Who wants to stand over a hot pot stirring roux forever when it's 90+ degrees?
And who wants a hot pot simmering all day when the house already feels like a sauna?
|Click the picture for a step-by-step on how to make a dark Cajun roux|
But I came back from a summer fishing trip with shrimp and crabs pulled from the marshes south of NOLA.
What else ya gonna do?
Well, plenty I guess. But some of our crabs were gumbo crabs. Meaning they were too small to boil (not worth the trouble of picking them). Gumbo crabs aren't really meant for eatin'. They're used to flavor seafood gumbos.
Plus, they look bad-ass cool sittin in your bowl.
How's that for garnish? Booyah!
For some people, gumbo means throw watcha got in the pot. But you know me. I have rules about these kinds of things. Strict rules. (That don't matter to anyone but me.)
1. Chicken does not mix with seafood in a gumbo.
2. Sausage does not mix with seafood in a gumbo.
2A. Exception: in the absence of crab and oysters, shrimp and sausage (such as andouille) gumbo is perfectly acceptable.
While gumbo crabs will give a lot of flavor to a seafood gumbo, shrimp or seafood stock will take it over the top. HERE is how I make shrimp stock.
Crab & Shrimp Gumbo
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions
1 bell pepper
2 stalks celery
6 cloves garlic
9-10 cups shrimp stock (see link above)
1-1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
few shakes hot sauce
2 bay leaves
1 lb peeled shrimp
1 lb crabmeat
8-10 gumbo crabs
cooked white rice
2/3 cup green onions (optional)
Step 1: Chop the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic so that they are ready when your roux is done.
Step 2: Make a roux by adding vegetable oil to a cast iron, or stainless steel pot. Do not use non-stick cookware. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. Wait until oil is very hot. Then, gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring/scraping constantly with a flat-edge spatula. Keep adding flour as roux browns; you will know you've added enough when all of the vegetable oil has combined with the flour and when the roux no longer looks oily.
Stir constantly. This step takes time, usually about half an hour. Roux is done when it is a dark brown color, almost the color of chocolate.
Step 3: When the roux is done, add the chopped vegetables to stop the roux from cooking further. Saute for 10-15 minutes (the mixture will be a sludgy paste and that's ok.). Add 2 cups of the stock and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. The idea is to get the vegetables cooked down and softened. Go ahead and add more stock during this process if needed.
Step 4: Add about 7 more cups of stock along with the seasonings and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the gumbo crabs and simmer another 20-30 minutes.
Step 5: Add the shrimp and crabmeat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
Serving: Taste for seasoning before serving. Serve gumbo over cooked rice, adding a gumbo crab to each bowl. Top with green onions.
In the Past...