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Seafood gumbo

Ramona King

Seafood gumbo


Two Cajun chefs are heading to the Food Network

The husband and wife duo behind Sac-a-Lait and Hot Tails in Louisiana is heading to the Food Network with a new show. Chefs Sam and Cody Carroll will be showing of their Cajun cooking skills on the new show “Cajun Aces,” which airs on December 2.

The show will take viewers behind-the-scenes of the restaurants and into the lives of the Carrolls as they create authentic Cajun dishes from local farms. “In each episode of 'Cajun Aces,' the Carrolls will tackle Louisiana ingredients from their family farm in Batchelor, La., which they'll turn into new dishes for their restaurants,” reports The Times-Picayune

According to the Food Network, the first episodes will feature pigs, crawfish, turkey and redfish — which the Carrolls catch themselves. The show will step outside the kitchen and show how these chefs create dishes from some of Louisiana’s best ingredients. 

If you’re feeling inspired to add some Cajun dishes to your own kitchen, we have a few recipes for you to try. 

Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee
Serves: 8
Hands-on time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours

1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups shrimp shells and/or heads
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups clam juice
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons gumbo file powder
2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound crawfish tails
Cooked white rice, for serving
Chopped scallions, for garnish

Heat a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, to develop a roux that is browned and nutty, but not black. It should almost resemble the color of peanut butter.

Add the shrimp shells, onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño, paprika, thyme, bay leaf, cayenne and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp shells turn pink and the vegetables have softened.

Add the tomato paste, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it has turned slightly rust-colored. Stir in the clam and tomato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and gumbo file powder.

Transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until slightly thickened. Pour through a mesh strainer or fine colander into a large saucepan to remove any lasting particles of shrimp shells.

Return the strained sauce to medium heat and add the shrimp and crawfish. Poach until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over white rice, garnished with scallions.

Seafood Gumbo
Serves: 6
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 35 minutes

4 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 1/2 cups diced green and red peppers
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 cups clam juice or fish stock
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons lobster or clam base
2 teaspoons freshly ground white or black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons gumbo file powder
2 pounds assorted seafood, cut into bite-size pieces if necessary (including crawfish, shrimp, oysters, crab or catfish)

In a large stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, peppers and celery and cook until softened 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add clam juice, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add tomatoes, bay leaves, fish base, white pepper, rosemary, thyme, paprika and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a separate pan, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until totally combined. Add mixture to stockpot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently. Add gumbo file powder and stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes while preparing the seafood.

In a separate large skillet, add the remaining oil. Gently saute seafood until just cooked through. Divide the seafood into individual bowls. Top with gumbo and serve.

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Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.