What makes a homecook giddy as a school girl? It’s when you see your son grow from picky-eater to a boy with discerning taste. When Sancho was growing up he would eat what was placed on his plate (Luckily!) but he would do it ever-so-slowly. He wasn’t the type to say that he was hungry and would only eat when you fed him. Needless to say, eating was not his favorite thing. Not until recently! Now all he wants to do is eat. He asks to go to certain restaurants, we would be surprised by his suggestions sometimes. We’re still getting used to this side of him but MAMA is happy! When I was that age, I had a far less sophisticated palate. It’s embarrassing to admit but I only ate a handful of extremely unhealthy things during my pre-teen years.
Recently, Sancho has developed a taste for spicy dishes (making sure he has a tall glass of water beside him! HAHA!) and you know that I’m definitely advantage of that! With this, I thought to make him try one of my favorite dishes to prepare for the family, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo. I’ve been making this for years but I would make something else on the side for my son because of the spice level. I like dishes that pack heat in it!
I’ve always enjoyed Cajun and Creole dishes! I’m really hoping for the chance to visit New Orleans soon, I know I’ll EAT my way through the state and I’m taking Sancho along with me! For the meantime, I’ll settle for making my version of their cuisine, in my home. I hope you enjoy this recipe! And please, have it with a bowl or two of rice!!!
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups shrimp broth
- 1 kilo andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- ½ kilo okra, sliced diagonally
- 1 kilo peeled deveined medium shrimp, heads set aside for shrimp broth
- Zest of one lemon
- Parsley for garnish
- Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat until very hot and almost smoking.
- Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is dark reddish brown, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add onions, bell peppers, carrots and celery and cook until onions are soft and brown, about 20 minutes. Add fresh garlic, cayenne, garlic powder, dried thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, broth and sausage, simmer through, about 10 minutes. Add okra and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook shrimp for about 5 minutes. Stirring often. If needed, season with more salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add grated lemon zest. Garnish with minced parsley and serve with steamed rice alongside.