If you love oysters and New Orleans cooking like we do, this sausage and oyster gumbo recipe is for you!
It’s full of fresh vegetables, smoky sausage and oysters. The flavors are perfect together; making this one of the best gumbo recipes I’ve ever had.
Do you love Louisiana food? We certainly do. Whether it’s Cajun or Creole; we can’t get enough. I’m talking about recipes like etouffée, crawfish, boudin, jambalaya and gumbo. We live south of New Orleans—Miami—and we can’t seem to find a restaurant that serves good Louisiana cooking.
Our way to solve this deficiency is to cook at home, which usually results in food even better than what we would get in New Orleans. As I’ve mentioned before, we are lucky enough to have access to super-fresh Gulf seafood from Casablanca’s seafood market. This legendary market has boats arriving daily and serves up an astounding array of fresh local seafood right in the heart of downtown Miami.
Unfortunately, the secret is out. Now I have to jockey for a parking space to get my seafood fix and wait forever in lines. Sad me 🙁
To make this heavenly sausage and oyster gumbo recipe, you can use freshly shucked oysters or save yourself the trouble and buy the pre-shucked refrigerated oysters in the seafood section of a good grocery store. Buy some nice Louisiana-style smoked sausage or Andouille and you are good to go—except for file powder. Do you have it? Don’t fret if you don’t. File powder is not necessary for a good gumbo. Even the folks in Louisiana will tell you so. I prefer to add okra in its place. It thickens gumbo just like file would.
The key to making a gumbo is the roux. It sounds like something magical and hard to do when you hear people mention it, but it’s very easy. I have to mention my sister-in-law here because she gifted me an heirloom quality roux spoon. Isn’t it nifty? I never knew they had a “thing” just for this purpose!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Check back soon when I’ll be sharing my favorite recipe for Shrimp Etouffée. What’s your favorite Louisiana dish?
In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage well in the 2 tablespoons of oil. Remove sausage from the skillet and set aside.
Using a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter melts and foams, add the flour. Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour into the butter to prevent any lumps. Continue to cook and stir the roux until it is brown and nutty-smelling, about 15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo by Tyler Florence http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/shrimp-and-oyster-gumbo-with-okra-recipe.html
Add the onion, celery, red and green bell pepper, garlic, Cajun seasoning and thyme to the roux and cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Pour in the chicken stock. Add the okra, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally.
Toss the oysters (and oyster liquor) in the pot and cook another 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce if needed.
To serve: Ladle gumbo in a wide bowl. Top with cooked rice. Sprinkle with green onion or parsley. Don’t forget to place the hot sauce on the table.
Recipe adapter from Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo by Tyler Florence
Oyster stuffing is a favorite of mine. It’s a tradition in my family, and this recipe takes it up a notch with shiitake mushrooms and leeks. It’s basically a combination of some of my favorite things, in one rich – yet delicate – dish.
If you grew up along the coast, like I did. Raw oysters are an initiation of sorts. You are an adult if you eat them. If you eat them, you crave them. You covet them.
When I looked online for oyster stuffing recipes, I was a little mortified. Canned oysters? Why on earth would anyone use canned oysters? I know a lot of people do, and I don’t want to turn my nose up at the stuff (I know, I kind of am). I won’t hate you if you use them, but the fresh oysters you find in the refrigerated seafood section are so much better. Ridiculously better. They are sweet and briny and smell like the ocean, not fishy. The fresher your oysters, the less fishy the stuffing.
The way I see it, you only make oyster stuffing once a year. It’s a special occasion, so let’s do the right thing and splurge on the good stuff. If you really want to go all out, get a couple dozen fresh oysters, take them home and shuck them yourself (saving some to eat right away, of course).
There is too much of a good thing, though. One Thanksgiving, my mother decided to double the amount of oysters in her stuffing. She stuffed the turkey and after an hour or so, the whole house smelled like fishy turkey. It permeated the bird, the gravy, the stuffing. We tease her about it every Thanksgiving.
Very slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2000
Preheat oven to 325° F/165° C
First, you need to dry out the bread. Arrange it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, until crisp, dry and golden brown. This can be prepared ahead. You could also use stale bread and skip the baking step.
Butter a casserole dish. In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms in the butter until they turn brown and their liquid evaporates. Remove them from the skillet and add to a large bowl.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and cook the celery and leeks. Cook the vegetables 8-10 minutes, until they are tender.
Add the celery, leeks, parsley and herbs to the large bowl with the mushrooms. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Toss to combine.
Add bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Add the oysters, oyster liquid and turkey stock to the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the casserole dish and cover with foil. You can chill until you are ready to bake. Bake the stuffing covered for 45 minutes.
I lived in New England for 8 years and miss the incredible seafood there. Maine lobster fresh from the ocean, soft shell steamer clams and amazing chowders. There’s nothing quite like it in my new hometown, so I do the next best thing and make it myself. This oyster chowder with corn and bacon is reminiscent of one in a restaurant near Marblehead that isn’t there anymore. It has big chunks of fresh oysters and lots of sweet corn. They are an amazing combination.
Chowder really is one of the best comfort foods. It’s creamy and rich, best served with crackers or some crusty bread. I like to get a big bowl and alternate bites of soup with bites of French bread soaked in the rich broth. Then you clean up the bottom of the bowl with one last swipe of buttered bread. This is not a soup for dieters. The best way to make this is to have some fresh shucked oysters. Please use them if you can. If you’re like me though, shucking oysters in my kitchen just isn’t an option with a baby under foot. My supermarket has containers of fresh oysters for a very decent price. They work just fine for chowder, without all the mess. Another difficult-to-find ingredient is fish stock. I make my own from leftover fish bones and shrimp shells and store it in the freezer just for recipes like this. If you don’t have fish stock, you can use any combination of clam juice, chicken broth or vegetable broth.
Strain the oysters, reserving the liquid. Check oysters for any shells and chop them into large chucks if they are very big.
In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add butter, onion, celery and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, Old Bay seasoning and bay leaf. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Cook for 5 minutes more.
Gradually add the milk, wine and seafood stock (or substitute) and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir in the cream, corn and parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the oysters and their liquid and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.