Mardi Gras Seafood Gumbo

Heather and I always joke that we manage to compliment each other perfectly. She has her baking and desert making and I am comfortable in front of the grill/smoker and even spending way to much time stirring a roux. Which is good because there is nothing worse than two people fighting over a spatula to flip the burger. Plus her stuff requires concentration and my stuff just requires being in close proximity of the kegerator or beer fridge. I win.

Which brings me to this seafood gumbo, and my 13 hour roux (kidding, maybe 1 hour). For those of you who already skipped my rambling and just went ahead to the recipe and are now back here wondering… what gives only 12 ounces of beer? I know that seems like nothing, but we chose to use an amber ale and we definitely could pick up on it. Sometimes less is more.

Oh one more thing. We save the salt until the very end because depending on the seafood boil mixture and the producer of the andouille sausage, you could very easily over salt the dish. Just a heads up.

Mardi Gras Seafood Gumbo

Mardi Gras Seafood Gumbo

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1.25 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1# of whitefish (we used cod)
  • 1# of andouille sausage cut into bite size pieces
  • 1# of crawfish tails
  • 1# of shrimp
  • 2 cups of onions finely diced
  • 1 cup of bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 cup of celery finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TB fresh thyme
  • 1-2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoon of crab boil spice mixture
  • 54 ounces of seafood or chicken stock warmed or at least at room temperature
  • 12 ounces of amber beer at room temperature
  • parsley and white onion for garnish
  • White rice
  • File powder and hot sauce on the side

Now the instructions:

  • Toss the shrimp in the crab boil spice mixture and put back in the fridge to relax.
  • The hardest part about this is making the roux. It is not difficult but it requires a lot of stirring so open a couple beers, put on some good music, and stir stir stir. You want to use a large cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.  Bring the oil up to a temperature where a pinch of flour starts to sizzle and once you have that dump the rest of the flour in. You want to stir until the roux is milk chocolate color. This will take about 35-45 minutes. The biggest problem is roux is easy to burn so stir like a mad man and be patient.
  • Once you are at that milk chocolate colored roux, dump in the onions, bell pepper, and celery.
  • Stir the vegetables for 5 minutes and then dump in the garlic and stir for another minute
  • Add in the beer and stock along with the crawfish tails, thyme, cayenne (we start with with one teaspoon and add more as it cooks if it needs to be spicier), bay leaves, and black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for an hour.
  • Add in the andouille and whitefish. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • If you still need to make the rice, before dumping in the andouille and whitefish is the perfect time.
  • Kill the heat and add in the shrimp and let it sit until the shrimp is cooked through.
  • Taste and adjust
  • Put a scoop of rice in a bowl, pour the gumbo over top, and serve the file powder and hot sauce on the side for your guests to decide what they want to do.
Cooked up by Jeff

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