Sunday, 3 August 2014

Louisiana Seafood Gumbo

"We made love like leftover Jambalaya, God I miss her Gumbo"
Jarod Kintz.
When the ice on our fish pond still hadn't thawed by midday I knew it was the perfect day to have a Louisiana Seafood Gumbo. This rich, tomatoey stew like recipe came to me courtesy of Trish & Chris at Travel-Cook-Capture. I first met Trish on a travel industry familiarisation trip in Egypt. Trish's flaming red hair sets off her vibrant personality and I was so happy to see that her and her chef husband Chris had started a travel, food and photography blog.

I knew at first glance that I had to cook Chris's Louisiana Gumbo. Although I haven't made it to the Southern States of the USA as yet the Cajun and Creole cultures down there fascinate me. Louisiana in the early 19th century became a melting pot for many cultures through immigration. The Cajun's are pre-dominantly descendants of the French speaking immigrants who were exiled from the Maritime Provinces of present-day Canada whereas Creole refers to people of Spanish, African and Caribbean descent. A unique cuisine has formed in Louisiana and I am surprised I have made it this far through life without cooking it. So it is time.

This recipe is a great way to start, whilst it may not be truly authentic it does suit the availability of ingredients here in Australia. You can learn more about traditional Gumbo cooking with this short history of Gumbo.
Chris indicates you can choose your own seafood for this so I went with 500 grams of peeled prawns, 2 squid tubes and around 200 grams of firm white fish. I also swapped the olive oil for butter in my roux as I am a bit of a butter whore. With this amount of seafood my version would have fed 6 people easily. I served mine with fresh baked white bread and white rice. You can see Trish and Chris's original version of this recipe right here.

INGREDIENTS

60ml olive oil
30g plain flour
1 large brown onion - chopped
1 red capscium - chopped
2 celery sticks - chopped
2 large red chillis - seeds removed
3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons thyme - finely chopped
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper
1 litre chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g chopped tin tomatoes
800g raw prawns - peeled
200g scallops - roe removed
200g squid - cleaned & scored, cut into 2 inch triangles
1 handful parsley - finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste

Serves 4

METHOD

1. Put oil and flour in stockpot, cook over low heat stirring constantly for 20-25 minutes until brown.
2. Add in onion, garlic, chilli, bay leaves, capsicum and celery. Cook for 15mins or until softened.
3. Turn the heat to high and add in all remaining herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add in stock + 350ml water, tomato paste & tomatoes and bring to boil.
5. Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours stirring occasionally.
6. When the gumbo has thickened, turn the heat up to high & add in the seafood & cook for another 5 minutes or until seafood is cooked.
7. Add parsley and season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire and lemon juice. Then stir through.
8. Serve with crusty ciabatta.

Originally posted on Sunday, 3 August 2014 by

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