Prawn Gumbo with Chorizo

Gumbo has been appearing all over my favorite cooking sites since this season began, and has really peaked my curiosity. Until yesterday I had never tried Gumbo before in my life, and had no idea what the dish even consisted of–but what I did know was that it was a classic and popular American dish, and so of course, I had to try it and see what all the hype was about. The ingredients listed in a traditional cajun gumbo reminded me a lot of the Spanish Paella I recently made, so I did a little research. I found that “gumbo” is a metaphor for the “melting pot” of cultures found in southern louisiana (French, Italian, German, native Americans, African Slaves… and of course, Spanish) which kind of explains that a little bit. As a Geography major this really fascinates me! I’m going to have to go read up more about the history of the southern states just for fun after I post this recipe!

The biggest difference between a gumbo and a spanish paella though is that a paella is a saffron rice-based dish and a gumbo is a cajun broth-based dish… so really, they’re more dissimilar than I thought. Plus, a gumbo is spicy {which is actually what I loved most about this dish}. Just as its a melting pot of so many different cultures, it’s also a fusion of so many different flavors–so I can see what all the hype is about. It’s a little spicy, salty, sweet, smoky… and it has a lot of different textures too…. the broth, the rice, the meat, there’s just something unique in every bite. It’s SO yummy! And perfect for a cool autumn evening. Today was the first day in fall where i’ve actually had to wear shoes and a jacket. Sad day. It’s getting cold around here fast! But it’s going to be okay, because it’s also getting really pretty around here for my photos… plus the evenings are getting cozier, there’s TONS of good stuff on TV and i’m ready for a wardrobe change! I am kind of loving fall! Anyway, here is one of my new fave. fall recipes for y’all! (Do you like my southern accent? If you heard it in real life it would probably disturb you)!

Ingredients:

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 Tbsp Fresh parsley
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Chorizo, halved & sliced
3 Tbsp butter
1½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1½ tbsp sweet paprika
4 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
⅔ cup medium/long-grain rice
12 King prawns, peeled & deveinedDirections:
Heat oil in saucepan over high heat. Cook chorizo for 3 mins. Add the butter, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley and gently fry for 7 mins.

Add the cajun seasoning, mustard powder and paprika. Cook for 1 min, stirring regularly.

Add stock, water and bay leaves. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Add rice to saucepan and stir. Cover again with lid and cook for 10 mins until rice is almost tender, stirring occasionally.Add prawns. Cook for 3 mins until just cooked. 


I love this dish! I didn’t think I would like gumbo all that much, because it sounded like just a bunch of random ingredients thrown in a pot, but that’s the beauty of it! It’s so simple, one pot… all the vegetables, broth, rice and meat just brimming with flavor! One day I want to visit the deep south and try shrimp and grits and different kinds of gumbo and jambalaya… but until then, I think I am going to cook more southern comfort food this fall.

I hope this recipe does its job at warming you up as this weather gets a little colder.

<3 Sarah

recipe adapted from msnfood