I'm really, really trying to cook things on the weekend that can either make two meals, freezing one for another meal later, or at least that will make a couple of lunches to take to work.
Tonight I made Shrimp Gumbo. It's not a traditional gumbo made from roux, but it is really fabulous. It even gets compliments from lovers of authentic Cajun gumbo. It's become our Christmas Eve dinner tradition, but we didn't have it this year, and I've been craving it.
4 slices bacon, cut into about 1 inch lengths
1/2 cup ham, diced (optional)
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups hot water
2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
6 to 8 drops hot sauce
2 cups sliced fresh okra
2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
salt and pepper
In a large pot, fry the bacon (and ham if using). Before bacon gets crispy, add onions, celery, and green peppers. Stir. Saute till vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add water, tomatoes, seasonings, hot sauce and a dash of Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire. Stir. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix cornmeal with a little salt and pepper, and dredge the okra. (OR just buy a bag of breaded okra ready to fry like I do.) Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry the breaded okra until brown. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
Now, ideally I would use fresh shrimp, but tonight I was trying to use up what I had on hand, and I had frozen cooked salad shrimp. Pour the flour over shrimp, and stir to coat.
After the vegetables have been cooking for their 15 to 20 minutes, add the fried okra to the pot. And by hand, add the shrimp, leaving any extra flour (not sticking to the shrimp) in the bowl. Stir gently.
Cook for an additional 15 minutes. (During which time you can cook some rice.) At the end of the cooking time, the gumbo should be adequately thickened from the cornmeal and flour (from the okra and shrimp), but if it needs further thickening, use a little more flour.
Serve over rice.