Last weekend was our Thanksgiving long weekend. That means that this work week was only four days long. You’d think that it would have felt like a shorter week… but it didn’t. It never does. Why is that? And why do we try to squeeze five days of work into four days, after long weekends?
Does this mean we should wish for fewer long weekends? Hell no! We’ll always welcome having a little extra family time.
It’s hot, it’s cold… Mother Nature, please make up your mind.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, what’s up with this weather? It’s fall, the temperature should be around 15 ºC where we live. But so far, we’ve had a rollercoaster of temperatures this season.
Just this week we had one day with a low of 4 ºC (yup, almost freezing) and another with a high of 26 ºC (feeling like 35ºF after humidity). Crazy, right? Climate change much?
Time for comfort food cravings!
Now that it’s cooler, I’m craving comfort foods. I want soups and stews! As I left work yesterday, I had a sudden craving for gumbo! It’s not even a food I eat often, but I just had to have it. I hadn’t really planned for it, so I had to pick up a few ingredients before heading home.
I wanted andouille sausage for the gumbo, but they were out. Plan B was Spanish chorizo… smokey, spicy and full of flavour. Shrimp. Check! Sausage. Check!
I got home and got started right away. While I normally focus on quick meals during the work-week, I made an exception for my craving. You see, gumbos need that extra bit of love and time. It’s one of those meals that needs to simmer slowly to get to perfection. It was a late dinner kind’a night. But it was soooo worth it!
Fall colours… time for a road trip!
In addition to fall comfort foods, there’s one other thing I absolutely love about fall… the colours!
This weekend we’re planning to get up early(ish), grab a quick breakfast and head out for a short family road trip to enjoy some fall photography. Yes… just call us the shutter family. All four of us enjoy photography. It’s cool to have this hobby in common with our kids.
I’m really looking forward to our family outing… and then to some gumbo leftovers when we get back! I’m so happy with the results of this recipe. Give this gumbo a try and no matter the season, eat well, friends.
This is my version of gumbo. I use the foundation of traditional gumbo and add a few twists of my own to make it our own homemade comfort food.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 stalks green onion, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 28 oz (796ml) can peeled whole Italian tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 lbs unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 lbs (454g) black tiger shrimp, raw easy peel and deveined, thawed
- 1.1 lbs (500g) Spanish chorizo, chopped into large bite-sizes pieces
Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium high.
Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic, jalapeño and bell peppers.
Stir the veggies every 3 to 4 minutes for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
Pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes and all the spices.
Using a wooden spoon, press each of the tomatoes until they break into pieces. Note: you can use diced tomatoes, but I like the uneven, rustic-looking tomato pieces in our gumbo.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.
About 20 minutes before the end of the hour in the previous step, heat the butter in another small pan on medium.
Once the butter’s melted, sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir.
Stir every couple of minutes until the mixture develops a nutty smell and darkens slightly in colour. About 10 to 15 minutes. This is your roux! This is the thickener for the gumbo.
Once the vegetable mixture has cooked for a full hour, add the roux to the pot and stir until the roux is completely dissolved. The mixture should be thicker now.
Add the chorizo and shrimp, and stir.
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 15 minutes. The shrimp should be red and the sausage pieces cooked through.
Serve hot with a favourite side. We served ours with an Italian short grain white rice.