November 7, 2015
NOTE: This was written on Halloween, and got pushed to the side. Better late than never.
If one is good, another is better, yes? Yes.
So if a long-braised soup/stew is good on Friday, and the weather is cooler and drearier on Saturday, another one seems in order. So that’s what I did.
Never mind I spent all of Saturday in my pajamas, and stirred no further from the house than to dodge raindrops and check the mailbox. I’m drinking a bloody Mary with home-canned tomato juice, just finished a big bowl of shrimp and sausage gumbo, and other than the fact we don’t pick up CBS Sports and I can’t watch Memphis State, life is Not Bad.
I had shrimp left over from our shrimp boil last weekend, and I took a chance and put them in a baggie and put them in the freezer, because I didn’t think otherwise I’d use them in time. And likely I would not have. I sent one bag home with Kate, and moved the other to the fridge to thaw for gumbo this weekend.
So this morning, after the massive breakfast, I set about it.
I had bent my traditional rules and condescended to purchase an orange bell pepper. Not a green one, because I just won’t do that. But orange is at least tolerable, or not as obnoxious as green. And I figured it was going to braise long enough it wouldn’t matter much.
So I made a roux — a nice one, too, though I cut it off when it got caramel colored instead of going all the way to coffee-colored. I can do me a roux. Then I added an onion and a half, two ribs of celery and the big ol’ orange bell pepper, and let them simmer in there for a while until they got happy. Next went the sliced andouille sausage.
Then, after everything sauteed along for a while, I added a pint of tomatoes, which I’d hit with the immersion blender, and a pint of chicken stock, and commenced to seasoning.
Who Dat’s cajun seasoning. Some Louisiana hot sauce. Salt and pepper. Some garlic. A couple of bay leaves. Maybe some other stuff, I forget. Thought I got it too salty (the Who Dat’s is pretty salt-heavy), so I added a healthy squirt of key lime juice.
Set aside two or three hours for simmering and nap.
Checked. Some gumbo file. Some What’s This no-salt seasoning (a mix of herbs, not unlike Mrs. Dash).
Another couple of hours. Tasting right. Peeled the shrimp, tossed those in, put rice in the cooker.
Pretty doggoned acceptable. Maybe not Sweet Baby Jesus, but I wouldn’t throw it out, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Meanwhile, the Bloody Mary is more than acceptable, and trending toward Sweet Baby Jesus. Tito’s vodka. Home-canned tomato juice. Worcestershire. Key lime juice. Louisiana hot sauce. Plenty of Lawry’s seasoned salt. Olives on a toothpick. Hard to beat.
You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on trick-or-treating, so I don’t wind up having to eat all this candy.