I must confess…I’m a fall/winter kind of girl. Does anyone else share this feeling? I find that there are few that share this fascination with colder weather here in the South. Sometimes even in the heat of summer, I just want some stew, soup, or gumbo.
Maybe this desire stems from my northern roots. Anyway, fresh-grilled veggies and meat usually take center stage on our dinner menu during the summer months. But, once in a while I revert back to my favorite fall/winter foods. Thanks to some friends, our family has been introduced to gumbo. Living in the North most of my life, I had never heard of gumbo. (I’ll also add that before marriage my cooking skills used to be heating up a can of Spaghetti O’s.) Haha! After enjoying gumbo several times, I had to try making it myself for my family. Here’s my version of Easy Gumbo:
- 6-8 chicken bouillon cubes, 6-8 c. of water or 4 cans of chicken broth
- 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 3 stalks of celery, all chopped, 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 c. oil, 1/3 c. flour-for the roux
- 1 14 oz. can of Italian diced tomatoes
- 16 oz. package of kielbasa, chopped
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen) or 1-2 chicken breasts (all 3 meat combinations will work as well: kielbasa, shrimp, and chicken)
- 1 16 oz. frozen package okra, chopped
- Seasoning: ground red pepper, file, if available, thyme, salt and pepper
- 2-3 cups of cooked rice
- Boil 6-8 c. of water, add 6-8 bouillon cubes, or 4 cans of chicken broth. Set aside.
- Chop onion, green pepper, celery, garlic. Set aside.
- For a roux, pour 1/4 c. oil in large soup pan over med-high heat. Gradually whisk 1/3 c. flour into oil, stirring constantly for 15 min. or until roux becomes a reddish brown color.
- Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic to the roux. Stir well. Slowly add chicken broth while stirring with whisk over med-high heat. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes.
- Add kielbasa, shrimp, and or chicken. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 min., add frozen package of chopped okra during this time.
- Season with sprinkles of ground red pepper, file, if available, thyme, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
It’ll serve a troop…at least 8-10 people, depending on how much you eat. If it’s too much for you, maybe you can share some with your neighbors, friends, or co-workers. I hope you give it a try! Please let me know if you do. Blessings!