bayou stew

I cannot call this a gumbo, or an etouffe, or even a jambalaya. It is unquestionably Louisiana, though, so I settled on calling it a bayou stew.

It doesn’t matter what it’s called. It’s delicious.

The first version of this recipe was something I found when I wanted to cook something, but wasn’t sure which way to go. I typed the ingredients I had on hand into the trusty Google … namely chicken, sausage and rice. Satellites perked up, algorithms ran, and the Google spit back a hundredy million results. I clicked through a few and stopped on one that looked like it was trying to break every rule of Lousiana cooking.

So I made it.

As with all things I’m trying for the first time, I immediately began revising. I don’t even know where I found that original recipe, but I’d bet what I make now looks nothing like it. For example, I don’t even use chicken anymore.

Regardless, here’s my recipe for a Louisiana dish that is not a gumbo, an ettouffe, or a jambalaya.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of peeled shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 pound sliced andouille sausage
  • 1/4 pound sliced okra
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 5 cups stock (I use my own vegetable stock, but any stock will do)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add the sausage and cook until you’ve got a bit of brown color on both sides. Don’t burn. Just brown it a bit. Take it out and set it aside.

Toss in the veggies (except the tomatoes) and the spices. Cook, stirring often, until all the veggies are soft and aromatic.

Add the stock, tomatoes and rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the rice is tender.

Return the sausage to the pot, add the shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are done. Taste for spices, salt and pepper, and adjust as necessary.