So I saw some old shrimp in the freezer and wanted to use them this week but didn’t feel like doing my usual shrimp recipe. I had a hankering for something tomatoey and slightly spicy with the shrimp, which is funny because I’m usually not a tomato-sauce-with-my-shrimp type of girl. So it was going to be in the Spanish/Portuguese genre; I thought of paella (this is a great recipe, btw), but I wanted something a) less labor-intensive and b) not using white rice, since I’m on a healthy-eating kick.So I did a search at Epicurious and came up with this recipe for Seafood and Turkey Sausage Gumbo. I thought it looked easy enough, and it got great reviews from people who had tried it. I have a nearly-endless supply of deer Italian sausage from my parents’ freezer, so I used that instead of turkey sausage, and I used more shrimp and no catfish, because that’s what I wanted to do. Also, we were having my mom over for dinner and she is gluten-intolerant, so I substituted brown rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. I also didn’t want to buy a whole package of Cajun seasoning, so I found some recipes online, settled on this one and then scaled it back, by guesstimating, to the amount I’d need for this recipe (since I didn’t want a ton of leftover seasoning).
We all thought this was very tasty, and JR said, “You can post on your blog that I loved this, and I think you should make it regularly.” So, I guess it went over pretty well! I served it over brown rice, and JR added a newly discovered hot sauce (which he also loved) to add some more heat.
Unless you also have access to venison Italian sausage, your gumbo probably won’t turn out quite the same as mine, but it will still probably be pretty tasty!
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
1/4 cup flour (all purpose flour, or brown rice flour for the gluten-free)
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped green bell pepper 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf 3 low-fat Italian turkey sausages (about 10 ounces), casings removed (or 1 lb deer Italian sausage) 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning*
15 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
Sprinkle flour over bottom of heavy large pot. Stir flour constantly over medium-low heat until flour turns golden brown (do not allow to burn), about 15 minutes. Pour browned flour into bowl.
Heat oil in same pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf; stir 1 minute. Add sausages and sauté until brown, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes, then add browned flour. Add tomatoes with juices, broth and Creole seasoning. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently.
Add shrimp and catfish to pot and simmer just until seafood is opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
*based on this recipe, I made my own Cajun seasoning as follows (it was a bit more than 2 tsp, but I wanted a stronger flavor and actually ended up adding more paprika and cayenne as it was cooking):
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried minced onion
1/8 tsp dried thyme
heaping 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper