Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: A simple gumbo recipe


Special to the Sun Herald

Gumbo is a Coast  favorite.
Gumbo is a Coast favorite.

Nothing says fall and winter on the Gulf Coast like gumbo, which is another recipe with French roots.

Surely, it was a hungry Frenchman, dreaming of the bouillabaisse he loved in Marseille, who first made this now-famous stew, but with the ingredients he could find on the Gulf Coast.

Everyone has their favorite gumbo recipe, so if yours is different than mine, please throw no stones. I am sure yours is almost as good as this.


3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons oil

1 cup smoked sausage

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

3-6 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup sliced okra

1 pound medium shrimp

4-5 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Oil as needed

Sauté the sausage in a heavy bottom stock pot until well browned, remove and set aside. Add the flour and oil and slowly cook until you have a good, dark roux. Add the onions, bell pepper, and okra, season aggressively, and cook until the okra begins to fall apart, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the sausage to the pot and then the chicken stock, simmer for at least 30 minutes. Separately, heat a sauté pan with a little oil, very hot, and cook the shrimp in small batches. No more than 2 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot, take a cup of the gumbo stock and deglaze the pan the shrimp cooked in, add it to the gumbo. Now taste and re-season as necessary.  Served with steamed rice.