Close enough to gumbo for me…

The other day, our gardening neighbor graced our kitchen with a huge amount of okra and some squash. The okra was huge and fibrous so I dumped it in the sink, planning on washing it and cutting out the seeds to try them out like you would peas or beans.

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Seriously this stuff was the size of those bomb pops you get from the ice cream truck, huge!

As I was washing the okra and setting it aside, I noticed some really nice tender, 2″ – 3″ pieces and thought about that shrimp in the freezer. Every now and then I make okra and tomatoes, sometimes tossing in some salad shrimp and slap ya mama, just to get that gumbo “taste”. I had just finished picking all the bones out of the bone broth from chicken dinner last when I thought that just maybe the bone broth is strong enough to go roux-less.

Chicken bone broth:

  • 1 baked, grilled, or smoked chicken carcass
  • 3 stalks of celery, washed and cut into about four pieces each
  • 1 carrot, cut into large chunks, or a handful of baby carrots
  • 1 large onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon salt (your favorite flavor and color should be fine)
  • fifteen grinds of black pepper (coarse)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • water to a couple inches past covering (about 4 quarts)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and pop a top on it. Let it cook as long as you can. If you have no problem cooking overnight in the crockpot, have at it, if not, let it cool and refrigerate over night.

This morning I removed the chilled chicken bone broth to be to the stove and kicked up the heat. I melted the fat and gelatin alike. I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to medium and covered it for seven more hours. Since I’m not a mechanic, the chicken was hand separated from the bones instead of mechanically separated. I tasted the carrots and celery, the onions had long since melted away, and thought that they would make a nice lunch with some left over armadillo loaf.

Close enough to gumbo? “This doesn’t look like your normal gumbo.” he said. “Yeah, I didn’t make a roux, you know I don’t do wheat.” I replied, and added “besides, I made you a grilled cheese to go with, and it has wheat.” Reluctantly he tasted it. He finished it, and he said “That was good”. Yes, I know what that means, it means it wasn’t gumbo, but he thought it was good. May had two bowls, so I know what she thought. As for me, I thought it was close enough to gumbo for me, and darned tasty.

Chicken and shrimp gumboesque soup

  • 2 quarts chicken bone broth, bones and veg removed, chicken added back in
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced in sweet little smiles
  • ¼ green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 small red sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 t Slap Ya Mama seasoning (you can add more later if desired
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, and a can of water
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh okra, sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 T Louisiana hot sauce
  • ¼ cup long grain white rice

In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine chicken and broth, canned tomatoes plus one can of water, celery, onion, bell pepper, sweet peppers, okra, hot sauce, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Let cook for at least an hour before adding rice. (I like to let it cook for 2 – 3 hours myself). After your hour or three, stir in ¼ cup of long grain (or really what ever kind you like, just for wild or brown it will take more time) rice and cover.

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Step 1: add the veg and seasoning to the broth and chicken

Take this time to peel your shrimp if it is not already peeled. After twenty minutes, add the shrimp to the pot. You will see that the shrimp turns pink rather quickly. It really takes five minutes or less once you’ve added the shrimp.

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The rice is already in there, the shrimp cooks really fast and is squiggly when over cooked, it only takes a few minutes.

Adding the small amount of rice to the soup, rather than cooking it separately helped to thicken the soup. A little gumbo file mixed in a bowl full was quite nice.

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Hot, fresh, and delicious, like I like it!

Since this recipe does contain rice, and If you are actively trying to lose weight, maybe wait until the maintenance stage of your weight loss program before trying it out. There was enough soup for six servings, so that divides the thirty five grams of carbohydrates from the rice up quite nicely. Making the bone broth and using okra fresh from the garden made this recipe easy on the pocketbook.

The supersized okra didn’t go to waste either. I bagged it up and went to my sisters. I took Romeo a piece of lasagna an gave the okra to Bubba. He still comes running when I snort and click. He does look a little lonely, so I scratched his head and smacked him on the rump like always. My sister is still dog sitting for my mom, so Casper went with me to see Bubba. He went under the wire and couldn’t find his way back out without shocking his nose. While it probably wasn’t funny to Casper to have a 350 pound boss hog chasing his little 5 pound self around the fence, I couldn’t stop laughing. First off, it was early, Bubba was just walking, and really, Casper is a hypochondriac. It was pretty gross being covered in pig and dog slobber on the ride home, but I guess it could have been worse had Casper fainted.

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