Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jumbo Gumbo Jumble

     The original plan was to throw some Italian sausage on the barbecue for dinner.  I wasn't sure what else to pair with it and was hoping meal inspiration would sort itself out.  Realizing that I had frozen shrimp in the freezer I decided to get daring and try to make gumbo or technically jambalaya since that recipe called for sausage.  I ended up mashing the two recipes together based on what I had available.
     I started by sauteing the sausages over low heat.  Once that was started I planned to peel the shrimp.  I didn't want to cook them and then have to take the shells off.  Then I could just pop them in the wok and have a one pot meal.  I believe in saving energy, especially mine.  However, not only were the shrimp frozen but they needed to be de-veined.  Oh fun, there's something I do all the time.  I ran the shrimp under cold water and set about prepping them.  Who knew shrimp could be so time consuming?  I really had the impression this recipe was going to be a snap to pull together. Next time I will have to buy the prepped shrimp and skip that step.
Brr! Peeling Frozen Shrimp
    Next I threw the shrimp in with the the cooking sausages. When they were turning pink I added a chopped jar of pickled okra because you always have that on hand, right?  I removed the sausages and sliced them up. Here's the part where I really veer off the recipe.  I added a gallon-sized freezer bag of ratatouille. I had made a double batch while the garden was plentiful and tucked it away in the freezer.  Please see "Easter Eggplant" for this recipe in my earlier post.  The sausages went back in to finish up.
   Since the ratatouille was already full of herbs I just added a dash of Frank's Red Hot and let everything simmer about 5 minutes.  The eggplant and zucchini released some water so I tried to let that cook down.  The recipe says to serve it over rice, but decided it was enough with all off the vegetables.  It produced six servings with leftovers and was met with good reviews. I offered Frank's Red Hot at the table in case anyone would like a more spicy touch. I am rather cautious with cooking seafood and was pleased that the shrimp were not overdone. I would recommended adding more water to serve it as a soup.

Both original recipes were found in the Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Shrimp Gumbo

1/4 cup butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1 medium bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 package (10 ounces) frozen cut okra, thawed
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds uncooked fresh or frozen medium shrimp in shells
3 cups hot cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions, bell pepper, and garlic in butter 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except shrimp, rice and parsley, breaking up tomatoes with a fork or snipping with kitchen scissors. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.Peel shrimp. (If shrimp are frozen, do not thaw; peel in cold water.) Make a shallow cut lengthwise down back of each shrimp; wash out vein.
4. Stir shrimp into gumbo. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Remove bay leaf. Serve soup in bowls over rice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Quick Jambalaya

1 package (8 ounces) brown-and-serve sausage links
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen quick-cooking cleaned shrimp

1. Cut sausages diagonally into 1-inch slices. Cook as directed; drain.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


  1. Wonderful post, Micky. I love the recipe and am going to pin this on Pinterest.

  2. Thank you Carol. I used to find a recipe and go to the store to gather ingredients. Now I find I often bend and stretch a recipe to work with what I have on hand with interesting results!