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.
As 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.
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 filé 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!