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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Seafood Gumbo for New Mexico Desert Dwellers

It’s been too long since I posted, although it hasn’t been for a lack of words, as those who know me will attest. It has been a busy month and I was trying hard to not let life catch up with me. I took a short trip to Charleston SC and then spent more time preparing and catching up than I did on the trip. So now I’m back to my blog and ready to post a recipe I came up with the other night.

The Charleston trip found me eating seafood at every meal because being a desert dweller I yearn for seafood. I came home to my bed and breakfast in Albuquerque and immediately cooked up some seafood risotto, (because I didn’t have grits!). My seafood jones was not satiated. I had to have gumbo…seafood gumbo. I’m calling it my Desert Dweller Jones for Seafood Gumbo.

fresh chopped vegetables for gumboingerdients foy GumboSmoked Sausage and seafood for gumboAs all good gumbo includes – mine has the holy trinity of celery, onion and bell peppers, as well as the obligatory smoked sausage and a bit of bacon to start it off, (because you can’t EVER find tasso ham in New Mexico! EVER!) And then there’s the seafood…Here are the ingredients.

1/2 cup half cooked bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups celery
2 cups onion
2 cups red bell pepper
2 cups frozen okra
1 cup chopped hot green chili – this is a NM ingredient!
3 cloves of garlic, minced – NM can’t claim this but it sure grows well here!
1 1/2 tsp cumin – we call it comino, another NM ingredient!)
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
3 bay leaves
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 cup clam juice ( I will use 2 cups next time)
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
3 links smoked sausage ( I used two links of regular beef smoked sausage and one link of Louisiana hot links from Costco, all fully cooked)
2 cups of medium to large cooked tail on shrimp
2 cups of crab meat (imitation crab is ok, but the real stuff is better!)
2 cups small bay scallops
Roux – make your own if you like, but I had a guest from Texas who sent us this fantastic roux called Doguet’s Cajun Roux, comes in a jar. It keeps really well in the fridge for several months after opening. I am up for another suggestion for prepared roux, as this one isn’t available online, as far as I can see. Everyone has an opinion about roux. Let’s not argue about it.

I think that’s everything. Using a cast iron pot – heat olive oil to pretty darn hot and stir in the bacon until it is very crispy, not burnt. Then add the celery, onions, garlic and bell pepper, stirring often until the onions are just about clear, 5-7 minutes.

Add chili, thyme, parsley and cumin with 3 cups of water, 1 cups chicken stock and the clam juice and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a medium simmer, add sausage, bay leaves, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 15 more minutes.

Desert Dweller Seafood Gumbo

Add about 1 cup of roux and as the liquid cooks down continue to add the rest of the chicken stock a cup at a time, and at about 30 minutes add the frozen okra.

It has been about 45 minutes of cooking now and I am getting really hungry. I cook it all for another 15 minutes and add the seafood and let it go another ten minutes. I can’t wait any longer…serve over cooked white rice and add filĂ© to taste. Mmmmm. This is really good gumbo!!!!

I know the best things to eat in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

6 Responses to “Seafood Gumbo for New Mexico Desert Dwellers”

  1. Jim says:

    I am from Texas originally but lived in Baton Rouge for years which is where I learned to cook. I love all that Cajun/Creole food. I also love the food of New Mexico, where I have spent a fair amount of time. I now live in Seattle. I have been making gumbo for decades and the last couple of years or so, I have been experimenting with a New Mexico-ized version of gumbo and it has gotten so good that it has become my standard gumbo style. I have made it with either chicken or pork as the meat, both good. I have not made a seafood version. I have made it both with and without okra. I include ground cumin (like I said, I am from Texas) and ground coriander. I always include at least two cups of chopped roasted green chile, Anaheim, New Mexico, Poblano, whatever is available. The reason why I am posting this reply is that I wanted to comment on the roux. I have taken to making a medium brown roux using masa harina in place of the flour. This roux works well as a thickener and it gives the gumbo a nice corny undertone that goes very well with the green chile. Further corniness comes from adding whole hominy to the gumbo. This dish is good either over rice like Louisiana gumbo or without the rice. I highly recommend anyone who likes both gumbo and New Mexico food to experiment with this. I am liking this better than any of the Louisiana style gumbos that I have made in recent years. The Louisiana purists who taught me to make gumbo might be skeptical but so what? This stuff is good. I tell people it is Pedro Boudreaux’s Albuquerque gumbo. I am eating a bowl of it for lunch as I am writing this. While I was eating, I wondered if anyone had posted a New Mexico style gumbo on the internet, which is how I came to be on this site.

    • adobenido says:

      I am excited to try these experiments of yours, Jim. It sounds fantastic. And the heck with the purists…they can’t even agree with themselves, right? Thanks for checkin’ in with your culinary insights!

    • Jim says:

      I am the Jim who posted a reply on 1/22/13.

      You are right about the gumbo purists. There is a lot of disagreement among them. Another non traditional gumbo ingredient that some of them would balk at: I haven’t made a gumbo of any style in the last twenty years without adding a couple tablespoons of Thai fish sauce. In my opinion, it just makes gumbo better.

      I hope you experiment with my New Mexico gumbo suggestions because it is a style that I am continuing to work on and I would be interested in any suggestions your experiments sparked. You have my email address. I have not tried it but I was thinking that fresh epazote might add a nice touch.

  2. Sandra Stark says:

    And how many people does it serve? Bruce says I make battalion size quantities, not good for just the two of us.

    • adobenido says:

      Depends on your appetite. Can serve six to eight depending on how much rice you serve it over. We have done two big meals of it and there is 2 more servings left over. It will freeze well too.

  3. Sandra Stark says:

    Looks seriously yummy. Think I’ll try it.

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