Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quick and Easy Shrimp & Salmon Gumbo

This is a simple gumbo.  A traditional gumbo would involve making a roux (soup base) and take quite a bit longer to prepare.  A good roux is delicious and worth trying sometime.  In the meantime, enjoy this quick and easy recipe:

1/4 cup olive oil
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound andouille sausage (chicken or pork)

1 T red chili flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme

(The above herbs and spices could be substituted for 2- 2/12 T of a pre-mixed cajun, creole or southern type spice like Old Bay or Zatarain's, depending on your taste. Start with a little; you can always add more, but it's a lot harder to take it out.)

6 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce (I use Pomi which has no preservatives)
1 lb raw shrimp with shells on
1 lb fresh salmon, cut into 1 inch cubes
Fresh parsley and lemon wedges for garnish
4 cups cooked rice (I used arborio, but you can use whatever you like)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in large cooking pot. Add chopped celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and ingredients are simmering.

Thinly slice sausage. I have tried various kinds of sausage. I like the chicken sausage, but this pack from Fred Meyer's Simply Truth brand has no nitrites, preservatives added hormones or MSG. Add sausage and seasonings; red chile flakes, chili powder, salt, paprika, oregano and thyme. Mix and simmer for additional 3-4 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat to simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Begin cooking rice in separate rice cooker or on stove top.
Continue simmering broth until it reduces to a thicker base. Add 1-2 tbsp of cornstarch or flour as needed to create a thicker consistency.*
Add raw shrimp and salmon cubes. Cook additional 10 minutes.

I first learned this rice serving trick from my husband's aunt in Chile. I loved the way this added some visual appeal to the dish.  Simply use a small glass custard cup or a small coffee cup. Pack rice into cup, invert onto dish and lift off.

Serve over 1 cup rice, garnishing with fresh parsley and squeeze of lemon.

This dish serves 6 hearty bowls. You can substitute the shrimp with crawfish or omit the salmon, whatever your preference.

When adding corn starch or flour to your cooking, first mix thoroughly in a cup with a small amount of water or broth to avoid the clumping that will happen if you just add the dry ingredient to a large pot of liquid.

Use corn starch if you any of your guests are gluten intolerant.

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