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roux the day

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I love New Orleans.  And I love seafood.  So it stands to reason that one of my favorite soups is seafood gumbo.  Towards the end of Old Man Craig’s garden peak season, there was a surplus of okra lying around.  I mean, a LOT.  My mind immediately went to making gumbo.  I’d heard it was difficult, but we were ready to take on the project.

It all started with the okra, honestly.

DSC03615DSC03618 Did you know that okras start as flowers?  Then they turn into these plants that you probably recognize.  Learn something new everyday!

Anyway, we decided to go by this recipe from Paula Deen, all the while making our own substitutions and adjusting as necessary.  We used no chicken, two links sweet Italian turkey sausage, and a small package of small frozen shrimp (like, petite cocktail shrimp).

First, I started by chopping up the veggies.


My mom told me that you can reduce tears by cramming a piece of bread in your mouth when chopping onions.

Funny, I usually remedy other tears by cramming bread in my mouth.  Regardless of the source.


You’re looking at chopped bell pepper, flat leaf parsley, celery and onion.

While I chopping away, Craig cooked the sausage and Reagan presided over the roux.


Ah, the roux.

I was really worried about this.  Everything online was like, “If you smelled something burned, THROW IT ALL OUT! IT SUCKS! YOU SUCK! YOU RUINED IT!”  No joking.  People taking their roux-ing seriously.

It was kinda like making gravy.

DSC04668 It started like this, looking like pancake batter.  “No way this will work,” I said.  “It’s going to look like this or get really crumbly and dry.”  Little did I know.

DSC04673 Before we knew it, the roux turned this satisfying shade of deep red.  And it smelled sooo good.

Next up, we added the chopped pepper, onion, garlic and celery.

DSC04684 Then shortly after that, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and parsley (not all of it).

DSC04688Paula’s recipe says to add the water and bouillon cubes, and then simmer for 45 minutes.

Um, I’m impatient, so we did not do that.

We let it boil and brought it down for maybe 20 minutes, then we added the okra and tomatoes.

DSC04696 (Paula says to let it simmer for another hour.  Think again.)  I think we managed to wait 30 t- almost 45 minutes before we got so hungry we had to dig in.

DSC04700 Oh, yes m’am.  This was sooo good.  And true to soup’s natural tendency, it was truly incredible the next day after having sat in the fridge overnight.  All the flavors combined; it was like an explosion in my mouth.

Fortunately, Craig has a shit-ton of frozen okra leftover from the profitable summer, so I see more gumbo in our future this winter.

Are you a gumbo fan?  Have you ever made a roux?


4 responses »

  1. Craig has a garden? He just got cuter. This looks delicious! (And you, Summer, are hilarious.)

  2. Love okra, love gumbo, love la roux…..errrr , making a roux to enjoy the previous two!


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