Crawfish Gumbo

Chow on 10.21.10
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Despite living in the South, there aren't very many restaurants here that serve a good gumbo. Normally, it's filed under "soups and salads" section of a menu and served in the tiniest of cups as a side or starter.

When I'm hungry for gumbo - I want GUMBO. A big ol' bowl of it, packed with crawfish or shrimp. Sometimes with sausage, sometimes just pure seafood. It's a simple recipe, the most work you'll really do is to patiently make the roux.

Some recipes will have you stand at the stove for 30-45 minutes, stirring the roux and making sure it doesn't burn. I just don't have that kind of patience -- and found that even 10 minutes still makes a perfect gumbo.

But then again, hand me a good bottle of wine, juicy magazine and a stool to sit on and I'll roux all day long.

Crawfish Gumbo

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or GF substitute)
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups seafood, chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup okra, chopped
1 cup cooked, smoked sausage, thinly sliced
1 pound crawfish meat (or shrimp)
1 stalk green onion, chopped
serve with cooked rice

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter until bubbly. Whisk in the flour and cook on low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes, until the roux is nutty brown.

2. Turn the heat to medium and add in the celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes.

3. Stir in Cajun seasoning, tomato paste, stock, okra and sausage. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the crawfish meat and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until crawfish is cooked through. Stir in green onions and serve with rice.