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
It’s fitting that my first post of the year is a soup recipe, and this white bean and sausage soup is one of my favorites. I’ve gushed over soup before and I’ll probably do it again. I make one, sometimes two a week because I just love soup. There’s nothing better on a cold winter evening than a delicious broth filled with tender greens, hearty white beans and savory sausage.
Note: when I say “cold” I mean a January 65 degree low in Miami and I’m still in flip flops. That’s all the cold we get in the winter. Don’t hate me.
Did you know January is national soup month here in the good old US of A? It’s the perfect time to bring out the big soup pot with this is a star of a soup. White bean and sausage soup is a comforting, home-cooked meal, but it’s also elegant. A soups like this is deceptively easy to make, only requiring some chopping, a bit of a sauté and a little time on the stove. The result is a hearty, healthy and satisfying meal for the whole family. Serve with warm, crusty bread and a glass of wine, while you imagine you are in Italy. (This Italy fantasy passes through my head every time.)
Ok, I’m finished gushing. Happy new year everyone and may there be more soup in your future.
Serving Size: 6 servings (main course)
Fill a large pot with water and add the dried beans. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the beans to sit in the water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beans, chicken broth, wine, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for 50 minutes.
Brown the sausage in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Add the carrots and sausage to the pot. If you are using kale, add it to the pot now. Cook another 15 minutes. If you are using spinach or Swiss chard, add to the pot before serving, stirring until wilted and tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper before serving.
I’m a sucker for cauliflower. When I see this imposing veggie in the supermarket, I grab it. If you don’t have a go-to recipe, buying a cauliflower head is a big commitment. It’s a lot of vegetable. My favorite way to prepare cauliflower is in a soup, like this roasted cauliflower and almond soup.
I came up with this recipe for cauliflower and wild rice chowder during one of our short Miami cold spells (consisting of 2 days in December in the low 70’s). I broke out my boots and we headed out into the sun, reveling in the cool breezes.
My son, who just turned one, was on a two-week food strike of sorts. He refused to eat anything on a spoon, which made feeding him a little difficult. After trying every sort of adult food and baby food (I make some pretty good baby food), he finally opened his mouth wide for cauliflower and wild rice, of all things.
Now I feel deep gratitude for my friend, the cauliflower. Covered in cheese, roasted, fried or souped…
Speaking of soup, let me just share with you how good this hearty chowder is. It is creamy and rich, with soft bits of cauliflower and slightly chewy wild rice. The nuttiness of the rice works with the sweet/nutty cauliflower and the contrasting colors are fun on your spoon. Its home cooking. It’s good. I like to eat a bowl with some crusty bread slathered with sweet butter, stopping to sop up the soup with the bread in-between spoonfuls. Soup day is a good day around here.
In a large saucepan, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add the broth, wild rice bay leaf and cumin (if using). Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Add the cauliflower to the pot and continue to cook, covered, for another 20 minutes.
While the pot is simmering, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir on low heat, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and cream. Whisk until it just comes to a simmer, then add to the cauliflower mixture. Season to taste with salt and plenty of fresh pepper.
I’m on a Brussels sprouts kick, as I should be this time of year. You should too. Because they are yummy!
I wasn’t always a fan of Brussels sprouts. I only recently became a convert. The Brussels sprouts of my past were just…not very good (sorry mom). They were boiled or sautéed and tossed with margarine, which made them sort of soggy and mushy and bitter cabbage-y tasting. I tried to eat them years later, and bought the frozen version that you cook in a microwave. They were also soggy and mushy. So I gave up on poor little Brussels sprouts. They were not for me.
But they were all along. Now that I know how to cook them! Roasted and caramelized, Mr. Sprout is sweet and delicious. They come out soft (in a good way) and delicate. Those cute little things are fun to eat, too. I posted a recipe recently for balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, and have a few more up my sleeve.
This Brussels sprout soup is really easy to make and has simple ingredients like cream and chicken broth. If you want to make it fancy like I did, garnish your soup with a few Brussels and roasted chestnut toast. I didn’t actually peel the chestnuts for this recipe, but you can if you want. I found a bag of pre-roasted and peeled chestnuts in the grocery store. They taste pretty good, and make a great spread.
Toss the Brussels sprouts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan. If you are using store-bought, packaged chestnuts, add them to the Brussels sprouts and roast them too.
Roast in a 375° F/190° C oven for 15-20 minutes, until soft and lightly brown. When they are ready, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add 2 garlic cloves (chopped). Add the roasted Brussels sprouts, reserving some for garnish (2 halves per person) and stir.
Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cream. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on low heat.
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender on high to puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup in batches into a blender and puree. Season again to taste.
Toast the baguette slices. Using a food processor, pulse the garlic clove until finely chopped. Add the chestnuts, parsley, salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse until the chestnuts are chopped but not pureed. Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of oil, pulsing until the mixture is combined, but still chunky. Taste for seasoning.
Spread the mixture on toast and serve along with the soup.
Two soup recipes in a row. This is either a very good thing or a not-so-good thing, but I’m going with it. You see, I make a lot of soups. I don’t know who said it, but I heard somewhere that a true test of a good cook is their soup. I believe that so much, I order soup in restaurants just to judge the quality of the food. If the soup is mediocre, you can bet the food is too. It’s really easy to make a good soup. So if you screw that up, well. You’re not very good at what you do.
Split pea soup with smoked turkey is a very basic recipe. It’s really easy to make, economical and comforting. Swapping the usual ham for smoked turkey gives you a lighter soup, with delicate chunks of turkey throughout. If you haven’t had it this way, and are a split pea fan, you will love this soup. I’m so confident, I say you’ll love this soup even if you aren’t a split pea fan.
When I lived in Paso Robles, CA, I would drive by billboards on the highway advertising Anderson’s, “Home of the Pea Soup”. I found it odd this was a big selling point, but it turns out Anderson’s is a big roadside attraction, around since 1924. They offer unlimited bowls of split pea soup, so I had to try it out. I have to admit, (sorry). I tried the soup and wasn’t very impressed. It has no chunks of yummy things in it.
This soup has lots of yummy chunks. Potatoes, onion, carrot, celery and turkey are hiding in a sea of peas. It’s like a treasure hunt in every bite. Did I just write that?
Serving Size: 5-6 servings
Adapted from Parker’s Split Pea Soup
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, turkey and half of the peas. Cover with water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, skimming off the foam until it stops forming. Cover and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.
Stir in the potatoes and remaining peas. Cover and continue to cook another 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, remove the turkey and check for seasoning. Add salt if needed.
Remove the skin from the turkey and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and shred or chop into small pieces. Add the meat to the soup (you may have extra if you are using a leg). Serve with crusty bread and extra fresh pepper.
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.