A couple weeks ago, when my sister asked me to share my best gumbo recipe, I went straight to the source: Beau’s mom, a born and bred Southern lady and a wonderful cook. (Our kids call her Mim.) Knowing the amount of love and time that goes into most of Mim’s recipes, I asked for a “quick” version of what is one of Beau’s favorite dishes but which I’d never taken the time to master. Via text Mim sent what we needed to know about gumbo, and I passed it all on to my sister… and then the next time I was in town I by golly stocked up on all the fixings! This past Saturday Beau and I and the kids were all in the kitchen making gumbo and it was wonderful… both the being there together and the food when it was finished.
This resulting recipe is a keeper, a Montana-friendly version of a Southern delicacy. Enjoy making it and enjoy eating it — especially the next day (it’s one of those recipes!).
By the way, I call this recipe “Pretty Quick” because it is quick compared to the average gumbo recipe, the kind my mother-in-law stirs and waits on for a good part of the day. But this Pretty Quick version will still take you at least an hour to finish — and that’s if you’ve got all the ingredients ready and waiting, which I recommend.
Thank you, Mim, for sharing your expertise!
Mim’s Pretty Quick Gumbo
1/2 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 T. (heaping) minced garlic
1 c. oil
1 c. flour
8 c. chicken broth
28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
24 oz. bag frozen cut okra
1 lb. fully cooked smoked sausage, cut small
2 c. cooked chicken, cut small
salt and pepper
12 oz. frozen raw small shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-off
In Louisiana cooking, onion, celery, and bell pepper are known as The Trinity — the start of many favorite dishes. Start here by sautéing The Trinity with the garlic in a bit of oil and butter until soft.
Meanwhile, make a medium (versus a dark, which would take more time) roux: Combine the oil and flour in a large pot and cook over medium low, constantly stirring, until the roux is deep golden brown and smells nutty.
Stir The Trinity into the roux. Reduce heat to low and gradually add the chicken broth, then the diced tomatoes with juice, okra, sausage, chicken, and bay leaf.
Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, add shrimp, then simmer 15 more minutes. Check and season to taste before serving.
Serve over rice.
© Tami Blake