Spicy Gumbo

Gumbo is a type of soup or stew that originated in Louisiana, but widely cooked in Southern of the United States. It is made out of either seafood or various kinds of sausages as well as bell peppers, celery and bunch of spices including a thickener which is called roux. This dish is usually served over rice. The first time I came across Gumbo was when I went to New Orleans for a business trip a few years back. I first did not like gumbo but after almost moving there I tried gumbo in numerous other places. There was this small restaurant that served incredibly tasty shrimp Po-boys in Baton Rouge. One day, I decided to try the gumbo and that’s where I really enjoyed it.

One Sunday when I felt like cooking something different, so I decided to try gumbo. I created my own gumbo recipe and it was so yummy! My husband also really enjoyed it and he claimed that I made the best gumbo he had ever eaten considering that he had lived in Louisiana for six years. Ok, this was my first time and I am sure that there are chefs and cooks that make gumbos much more delicious. Some people add okra to gumbo, so feel free to play with the ingredients as you may discover something even tastier.

2 lbs shrimp
1 lbs scallops
1 lbs crab claw meat
½ lbs leg of lamb (chopped)
3-4 ribs of celery (chopped finely)
2 ½ onions (chopped finely)
4 garlic cloves (chopped finely)
2 large roasted and peeled tomatoes (diced)
5-6 roasted and peeled green peppers (diced)
2 cans of beer (dark beer preferable)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mace
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp hot sauce
2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup flour

For Roux

1 cup flour
¾ cup canola oil

Roux Preparation:

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil. Add the flour slowly while whisking constantly so that there are no lumps in the flour. Do this for about 20 minutes until that mixture thickens and takes a brown color. Preferences may differ on how brown the roux should be. I prefer it medium brown. If you would like to use the roux at a different date, you could cool it and freeze it.

Gumbo Preparation:

Once the roux is ready, add the onions and celery and stir. It may get a little lumpy, but keep mixing them together for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil on the mixture. Most people prefer butter, but since I do not use butter in my cooking, I used olive oil. Add garlic, roasted peppers and the tomatoes. Also feel free to add all the juices that come out from roasting the peppers and tomatoes. In a separate pan, cook the lamb slightly and drain the water that comes out of the meat. Add the lamb to the pot with the roux and vegetables. Add cumin, paprika, mace, celery seeds, thyme, black and cayenne pepper, bay leaves, salt and the hot sauce. Add the chicken broth and the beer and stir well. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes and then cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes on low heat. Add the shrimp, crab claw meat and scallops to the soup. Feel free to add salt to the shrimp and scallops before adding them to the soup. Cook for 5 more minutes after adding the seafood. Garnish with fresh parsley before removing from heat. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve over rice or as a regular soup.

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