Lone Star Gumbo
Recipe courtesy of Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant
Makes 8 appetizer or 4 main course portions
This recipe has roots with our Cajun neighbors, while allowing for a little Lone Star spin to make it just a bit more Texan. The use of poblanos and jalapeños as well as Texas harvested seafood and Texas-made sausage bring the local element into play. Do not confuse Mexican-style chorizo with the Spanish-style chorizo that is made in Boerne, Texas by Aurelias Sausage Company. Aurelias chorizo is a fully cooked Spanish-style smoked sausage that will add both a depth of flavor and a bit of spice to the gumbo. If you cannot find it in stores and do not want to order it online, you can always substitute a good quality smoked pork keilbasa or andouille sausage.
Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat and add in salad oil and flour to make a roux.
Cook flour and oil mixture, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the roux becomes the color of milk chocolate (about 20 to 25 minutes). Do not allow the roux to burn. If you begin to notice black specs in the roux or it smokes strongly, discard the roux after it cools down and start again.
Once the roux has achieved the desired color, turn down the heat to low and add in the onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Stir the vegetables in the roux until they begin to soften, then stir in the bay, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano and white pepper and allow to cook for a couple more minutes until the herbs become aromatic.
Turn the heat up to high and begin to whisk in the stock, one cup at a time until fully incorporated.
Let the gumbo come to a boil for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the Spanish chorizo and allow to cook for about 1 hour. You can add more stock or water if the gumbo becomes too thick.
Turn the heat back up to medium and add in the shrimp. Cook for about three minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.
Remove the gumbo from the heat and taste for proper seasoning, add salt to taste as well as cayenne and Tabasco.
Serve hot while ladling into bowls or cups and adding a scoop of rice to the center of each.
Note: Both the roux and the sausage can leave a layer of oil floating on top of the gumbo after it has simmered for a while. It is best to use a ladle to skim and discard the excess oil prior to serving.