Boy oh boy, why did I follow a New York recipe for Louisiana dish? Counting the 40 minutes it took me to peel and devein 50 shrimp, this dish took me almost 2 hours of active time to cook. That’s because fresh thyme that’s a little old is a pain to strip, the veggies absorbed all the oil so I had to redo the roux, and I realized last minute that I should brown the sausages. Just to cap it off, I didn’t even like the outcome that much…

Below is a recipe I’d follow on a second try, modified to use fresh tomatoes, more sausage, fewer bougie ingredients (like tomato paste, which the NYTimes throws in everything).

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo

  • Peel and devein 1 lb medium shrimp in shell. Season with salt, pepper, 1 tsp thyme, 2 cloves garlic minced. Refrigerate.
  • Make shrimp broth: In 1 tbsp olive oil, fry shrimp shells, 2 thyme sprigs, 3 cloves garlic for 1-2 minutes. Don’t let brown. Add 6 cups water, 1 bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes. Strain.
  • Make roux: Heat 1/4 cup oil (optimally bacon drippings). Stir in 1/2 cup flour, cook on medium while stirring until richly browned.
  • Saute 1 large onion diced, 1 green bell pepper diced, 3 ribs celery diced, 4 cloves garlic minced. Add 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne.
  • Slice and brown 12 oz andouille sausages.
  • To boiling broth, stir in roux. Add veggies, sausages, 3 tomatoes diced (or 15 oz can), 2/3 lb (half bag) okra sliced. Add 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp thyme. Season generously. Simmer for 60-90 minutes.
  • Add shrimp (as much that will be eaten now). Cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with 4 scallions sliced.
  • Serves 6-8 over rice or cornbread.