Shrimp Gumbo

You don’t have to be in Louisiana to enjoy a good shrimp gumbo, especially if you grow onions, green peppers and okra in your garden.

7-gumboThat’s just what we had the other night after I made a trip to both of my gardens and gathered  a nice green bell, some carrots and tomatoes, a few onions and a couple of handfuls of okra.

Just about every gardener in this neck of the wood has all of the aforementioned vegetables in their garden with maybe the exception of okra. Many probably haven’t even sampled that staple of Cajun-Creole cooking much less grown the slender green pods.

I started growing okra a couple of years ago and have found it to be a nice addition to my garden. Not only do I use it in gumbos, it’s great in jambalaya (another New Orleans delicacy) and some stir-fries.

The recipe that follows called for chicken, but I substituted some nice shrimp and white rice instead of brown rice, and the result was fantastic.

Shrimp Gumbo
3 pounds shrimp
3 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup brown rice
¼ cup chopped parsley
10 ounces frozen sliced okra
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
Place all of the ingredients in the broth except the shrimp. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Then add the shrimp. (If desired, thicken broth with a smooth paste made from 3 tablespoons cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour. Serve with hot cornbread.