Monday, March 17, 2014


What could be better on a chilly evening than a big ole pot of Cajun Style Okra Gumbo?  Nothing in my mind.  This pot simmered several hours and was delicious, except I got a teensy bit carried away with the cayenne pepper.  Even for us.  I didn't measure.  I did change up my usual recipe a bit since I was fortunate enough to have some Boudin links on hand.  If you don't know about Boudin, you are missing out on some great eating. It is a pork sausage, prepared in the cajun way with the holy trinity, rice and spices.  Lip smackin' good.  I particularly like Zummo's brand (out of Beaumont, Texas).

I usually start with a basic roux, but tonight I just didn't take the time to do it.  I just started putting in all the ingredients and it naturally gets thick on its own without making a roux.  A true Cajun would say you cannot make a good gumbo without a good roux, but I beg to differ.  Clearly I am not Cajun, nor do I have Acadian roots, but I know good gumbo when I eat it.

I hope you'll try a big ole pot for you and your family.  Remember, sometimes I guess at the measurements. I never measure anything for this dish.  Until it looks right, or until you think it is enough....... now that's just about right!


2 pounds lean ground hamburger (or 1 pound HB & 1 pound bulk pork sausage)
1 large onion, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Rotel, heat of your choice
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans of water (use the Rotel can)
2 packages of frozen cut okra (about 1.5 pounds, more or less... we like more)
   *use fresh from the garden if you have it.
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
2 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp gumbo file' (ground sassafras leaves)
6-8 shakes Tabasco
1 Tbs. cajun seasoning (I use Slap Yo Momma or Tony Chachere's)*
    (I find Tony's to be very salty, so use sparingly IF you add additional salt)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less)

Boudin; Smoked Sausage; Chicken; Shrimp; Crab; Oysters

Brown your meat. Add in the onions, celery & bell pepper.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and remaining spices, stir around.  Add Rotel, tomato sauce and water and remaining spices.  If it looks a little too thick, add a little more water.  You want it to be thick, but so thick that it sticks.  Let it simmer for about 30-45 minutes, checking periodically. You  might need to add a bit of water from time to time.  Now is the time you should put in any add-ins like boudin, sausage, chicken or crab.  If you add shrimp or oysters, add those about 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. They are ready as soon as they are hot.  Cook another 30 minutes.  (final add ins -- fish, if you choose).

Make sure your rice is ready.  Oh yeah, did I tell you to make rice?  20 minutes in the microwave or 20 minutes on the stove top.  Or Minute Rice. Whatever you do.

If the seafood is ready, serve it up over rice.  Top with a little more File' and some more Tabasco if you like.
Cornbread or crackers is always good.  If you have wimpy folks, serve with a big glass of milk to cool them off.


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