quickly as the outer areas, so to avoid burning, cut slits into the omelette’s middle and direct the still-liquid portions into the slits where they will quickly solidify. Do it right and your frying pan will look like this when you take it off of the heat:
5. Take a spatula and gingerly lift the omelette around the edges, working it around in a circle and gently liberating the whole omelette from the frying pan without ruining its shape.
6. Pour yourself a piping hot bowl of gumbo and enjoy it with one of the more elegant side dishes you’ll experience.
With these maneuvers, you can easily have a hot and spicy taste of New Orleans without leaving the comfort of your own home. This makes a great dinner for two, as the omelette is best split in half and shared. The recipe will yield enough gumbo for you and your dining mate to enjoy multiple helpings and still have leftovers.