In our family, gumbo was chicken, shrimp, sausage, crab bodies and file, period. No okra. Light on the rice. There was really no big brouhaha about the roux. You made a gravy base; no big deal, gravy was made all the time. Now I know you “Loosiana” people are going to protest but I never heard anyone say, “no thanks” to my mother’s gumbo.
So. I had some shrimp languishing in the freezer, a couple of smoked sausages in the refrigerator that I wanted to move onward and file powder in the cupboard that was calling my name. I could have added some chicken thighs but decided to save them for some other purpose; like the grill or char sui chicken.
While walking the dog this morning at around six o’clock, I stopped by my favorite vegetable stand in the open market (she was still unpacking) and bought some green bell peppers. I was ready to make my gumbo light! Almost. I needed to mix up another batch of Emeril’s essence.
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon piment espelette or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
So much fuss about getting that brown, gruel looking color! I just made gravy.
I hate to admit it, but the okra gumbo makers are probably a lot more authentic. In Africa and Haiti, okra is called gumbo. Anyway, to the recipe!
File Gumbo Light
2 smoked sausages, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup flour
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 huge cloves of garlic, chopped
3 – 4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 lb of shrimp, cleaned, de-veined and seasoned with Emeril’s essence
1/2 cup chopped parsley
In a saute pan, brown the sausage slices, remove and set aside. Add the vegetable oil and flour to the pan, cooking and stirring on low heat until you have achieved a dark, chocolate color and the flour is cooked. You can choose to do this for as long as you like!
Add the bell pepper, celery, garlic, then cook until the vegetables are soft. Sprinkle the vegetables with about 2 tbsp of file powder and 1 tbsp of Emeril’s essence. Add the chicken broth, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, file powder and Emeril’s essence.
Add the shrimp and parsley, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
Eat as is or serve over rice, as you like, sprinkled with sliced scallions.
I packed these mini casseroles for the Parrets.