Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Dinner New Orleans Shrimp Gumbo Recipe

Photo Credit: Flickr Kent Wang Gumbo
I visited NOLA twice before Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans stole my heart and I've talked about its decor, food and people ever since. Since NOLA is on my heart today, this is my Valentine's Dinner dish. 

I also recommend that every former girl scout go there. Why? Because if you are a former Bluebird or Brownie, you already have a patriotic streak. I am a child of immigrants so this means that my parents signed me up for scouting to increase my love for my country. One of the highlights of my dad's career was being sent to New Orleans to train French chemists visiting America.

Photo Credit: EvilTomThai Oyster
My siblings and I love Arnaud's for its Oysters Rockefeller and Turtle Soup.

Photo Credit: Flickr Cote Crayfish Omelette
We also love Copeland's on St. Charles street before they became a brunch-only restaurant.

One of my brothers was a fan of Copeland's sour cream and lemon pasta. Can't beat Bananas Foster for dessert. 

Going to New Orleans will make you feel even more proud to be an American. I am a Chinese American with an appreciation of African American culture. Go to the birthplace of jazz. Visit African American museums. Taste the melting pot of dishes inspired by the French, Spanish and Africans. See NOLA rebuild and witness its spirit of resilience.

Photo Credit: Flickr Aghrivaine Jambalaya
Photo Credit: Renee Marchol's Kitchen Gumbo
Yes, Southern food is not light fare. However, you can lighten gumbo for low sodium and high fiber diets.

Lighter New Orleans Shrimp Gumbo

2 andouille sausages sliced into half moons
28 oz tomato paste or 10 fresh tomatoes
2 TB dehydrated onion granules
1 tsp crushed garlic

10 oz frozen sliced ozra
6 oz clams with natural juice
2 TB all purpose flour
2 TB dried basil
3 TB unsalted butter or 2 TB margarine and 1 TB olive oil

4 cups of water
16 oz deveined, pre-cooked, peeled shrimp
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 TB condensed beef bullion
1/4 tsp white pepper

Step 1: Create the roux by browning the flour with the fat in a tall stockpot. Add the okra and fry the vegetables for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and bullion into the pot. Pour in the water. Stir the roux to combine with the liquid. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 3: Add the pre-cooked sausage and pre-cooked shrimp. Heat through for another 10 minutes. Serve the soup over brown rice.

Photo Credit: Flickr J.E.N.N.Y Okra
Note: Gumbo can burn easily because of the roux base and the stickiness of the okra. Resist the temptation to turn the stove on high. Simmer.

Seafood is naturally higher in sodium so reduce salt in this recipe by using fresh tomatoes rather than canned tomato paste. You can also rinse the clams before adding to the mixture and omit the clam juice.

Serve the hot soup over brown rice rather than white rice for higher fiber. The soup itself is low carb with veggies such as tomatoes and okra. Shrimp and clams provide lean protein.

The use of clams and the addition of sausage is not traditional. White pepper and basil are also my touches. Use parsley, green bell pepper and bay leaves for seasoning for a traditional flavor. I used basil and white pepper to compensate for the lower sodium.
Photo Credit: Flickr SweetFixNYC Bananas Foster

Let the good times roll!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.