Mardi Gras Crazy Sista Gumbo
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras…or Fat Tuesday as it’s translated into English. It is the day before Ash Wednesday when the Lenten season begins. Typically people give up rich foods for Lent, so on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, they celebrate eating delicious fare and celebrating before Lent begins. Today we’ve got a really delicious recipe for you for your Mardi Gras celebration… Gumbo! This is one of those traditional southern recipes that we think you’ll make year after year… and not just for Mardi Gras. It is hearty, delicious and very satisfying indeed. One of those things that makes life feel very abundant indeed 🙂
Crazy Sista Gumbo
(Adapted from a Real Simple recipe)
6 T oil or fat
1/2 cup flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 head of celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
3 lbs. okra, frozen is fine
2 28oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 T salt
1/2 T black pepper
2 T fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
2 T fresh oregano leaves or 2 t.dried oregano
1 T fresh basil chopped
1 T Creole seasoning
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. Louisiana sausage
1 lb. shrimp
2 -4 chicken breasts
Peel and devein shrimp. Place shells in 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil.
Chop all the vegetables and set aside. Place all the veggie trimmings into the boiling stock. Reduce heat and allow to simmer.
Slice sausages into half moons. Place in a spacepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove sausage from water and set aside. Add chicken to this water and simmer until chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes. Remove chicken to cool so you can cut it into chunks. Add this water to the boiling stock.
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until almost smoking. Add flour gradually and stir constantly. Continue to stir until the roux is almost black and your arm is about to fall off. Keep stirring and do not allow the roux to burn. If it burns (you will know by the smell if it is burning) you must throw it out and start again. These are the stages of browning for the roux which is the base of this gumbo.
Add chopped onions and garlic to roux and cook for a minute. Add celery and green pepper and cook for another couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Strain shrimp stock and return to large stock pot. Add cooked vegetables and roux slowly and carefully.
Add tomatoes, chicken that has been cut into bite sized chunks, and sausages. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add okra and cook for another 5 minutes. Add seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour or up to a day.
Add green onion and 1/2 the parsley. Add shrimp and cover and turn off heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while shrimp cooks. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve over hot rice and sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley. Add some good French bread and butter.
Grab some Mardi Gras beads, get yourself some fun masks (the Dollar store usually has them) and you are ready to “let the good times roll”….Laissez les bon temps roulez!