We did a big shopping trip at @gourmetwarehouse last week and finally found some file powder for gumbo 🙌🏼. File powder is made from the sassafras plant and is used to thicken soup while imparting a herbal and earthy flavour. Here’s our take on the shrimp 🦐and sausage gumbo 🥣over brown rice!
- Prep the Shrimp
Peel and devein shrimp. Reserve shrimp shells for broth. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, thyme and ½ teaspoon garlic. Cover and refrigerate. Make the shrimp broth by wrapping the shells in cheese cloth and tieing into a bag.
- Make the Roux
Add the flour and butter into a sauce pan. Cook for 40 minutes on low heat until its gone from pale to a dark chocolate colour. Keep stirring to ensure it doesn't burn.
- Make the Gumbo Base
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery and cook briskly, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, paprika, cayenne and remaining garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring well, then add diced tomato and andouille sausage and cook for about 2 minutes. Season mixture generously with salt and pepper.
- Add Shrimp Shells
With a wooden spoon, scrape bottom of pot to dissolve any browned bits. Add bag with shrimp shells and simmer for about 25 minutes, until gumbo base thickens somewhat. Add the roux, taste and adjust salt.
- Add Remaining Ingredients
Add okra and let cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes more. Turn off heat. Stir in filé powder. Serve immediately, sprinkled with scallions, along with steamed rice or cornbread.