The Rogue Gumbo

When I think of a traditional gumbo I immediately think of Louisiana, sausage, chicken and/or shrimp, okra, rice and spice! You can imagine my surprise when I came across this Shrimp and Okra Gumbo in Cooking Light that of course has shrimp and okra, but also has smoked ham and instead of rice, creamy yogurt grits. I’m not going to lie, I think the creamy yogurt grits is what got me hook, line and sinker.

As my fun little Chef friends pointed out, the roux for this was very interesting indeed. It consists of canola oil, all-purpose flour and chicken broth (instead of the usual butter for the added fat). Making this together was a whole lot of fun and Alex even mentioned she liked it better over the creamy grits – awesomeness on its own or with the gumbo – than rice. Now that’s saying something.

This was pretty amazing gumbo if I do say so myself. The smoked ham, obviously, gave it a smoky flavor along with the paprika and all of the vegetables and spices blended together to create a lovely, spicy balance of flavors. One thing is that we did not have okra. Quelle horreur! I went shopping after work and they had everything BUT okra, not even frozen. Being good Southern girls we knew what we were missing without the okra but we still loved the dish.

I can’t find the recipe online so check it out below for a spicy gumbo night of your own!
Cooking Light
April 2010
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo with Creamy Yogurt Grits
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
4 ounces smoked ham, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound fresh okra pods, sliced
1/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, stirring constantly with a whisk until thick. Pour into a bowl; set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion and ham; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper and next 4 ingredients (through okra); cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth mixture, water, and next six ingredients (through tomatoes). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in shrimp; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Spring with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.
Creamy Yogurt Grits
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits; cover, cover reduce-heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until thick. Stir in 1 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt, teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

6 thoughts on “The Rogue Gumbo”

  1. OK, I have the Holy Trinity of celery, onion and green bell pepper: check. I have some smoked ham: check. I have fresh okra, surprise of surprise here in France! : check. In fact looks like I have everything to make this, save the grits, can't get that for love or way too much money. Have to sub some rice: check.

    Ok, looks like all we are missing is… shrimp? But, how much? Help?

    Warm hugs and quiches from Kitty

  2. OK!! I made it! My daughters (10 & 12) loved it.
    What I did different: No smoked ham so used poitrine fumé which is smoked unsliced (streaky) bacon. Since it's quite fatty (yes, which kinda undoes some of the 'Cooking Light' recipe aspects,) I cubed it and rendered off the fat, then used that to cook the onions and also used some to make the roux and the rest went on the cat's dry food, ("thanks Mom!" they purred.) I didn't need to add any more oil. I used a combo of red and green bell pepper for colour. I used a chicken stock 'sploge' which is concentrated liquid chicken stock, since we don't have Swanson's canned chicken stock in France. I used a can of whole peeled tomatoes and used the liquid (why drain it?) and just squished 'em right into the pot with my hands. And I used cooked, unpeeled giant shrimp because it was on sale and because my daughters love peel-and-eat shrimp. Only added them at the end as I took it off the heat. The residual heat from the Gumbo heated them through perfectly.
    Oh, and I doubled the garlic… because, I'm like that.

    I liked it very much as did my girls. Served with Basmati rice (since, no grits in France either!) it made a substantial meal for the three of us and there is enough for another meal, easily. I must say I'll use the recipe again but add some chicken breast or thigh meat and some pork sausage. I really missed the sausage I usually use in Gumbo. But as it stands, it's a lovely recipe. Even with my (minor) changes. And way WAY less fatty!

    Just wish I could have done those darn grits… (I am fixating, I know.)

  3. Kitty! This is fabulous! Thanks for the update and I want to try it your way now. I seriously need to FedEx you some grits because I think you would LOVE them. So glad you and the family enjoyed it!

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