The Dirty South

My parents have lived in Baton Rouge for the past 6 years or so – I have always LOVED Cajun food, and their relocation to the dirty south has given me even  more of an appreciation for the cuisine. I crave a good crawfish boil, gumbo and etouffee.

Carter and I have been planning a visit down that way and it has got my mouth-watering for some Cajun treats. It just so happens that the stars aligned at the farmers market last week – I was able to pick up some okra (ok, the stars didn’t need to align much for that), andouille sausage from Proffitt Farms, Georgia Reds(shrimp) and some NC crab meat. I mean… this screamed – MAKE GUMBO!

Sooooo, a traditional gumbo roux is out because of the flour. Can I fake a roux? Eeeek! I was a little skeptical, but I decided to try it. It actually turned out really well! Here’s what I did…

You’ll need:
15-20 little yellow pear tomatoes
2 Roma tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic – minced
1/2 of a small white onion – chopped finely
1 green bell pepper chopped finely
1 red bell pepper chopped finely
1 cup of crab meat
2 cups of pork broth (I used the broth I had frozen from a pork butt earlier in the month)
1 lb of shrimp
20 count of okra
1 medium pepper (yellow peppers from the market right now, they have the heat of a jalapeno)
2 links of andouille sausage – sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of Grapeseed Oil
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon celery seed

First blanch the tomatoes so that you can easily peel the skin away – this is a quick dip in boiling water. Set the tomatoes aside to let cool for a few. In a medium size dutch oven add about a tablespoon of grapeseed oil. To that add the garlic and onion. Saute until they start to soften – then add the pear tomatoes and roma tomatoes. Continue to stir until they begin to cook down in to a paste – then add the peppers.  Add celery seed, salt and pepper to taste. I usually give the salt grinder 3 turns and the pepper grinder 4-5 turns. Saute for another minute or so.

Add the pork broth(including the fat on top) plus the one cup of water. Bring to a slow boil. Add the andouille and okra. Continue to simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes on low heat. Stirring occasionally. While that is cooking butterfly, de-vein and peal your shrimp. Remove lid and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and crabmeat – and continue to let simmer until the shrimp begin to curl. This should take about 5-10 minutes at the most. Cover and remove from heat.

Getch'ya gumbo!

I also made some cauliflower rice to soak up the gumbo goodness. All ya do is give a head of cauliflower a quick steam – throw it into a food processor in small batches – pulse process until it takes on the consistency of rice. Add a little salt and pepper. Voila, rice base for the gumbo! I love avocado – so I added a little on top for good measure!



Categories: Recipe


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