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!
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.