Thanks to savory spices and a quick-cooking roux, this gumbo cuts back on time (and calories!) and keeps the rich flavor.
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
10 tablespoon fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
4 ounces smoked ham, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound fresh okra pods, sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add broth; stir with a whisk until thick. Pour into a bowl; set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion and ham; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper and next 4 ingredients (through okra); cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth mixture, water, and next 6 ingredients (through tomatoes). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in shrimp; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with parsley.
I looked this one over and made so many changes that it no longer resembled the recipe as presented. This is the strangest Gumbo I've ever seen. I was born and raised in Louisiana and have never, ever seen a gumbo made with smoked "ham"! Smoked ham would go well in a jambalaya. In gumbo, smoked, cased sausage is used. Sliced into rounds about a quarter inch or so. This imparts that special "gumbo" flavor that cannot be found anywhere else! The sausage is usually a blend of beef and pork sausage, in a casing, that has been heavily smoked and spiced. But, it can be a blend of deer and pork, or just beef, or just pork. And, using an oil roux? Not anymore! Dry roux is the best because it is a lot healthier! I always sauté the onions, bell pepper and celery first, then add the sausage that has been pre-boiled in water to remove some of the fat. By removing some of the fat from the sausage, there is still enough fat left in the sausage to flavor the mirepoix and adds a small bit of flavored fat before adding any liquid. I use a combination of water and chicken stock. There is more than enough flavor left in the sausage after the pre-boil to fully flavor the gumbo, way more than enough!Also, there is not enough liquid in this gumbo! Traditionally gumbo is a bowl chock full of meat, vegetables, and roux gravy served over hot cooked rice! Gumbo is meant to be eaten by the spoonful. And, that shrimp had better have been deveined! It will be gritty if not! I have never cooked a "GUMBO" with tomatoes in it. Doesn't fit the gumbo taste! Other traditional Louisiana cuisine has tomatoes, but gumbo the way I was raised to prepare it, does not. Gumbo is best served over hot cooked rice with a side of potato salad and hot sauce on the table for extra zing. Some people like hot crusty garlic toasted french bread too! Many people even drop a few raw eggs into the gumbo, one at a time, at the end and let them cook until hard boiled. Doesn't take but about five minutes at the end of cooking time. A bit messy, but does taste quite good too!In a gumbo, the shrimp NEVER have the tails left on! Imagine, getting a big spoonful of gumbo with shrimp and biting down on that tail and then having to spit it out! This is a "Yankee" recipe, not any kind of Louisiana gumbo recipe I was ever taught to make! Might do for some who have never had a real gumbo, but not for this deep south Louisiana gal and family! By the time I finished making all the changes, the printed recipe had changed so much, it was not even recognizable. Sorry, but this recipe was just not worth more than one star, if that.
I added more liquid to it like I used a whole cup of chicken broth total, skipped wayer, did not drain the tomatoes. It was the right amount of liquid then. Added a dash of red hot and dash of salt when I served made it perfect!
Agree with earlier review, there was too much tomato and a darker roux is better, but I was able to doctor it to make it perfect for my NOLa folks. It definitely needed more liquid - I added much more broth after incorporating the roux into the vegetables. We had a pound of fresh okra instead of the half, and i used andouille and two leg quarters of chicken instead of ham. The flavor still wasn't quite right, so I added some Old Bay. And Tabasco, of course, and once we added the shrimp, it was perfect.
The taste was very good. I used andui sausage instead of ham, added a bay leaf and didn't drain the tomatoes. My only issue is that it was still very thick and I had to use a good deal more chicken broth. Served it over just a little rice.