Quick Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
Gumbo is a dish from Louisiana that has a really cool cooking technique and an ingredient that I’d never used before. Find out all about it here and get my easy shrimp gumbo recipe.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aidells®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Things have been crazy busy over here lately. With the new website and the kids’ and my husbands’ crazy schedules I’ve been moving around faster than ever. So of course, when it comes to making dinner, I’ve been turning to quick dishes that use quick-cooking ingredients more and more often.
For vegetables, I’ve been doing a lot more quick tossed salads and cold veggies with dip. The kids love these and there is literally no cooking time. Win-win!
For starches, actually, we’ve been skipping or minimizing these a bit lately in our dinners. Why? My husband joined crossfit a little while ago and it has gotten us both motivated to get a bit healthier. Taking one thing off of our plates at dinner most nights helps with that, and (ha! ha!) less to cook!
For proteins, we’ve been doing more fish and shellfish for sure. It cooks up so so quickly. And I’ve been tossing in pre-cooked meats a lot too. My favorites for adding great flavor quickly are Aidells® sausages. They come in all kinds of cool flavors like Chicken and Apple, Italian, Mango and Jalapeno, Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Cheese (yes, really!), Spinach and Feta…the list goes on. They have no nitrites which makes them healthier for sure, no hormones and they contain real ingredients. We love them.
So I was totally delighted to find out that Aidells® sausages are going on sale at Publix from March 17-25, 2016. The price will be two packs for $10 which is such a great deal. I’m totally going to stock up. Which means I need to think of some awesome sausage recipes to make.
I was thinking about how I want to have quick-cooking ingredients and quick dishes. I thought it would be fun to combine both some shellfish and sausage. It occurred to me that I had never in my life made gumbo, which I was pretty sure sometimes had both shrimp and sausage. I did some research to find out what was involved. I was right. And it’s actually a really unique cooking method and it contains an ingredient I’d never encountered before. What a fun way to bring sausages to our dinner table!
The cool cooking technique is a roux (a flour and oil mixture used to thicken soups and sauces) that you cook in a pot until it’s as dark as peanut butter. This gives gumbo its distinctive gravy color and also a really nice nutty flavor. While that’s cooking, you slice and then cook up the sausages in a skillet. I went with Aidells® Cajun Style Andouille Sausages for this, very authentic.
You also chop up what’s known as the Cajun holy trinity of vegetables, celery, onion and green bell pepper, plus lots of garlic. When the roux is dark, you add the vegetables and cook them until soft. Then you go in with some broth and water and seasonings. Cayenne and thyme are the usual suspects. And salt and pepper, of course. When the liquid is simmering, you add the darkened sausages and the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are pink.
Then, here’s where the really cool thing comes in. You add an herb called filé. It’s the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree. It lends a distinctive flavor and thickens the liquid a little bit. I found the filé powder in the same Publix where I got the sausages. It was in the aisle with the herbs and spices. It was low down below the spices. I actually had trouble finding it but a nice staff member helped me out. (I adore the staff at my Publix. They are beyond friendly and helpful).
A quick note about thickness. Some gumbos are really thick, like a gravy. I did some reading and it turns out it’s supposed to be more like a thick soup, like the thickness of cream of mushroom soup. That’s what you’ll get here. If you want it thicker, you could make more roux at the beginning and add more file powder at the end. But taste as you add because it does have a strong flavor.
I hope you loved hearing about this unique dish. And now here’s my easy gumbo recipe. If you make it, let me know in the comments below. Have a great day!
Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (12oz.) package Aidells® Cajun Style Andouille Sausages, in 1/4 inch thick slices
- 4 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 of a large green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 4 cups low or no-sodium beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dry thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 24 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined with or without tail attached
- 1 Tbsp. gumbo filé powder
- Into a Dutch oven or large pot measure the flour and vegetable oil. Whisk them together to combine. Cook over medium heat while whisking occasionally until as brown as peanut butter, about 6-8 minutes. If it starts to bubble a lot or brown in spots really quickly, turn heat down to medium-low or low.
- Meanwhile, put the sausage in a dry medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until blackened in spots, about 5 minutes.
- When the oil and flour mixture has reached the right deep brown color, add the celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until softened, stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the beef broth and water in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for 5 minutes.
- Stir the broth into the vegetables a little bit at a time (about 1/2 cup) stirring constantly until it is all added. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme and cayenne. Stir. Heat over medium-high to a simmer. Add the shrimp and the sausages. Cook utnil shrimp are pink and opaque, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
- Stir constantly while sprinkling in the filé powder. Cover and let sit 10 minutes. Serve over rice.