Thursday, 26 May 2016

Prawn Gumbo

Another Cajun / Creole inspired meal in a week (by accident rather than design) after the dirty risotto. I think I saw a version of this on Pinterest originally which spurred me to do a little research and then some more when that in turn spurred me on to find out the difference between an etouffee & a gumbo.

For those that are interested, a gumbo is made with a traditional roux, that is then browned and then the ‘holy trinity’ of celery, peppers and onions is added as well as broth and meat/seafood of choice (and okra if you’re into it, which I’m not). Basically a kind of soupy stew served over or alongside rice.

Etouffee means smothered and is usually crayfish or prawns, covered with a light roux (i.e. not browned) in which the holy trinity are then sauteed. The flavor of a blond roux is different, and because it's not cooked much, it has great thickening power, hence why it's called "smothered." The sauce is thicker.

The gumbo recipe I chose to adapt didn’t have pepper so in the interest of keeping to the ‘holy trinity’ I took liberty of adding it plus some tinned jalapenos - partly as I had some to use up but also as I like chillies.

Although I have made a roux before, I’ve never had to prepare one where it is browned and then is used to cook the vegetables - the fragrance as the chopped veg hit that nutty brown roux and sizzle is utterly delicious and really stimulates the appetite.

Ideally we would have had this spooned over brown rice but I didn’t leave myself enough time so basmati it was.

Prawn Gumbo
serves 2

170g raw prawns
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
250ml fish stock
small tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp canned diced green chillies
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp smoked paprika
⅛ tsp cayenne
juice of 
½ lemon
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chopped parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce (to taste)

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat.

Sprinkle flour over the oil and stir well until it's completely blended. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the flour-oil mixture browns and is dark caramel-coloured. Be very careful not to let it burn (be warned, this process isn't particularly quick so don't lose concentration through boredom and let it catch!).

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the onions, celery, green pepper, green chillies and garlic and sprinkle over ⅛ tsp salt and a few turns of freshly-ground pepper. Stir well then cover the pan and let the vegetables cook in the roux for 10-15 minutes until softened.

To the pan add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

Stir well then add the stock and let simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the prawns and let simmer in the soup until they are just firm and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes, depending on size. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

Stir in the chopped parsley, a couple of drops of Tabasco and serve in wide bowls over rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment