I’ve always been a fan of Cajun cuisine and a good stew, like gumbo or jambalaya, is what really hits the spot. I’ve experimented with different recipes for a homemade gumbo with a New England twist, but I couldn’t find the right on. So, I just decided to make my own.
A note about the name, though. In August of 2010 my family and I adopted what we thought was a border collie mix from a Southern shelter associated with Last Chance Highway. Well, turns out Crockett, the adorable little scamp, after a very rapid growth spurt, is more of a “mix” than a border collie. After some research, we’ve come to find that he’s probably a Catahoula leopard dog, a very interesting and odd breed. And the rest is history, as are most of my shoes.
This recipe serves about four people, sometimes more.
What you’re gonna need:
· 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
· 1 6oz can of tomato paste
· 1 can Bumblebee lump crabmeat
· 1 lb cooked shrimp
· 9oz cooked boneless chicken breast
· 15oz (about 5 links) Andouille smoked sausage
· 1 cup frozen or fresh cut okra
· ½ cup frozen or canned green beans
· ½ cup frozen or canned sweet yellow corn
· 1 tablespoon minced onion
· 1 teaspoon garlic powder
· 1 teaspoon black pepper
· ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
· 1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
· Cooked white rice
Here’s what you’re gonna do:
1. Get out a nice big sauce pot. The stew won’t nearly fill it, but trust me, it’s going to get crowded in there real quick and you’re going to want some room to stir.
2. Mix the diced tomatoes (including the juice) and the tomato puree with 9oz of water measured from the puree can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just kind of eyeball a can and a half of water. Start the heat on low.
3. Slice the sausage into thin medallions and chop the chicken and shrimp into bite size pieces. Add everything to the tomato base.
4. If you’ve bought frozen vegetables, just throw them in frozen (they’ll thaw and add some more water to the stew) or, if you’ve bought canned or fresh veggies, rinse and drain them, then add to the stew. Stir until well mixed and cover the pot. Crank the heat to medium-low.
5. Let this mixture simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. This is probably a good time to start cooking the rice.
6. Add the garlic powder, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, and minced onion. Stir into stew. Recover the pot and let simmer for another ten minutes, and don’t forget to stir.
7. Drain the crabmeat of most of its juice, and then add the crab to the stew. Add the Tobasco sauce. Make sure it’s well mixed, but don’t stir too much – the crab falls apart really easily and it’ll get lost in the tomato base.
8. Turn the heat to low and let the stew sit for another ten minutes or until the rice is cooked.
9. Serve over a bed of white rice with a slice of French bread or biscuit to clean the bowl when you’re done. Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce!
“I’m in over my head! I’ve added way too much spice and now there’s a five-alarm fire in my mouth. What do I do? Hurry, it’s burning.”
Grab yourself a Sea Hag IPA from New England Brewing Co.
The name demands that it’s paired with seafood dish, and the style screams “drink me with something hot, and I don’t mean temperature hot, I mean spicy hot.” The bitter hoppiness clears the palate and calms the fire, but the malt finds a way to stick around and compliment the next bite. It gets really good when you get a nice bit of crab in there as a subtle fishy flavor.
To paraphrase the New England Brewing Co., “eat up, drink up, it’s good.”