There seem to be a lot of different ways to make gumbo. I've never been to New Orleans, so haven't had real gumbo--I hope to go, soon.
I made jambalaya earlier in the year, and still had many of the ingredients left in the freezer. My only knowledge of gumbo is that it has sausage, shrimp and okra--but I'm not thrilled with the recipes I have on hand, and am not sure exactly what proportion of rice-to-broth is appropriate. Some recipes list NO rice, and suggest ladling the hot soup over rice as a finishing touch.
I like that idea a lot, but I wasn't going to be home to monitor rice-cooking.
After spending way too much time reading recipes online and in cookbooks, I came to the conclusion that there really wasn't a wrong way to make gumbo, so decided to just go for it. I came up with the following:
--4 cups of chicken broth
--1 cup of brown rice
--1 cup frozen okra
--1/2 cup frozen corn
--1/2 chopped yellow onion
--1 can tomatoes and juice
--4-5 fully cooked sausages (I used 3 Chicken with garlic and artichokes, and 2 Chicken Cajun)
--1 1/2 cups frozen shrimp
--chop up your vegetables. I was using mostly frozen veggies, so only needed to chop the onion. If you have bell pepper, it would be a very nice addition.
--slice sausage into rounds
--dump everything into the crock, except for the frozen shrimp
--because the sausage has so much flavor, I opted to not season this any further. If you aren't sharing with children, you might want to add some additional cajun seasoning--your choice.
--cook on low all day, or on high for 4-6 hours. The longer soups and stews are cooked, the better. The rice will cook, and absorb a lot of the liquid, but it will still be soup-y. If you are putting this together the night before, don't add the rice until you are going to turn on the crock.
--20 min before serving, stir in the frozen shrimp
--serve with some crusty bread or corn muffins
We all really enjoyed this! My kids adore shrimp and gobbled every piece that was in the pot, and picked out the not-too-spicy pieces of sausage. I gave a tupperware to my mom, and she liked it. When I had the leftovers for lunch the next day, most of the liquid had been absorbed by the rice, but it was still very tasty. I was impressed at how easy it was to throw together.
I really want to go to New Orleans!