Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

gumbo_sangriaWe ran across a similar gumbo on our honeymoon in New Orleans (pre-Katrina).  This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe from the restaurant the Gumbo Shop.

~ Shopping List ~

2 lbs. fresh or frozen shrimp
1/4 lbs. Andouille sausage (or any hot sausage)
3 quarts broth (chicken, beef or vegetable according to your taste)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 quart fresh or frozen okra, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2/3 cups oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


~ What to do ~

Cook okra in a frying pan until ropiness is gone.  Set aside.  If using regular sausage (not Andouille), partially pre-cook and cut on the diagonal.  Set-aside.

Place 2/3 cup oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.  Add flour over medium-high heat and make a dark roux.  As soon as the roux reaches the desired color, add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic.  Sauté for 10 minutes (let mixture stick to bottom of pan, then stir, repeat constantly throughout the 10 minutes).  Add tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and peppers.  Repeat the last process for another 10 minutes.  Add okra and repeat again for another 10 minutes.

Add sausage and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add stock to desired consistency.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are cooked through.

You can serve right away, but this dish is best served the next day.  Serve over rice or with a crisp baguette.


Jacqueline’s Ragoût

This hearty, traditional Québec dish is always a family favorite.

Shopping List ~

  • water
  • 1 large onion (picked with a fork)
  • 6-8 pork chops (with bone)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pack toasted flour
  • pepper (to taste)
  • timbal (a type of bread available in Quebec)

What to do ~

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way and bring water to a boil.  While waiting, mix beef and pork together and roll into meatballs.  Roll meatballs into toasted flour.

When water reaches boiling, add onion, pork and meatballs.  Cook until pork chops are cooked through.  Once pork chops are cooked, slowly add the remaining toasted flour (to thicken).

Serve over timbal (or accompanied by rolls).

Making this dish a day in advance enhances flavor, but it is equally good served right away.

Recipe graciously provided by my octogenarian mother-in-law.

Almost Vegetarian Chili

Shopping List ~

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups diced sweet red pepper
  • 2 easpoons minced jalapeno pepper
  • 2.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock (vegetable or defatted chicken)
  • 1/2 cup mild or medium salsa (homemade is preferable, but pre-made will work in a crunch)
  • 1 can (19 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups corn (fresh or rinsed canned)


  • chicken (cooked and shredded)
  • cheese

What to do ~

Heat the oil in a large, heavy sauscepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic.  Sauté 3-4 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the red peppers and jalapeno peppers.  Sauté 3-4 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.

Add the chili powder, cumin and basil.  Sauté 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/2 cup of the juice.  Add the juice to teh pan.  Crush the tomatoes or cut with scissors and add to the pan along with the stock and salsa. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly.  Add the beans and corn (and chicken if you wish).  Raise heat to medium and simmer for 6-8 minutes until the beans and corn (and chicken) are heated.

Serve immediately with cheese and cornbread.

This dish is equally good prepared the day before.


~ Shopping List ~

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 2 tender celery stalks
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste

Optional:  tabasco sauce

~ What to do ~

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Slowly add to food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste.  Let sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours.  Serve cold.


Mama’s Potato Soup

Simple yet satisfying.  This soup is perfect for those cold rainy days.

~ Shopping List ~

4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
salt & pepper (to taste)

Optionals: bacon, cheese

~ What to do ~

Fill large heavy bottom pot half-way and bring to a boil.  Add potaotes, onion and butter, cooking until potatoes are soft.  Separately mix milk, flour, salt and pepper.  Add to potato mixture.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches your desired thickness.

Optional serving suggestions:  using a thick cut bacon, cut into small cubes and pre-cook.  Add with the milk mixture.  If you want to add cheese (cheddar and/or monterey jack work wonderfully) add also with the milk mixture.


Mama’s Pasta Chili

Landing somewhere between a chili and spaghetti, this non traditional chili is always a favorite for kids and adults alike.

~ Shopping List ~

1lb ground beef
1 can chili beans
tomato sauce (4 cans)
1 medium to large onion
chili pepper (to taste)
spaghetti (to taste)

Optionals: cheese, corn chips

~ What to do ~

Brown ground beef with onion in a large heavy bottom pot.  Mix all remaining ingredients except the spaghetti adding water to achieve desired thickness.  Bring to a boil and add spaghetti.  Use cooking time recommended on the package for spaghetti.

Optional serving suggestions:  crush a small handful of corn chips in bottom of the bowl, top with chili, then top with cheese.

*This chili is excellent prepared the day before and reheated.

Broccoli Soup

~ Shopping List ~

  • 1.5 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • dash ground thyme
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • (optional) 3 tablespoons butter

~ What to do ~

Place vegetables in chicken broth, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook covered until tender (~8 minutes).  Mix milk with cornstarch, salt pepper and thyme.  Add to cooked vegetables.  Cook stirring constantly until soup begins to boil.  Remove from heat and add cheese.  Stir until melted.

*Best made the day before, but great immediately as well.