Weeknight Gumbo for Two I

I made a batch of Andouille Sausage a few months ago that wasn’t quite right. I think I smoked them too long and they dried out. So, they’re not really great to eat alone. So, I’ve been slowly using them up making this recipe. Not sure what a true Cajun or Creole would think of this recipe, but I suspect they wouldn’t disapprove too much. It’s a quick and easy one that is pretty satisfying even without the longer simmering. I usually have everything in the house or freezer for this. One of my variations that I also do when I make étouffée is to use double the amount of vegetables than the usual.

1 Andouille Sausage, sliced, or any sausage you like
8 Shrimp (21-25 per pound)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large green or red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups stock, seafood or chicken (see note)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons Dry Roux or all purpose flour (see note)
1/2 tsp Cajun spice or Creole spice, I like Tony Chachere’s More Spice, more or less to your spice tolerance
two sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley for garnish
cooked rice, still hot

Thaw shrimp & sausage if you have time. If not just cook them longer at the end.

Heat the olive oil in the pan. Optionally brown the sausage in the pan and reserve on the side. Add the vegetables and Cajun spice and sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onions brown a little. Add the dry roux or flour and stir around for a minute or so. If you’re using flour go a little longer to brown the flour a bit.
Add the stock and thyme and simmer covered for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better. The stock should reduce to about two cups. Check for seasoning. Usually the Cajun spice adds enough salt and pepper, but you can add a bit more if needed. Remove the thyme stems. I like the consistency to be between a soup and a gravy. Thicken more at this point if necessary.

Add in the shrimp and sliced sausage and simmer until the shrimp are done, about 5 minutes. Serve over hot rice, sprinkled with the parsley.

Stock Note: You can use many different things for the stock. I keep bonito flakes, from the Japanese section of the grocery store, on had to make a quick seafood stock with. Just pour boiling water over them and let them steep for a few minutes and strain out the fish flakes. They also sell it in powdered form, which I sometimes use. Water plus a bottle of clam juice, totaling 3 cups works. Or just use chicken stock.

Dry Roux Note: Look for dry roux with the other Cajun/Creole items at the grocery store. Here in the Bay Area they now carry it. It’s basically browned flour, but some brands also include some Onion Powder and Garlic Powder. It’s great to have on hand and a wonderful substitute any time you need to thicken. It adds great depth of flavor and umami. I prefer Kary’s brand, but Tony Chachere’s is fine too.

You can use a red bell pepper to keep it milder. I like a mix of the two.

Omit the cajun/creole seasoning for a mild gumbo. Put a bit more thyme in.

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