Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jimmy's Shrimp Gumbo

This is my friend Mark's favorite Gumbo recipe. Be warned: it makes enough to feed an army, and it's a bit on the spicy side. Enjoy!

Jimmy's Shrimp Gumbo
from the Blue Star Cookbook

3-4 yellow onions, medium chopped
small head of celery, medium chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 lb. butter
1 1/2 T. chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 T. black pepper
3/4 tsp. white pepper
2 c. water
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Tabasco
4 c. canned tomatoes, with liquid
1 c. chopped green onion
1/2 c. fresh Italian parsley
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

1 1/4 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined

Saute yellow onion, celery, and bell peppers in the butter (yes, all
the butter) until onions go translucent. Add garlic, thyme, basil, and
bay leaves; cook until all vegetables are soft. Add the wine, cayenne,
and peppers. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the water and stir. Add Worcestershire, Tabasco, and tomates. Stir
well. Add green onion and parsley. Adjust flavor using pepper and
Tabasco. Bring to a boil.

Combine water and cornstarch; add to sauce and stir to desired
thickness. Turn down the heat and let simmer until you're ready to

Grill or saute the shrimp. Either mix them into the creole or serve
them on top of the creole and rice, optionally garnished with more
green onions. Makes 6+ generous servings.

MARK'S NOTES: When I made this, I varied widely from the letter of the law.
In place of the thyme and basil, I just used a healthy amount from my
bag of "Mixed Italian Spices". I skipped the parsley entirely--it was
expensive--and the two types of pepper (that's white versus black, not
the red versus green ones) left me mystified enough that I only used
black. I also forgot to add the green onions when it said to and so
used them only as a garnish, which worked just fine. Perhaps most
critically, I'm not a huge fan of shrimp, so I sauted a couple of
decased sausages. He explicitly mentions andouille in here, but Kiwis
are afraid of hot things in general, so I went for a similarly piggy
sausage with no spicings. The recipe also has a page-long substitute
for my "water" above where you basically make a spicy stock out of the
shrimp shells, but it was too much work for me--especially since I
wasn't using shrimp--and I figure this recipe is already long enough.
I can get you the addition if you're interested. Finally: what the
recipe does NOT mention is that if you're anything like me, you'll
need a boatload of rice to go with this. Plan on 6-9 cups of cooked

1 comment:

Becky said...

Mmmm...I am looking forward to trying this. Tell Mark I hope he's reading the blog!