Friday, June 17, 2011

Gumbo For The Marine

All good southern boys need a gumbo fix from time to time. Bev (beverly@beverlysbackporch)made crab gumbo and posted it on her blog a few days ago and it inspired me to make gumbo. Today is shipping day for The Marine's food and I was able to freeze some of the gumbo to ship to him.

Here is a little Marine info...The Marine's instituted a rule several years ago saying that no Marine can be off base in their camouflage uniforms which they wear on base each day. They can get in their car and drive home but they can't get out of the car anywhere along the way. They can go through drive thru's but that is it. Our poor Marine has been hitting Mc Donald's way too much since it is the only drive thru around. It just drives me a little bit crazy that he works so hard all day and then has to eat crappy food. So, hopefully all the food I made for him will make it there safely and stay frozen and he will have some good food for a while.

At first I was going to make Bev's recipe but I seem to always throw everything I can find into my gumbo. I cleaned some chicken thighs (my most hated cooking job), and pulled out some andouille, tasso, shrimp and crab. Dice up a large bowl of celery, peppers and onions.

I sauteed some pancetta in a heavy pot, then removed it and set it aside. Then I sauteed each of the meats and set them aside too.

I sliced up a bunch of okra, seasoned it with salt and pepper and quickly sauteed it over high heat until the edges turned brown.

Set the okra aside too.

Add 3/4 of a cup of corn oil to the oil left in the pan and add 3/4 cup of flour.

Cook this over medium high heat whisking constantly to make a roux.

Cook until it is a dark red color. It turns color fast, so much so, that I could not take a pic of it at the right color or I would have burned it.

Turn the heat off and immediately throw in half of the diced veggies to stop the roux from cooking.

Then add the rest of the veggies.

Add 2 tablespoons of pepper, salt, thyme, oregano, granulated garlic and some cayenne pepper to taste.

Add several bay leaves.

Add about 8 cups of chicken stock.

At first it is rather thin.

Add the meats and keep cooking at a low boil.

You will see it start to thicken.

Add the okra.

Then the shrimp.

And the crab.

Cook just until the shrimp turn pink.

I added a can of crab claws because I think that you should always have something in your gumbo that you eat with your fingers.

I serve it with a scoop of rice.

It doesn't get more flavorful than this. Now I have to cross my fingers and hope that all of this food makes it frozen to The Marine!!!