Gumbo - Broad Street Market edition
- 1 pkg North Mountain Pastures Kielbasa R&R
- 1 pkg Gulf shrimp JB Kelly
- 1 chicken breast Hummers or Green Ridge Acres
- other seafood such as crab, lobster, or clams as desired (JB Kelly)
Veggies (all available at R&R in July/August)
- 1 lb okra
- 1 large onion
- 2 large green bell peppers
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 lb tomatoes any kind, really
- 1 bunch parsley divided
Other (also all available at R&R!)
- 2-3 quarts water
- 1 tbsp + 1/4 cup butter or lard
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour or whatever kind of flour you have on hand
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning preferably Calicutts Cajun Blackened!
- salt Okay, this one isn't available at R&R. I bet you have some.
On the side or underneath
- Rice of your choosing Green Ridge Bulk Foods
Make a shrimp stock
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. While waiting for it to boil, peel the shrimp, reserving shells. Set aside the shrimp (in the refrigerator), and add the peels to the boiling water. Add salt, but not too much! Simmer for at least 30 minutes, then strain, reserving liquid and discarding shells.
In the meantime...
Slice the okra into small rounds, chop the onion, and seed and chop the bell pepper. Seed and finely chop the jalapeno, leaving more seeds for more heat, or removing them for less heat. Place all in a bowl and set aside. Chop the parsley, but keep it separate (some will go in the gumbo; some will go on top at the end -- you decide how much!).
Core and chop the tomatoes, reserving as much liquid as possible, and set aside.
Slice the sausage into 1/4" rounds (easiest if it isn't yet fully thawed), and cut the chicken into small bite-size pieces.
Heat the 1 tbsp of lard or butter (we used lard) over medium-high heat in a large (at least 6 quart or larger) heavy-bottomed pan, such as a Dutch oven. When hot, add the sausage and chicken, and brown, stirring frequently, 6-8 minutes. Remove meat and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, and add the remaining lard or butter to the pan. When hot, add the flour, whisking constantly, to make a thinnish roux. Continue to cook flour for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
When flour just starts to brown, add the okra, pepper, and onion, and cook until browned (or softened if your pan isn't quite big enough and it's really getting more steamed than browned), 5-10 minutes. The okra and roux will cause the mixture to become gummy, which is fine! When the veggies are browned, or when it gets so gummy that it's sticking to the bottom of the pan and starting to burn even though it somehow doesn't seem like it's getting any closer to browning, add the tomatoes, cajun seasoning, and some (but not all!) of the parsley, and stir to combine.
Toss the meat back into the pot, and stir some more.
About that shrimp stock...
Remember that shrimp stock simmering on the other burner? It's been way more than half an hour, so now's a great time to strain it. If you're about to run out of space in the gumbo pot, add as much stock as you can without overflowing it. (Or, if you have two people, have one hold a strainer over the gumbo, and pour the shrimp stock directly in, pausing occasionally to make sure you're not about to overflow the pot). If you have more than enough room, add stock a few cups at a time, stir, and assess the consistency. It should be chunky soup-like, a little bit thinner than you'll want it to be in the end, since it'll thicken a bit as it cooks.
If you have any shrimp stock left (you should), let it cool while you finish making the gumbo, then freeze it! Remember to leave head room for it to expand.
Bring gumbo back to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for at least half an hour. The longer the better. Stir occasionally, and taste occasionally, adding salt or additional seasoning as desired.
Don't forget the rice
While you're waiting, make some rice. Long grain white rice seems to be traditional, but we only had sushi rice, and it was totally fine.
Add the seafood
Approximately five minutes before you're ready to serve the gumbo, add the shrimp and any other seafood (we had crab and lobster meat from JB Kelly), and stir it in. Cook approximately five minutes, or until shrimp (and any other raw seafood) are cooked through. (I'm pretty sure five minutes should be enough for raw clams or raw just about anything else from the ocean, but do be mindful if you're using huge juicy clams or something else that might take longer to cook than shrimp).
Serve gumbo over rice (we did), or, some would argue, serve rice on the side. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.