Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fire Roasted Gumbo

To start off...I have never really had gumbo or cajun cooking. Living in Utah, we are pretty much in the dark with anything of the sort. Sooooo with that being said, if this dish does not live up to the REAL down home cajun good eats, I apologize. This would be my BEST attempt at gumbo and I do hope y'all enjoy it as much as I do.

Now, we start with fire roasting 3 roma tomatoes or 2 regular tomatoes. Now you CAN use a can of pre-fire roasted tomatoes. Since your already going to roast your jalapenos I just like to throw the maters in as well. Turn your oven to broil and line a small baking sheet with tin foil. Place the rinsed tomatoes and two jalapenos on the foil, then on the top shelf on your oven. Broil the veggies for about 15-20 minutes turning them over halfway. You will want a nice "charring on both the jalapenos and mater and this is what you want your finished product to look like:

While your veggies are getting roasty toasty in the oven, prepare the roux. Place 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium sauce pan and heat on medium high. Now, you want to use a vegetable oil to create your roux. Butter will burn before you are able to get a nice toasted browned roux. For the flour, I used a 1/4 cup of the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free mix. Reason for this flour is the bean flours will brown nicely AND provide a nice robust earthy taste. Whisk constantly over medium/high heat keeping the flour evenly incorporated. After about 10 minutes or so, you will have a nice rusty brown roux.

Next we get to create the "holy trinity" of cajun tasties...the parts being 1, 2, and 3. One onion, two stalks celery, and three bell peppers. For this soup, I like to mix up my 3 bell peppers and throw in a red and orange along with the green. Just cuz I like the look of the different colors AND the tastes.

Once the "trinity" is created, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large kettle and heat on medium high. Once oil is hot, toss in your trinity and 3 minced garlic cloves cover and cook on medium stirring occasionaly for about 10 minutes, until the onions turn translucent. While the veggies are "sweating" and releasing the flavors, take 2 lbs of de-tailed shrimp and place in a skillet with 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, smoked paprika, and cajun seasoning. The trick to savory flavorful meat is to pre-cook it with seasonings instead of just boiling the raw meat in the soup base ;) Once the liquid from the shrimp has simmered out and the shrimp have shrunk (little pun I could'nt resist hehehehe), set aside.

After the veggies have simmered for about 15 minutes, slowly whisk in about 1 cup of vegetable broth in the roux. Meanwhile, stir in the remaining quart of vegetable broth in the vegetables, then stir in the roux mixture. Add your diced turnip, yam, parsnip, diced fire roasted tomatoes, diced fire roasted jalapenos, and cooked shrimp. Then stir in 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika. NOW.....I have said it once and I'll say it again. Supply your kitchen with the delightfully wonderful savory smoked paprika. A little goes a LONG way and it adds SO much to whatever you are cooking.
Cover and simmer on medium/low until vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Next comes my favorite.....the okra. now WHY was I born in UT and was NEVER introduced to this delish veggie until I was in my mid 20's. YUM. This go around I was not able to find fresh, so I had to opt for the frozen variety of okra. WHICH I had to go to 2 different grocery stores to find anyway. Once your cajun veggie staple has been added, simmer another 10 minutes and KAZAM! Gumbo is ready :)

Cool thing about this recipe is that it can easily be turned to a vegetarian dish by simply omitting the shrimp :)

Here be your recipe breakdown:

1-2 fire roasted jalapenos diced
3 fire roasted roma tomatoes diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free mix
1 onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
3 bell peppers diced
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 parsnip diced and peeled
1 turnip diced
1 sweet potato or yam peeled and diced
1 cup diced okra
1 quart chicken broth
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 cups rinsed and de-tailed shrimp

Fire roast the tomatoes and jalapenos by placing on a tin foil lined baking pan on the top shelf in the oven set at broil. Broil for 15 minutes turning them halfway through. Meanwhile, create roux by placing 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium sauce pan and heat on medium high. Whisk in 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour blend whisking constantly until it becomes a rusty brown color. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large kettle and stir in garlic, onion, celery, and bell peppers. Cover and sweat vegetables stirring occasionaly until the onions turn translucent. Meanwhile, sautee shrimp over medium/high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter then sprinkle with salt, smoked paprika, and cajun seasoning. Set aside once the the liquid given off until the shrimp is cooked out. Next, slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the veggie broth in the roux. Stir in the remainder of the vegetable broth in the large kettle with the onion, bell pepper, and celery then mix in the cajun seasoning and smoked paprika then mix in the roux mixture. Once liquid is simmering, stir in the fire roasted tomato, jalapeno, shrimp, parsnip, turnip, and yams. Cover and simmer until raw veggies are tender (roughly 15 minutes). Stir in the diced okra and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste.

That's all folks :)

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