Sunday around our house was such a gloriously lazy, rainy day. We went out for brunch, planned a fun dinner, bought dinner supplies, and then slowly prepped dinner while watching a Survivorman marathon on Netflix. Pretty freaking awesome.
We had some super flavorful (and super spicy!) hot andouille sausage that we purchased last weekend at the Ballard Farmers Market sitting around in the freezer, and we wanted to do something different and more “special” with it. Enter gumbo. When looking for a recipe that I’m kind of unfamiliar with or that I think of as being difficult, I often look to Alton Brown to break it down for me. A quick Google search led me to his Shrimp Gumbo recipe.
Our trip to the market for supplies led us to alter some aspects of the recipe. Our fish monger didn’t have any shrimp with heads on, so we settled for fresh, wild, American shrimp, and figured the could handle making the stock without the heads. Also, our market didn’t have filé powder, and after reading that there was no substitute and that it was mostly used for thickening, we just decided to forgo it.
Dinner was a team effort. While Brent made the roux (in the oven, which was new to me), I peeled the shrimp and made the shrimp stock. After that bit of hands off prep work, we assembled our mise en place and got cooking.
Brent did most of the active work, sauteing the veggies in the dark roux, and stirring in the shrimp stock.
Look at that rich brown color! Oh, and the gumbo came out super flavorful, which I took all credit for since I made the stock. Ha. Brent claims it was all because of the roux.
I was out of rice, so I just decided to make a batch of couscous to go with the gumbo because I love how quick cooking it is. I was shocked at how flavorful this was (which is ridiculous, I know). But man, it was just so freaking good. And that andouille certainly brought the heat!
Could it have used the filé powder or some other thickening agent? Definitely. But I don’t think we missed out that much, and mixing it with the couscous thickened it up quite a bit. Oh, and I also liked this recipe because it doesn’t have okra, which I’m not a fan of. This was the perfect use for the andouille, and it’s always fun to cook with Brent. And we have tons left over for lunch!
Since moving to Seattle, where Brent works longer hours and has a longer commute, I have come to absolutely live for weekends. It feels so special to have two full days of uninterrupted time with my husband and an awesome city to explore together.