Many years ago I lived in south Mississippi and loved the close proximity to New Orleans. The food in New Orleans is second to none in my humble opinion. I just love the Cajun-Creole-French influence that pervades the city and its food. This recipe for Spicy Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage is my rendition of one of the most loved Louisiana dishes.
Roux – what’s a roux?
Gumbo is a Cajun soup or stew that starts with a cooked roux, pronounced “roo”. What exactly is a roux? A roux is equal parts of oil and flour that are cooked together, browning the flour to create the base for gravies, soups, stews, and gumbo. Louisiana cooks take great pride in making the perfect roux, anywhere from light brown to almost chocolate-brown depending on the dish. *See instructions on making a roux at the end of this post.
Just be sure to cook your roux slowly and do not leave it for a minute. If it burns, you will want to throw it out and start again. Put on some upbeat music, pour a glass of wine, and know you will be stirring that roux for a while.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage made with Delectable Datil Smokin’ Hot Salsa Seasoning
Not familiar with Cajun lore? Here are a few fun facts to get you started:
“The word “Cajun” comes from “Acadia,” the name of the Canadian maritime provinces including Nova Scotia settled by French immigrants in early colonial times. At odds with the British, who gained control of the colonies in 1713, the French Acadians were eventually forced into exile – an event called le Grand Dérangement.” – Neworleans.com
Cajuns originated in Southern France, emigrated to Nova Scotia in the early 1600s, and were driven south by the British in 1755. Many migrated to Louisiana where they hunted, farmed, and fished the many bayous and waterways.
Onion, celery, and bell pepper are the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun food.
Andouille, along with boudin, both highly spiced pork sausages, are popular smoked sausages used in Cajun dishes.
My Bible for Cajun and Creole dishes has been a torn and tattered, much loved and frequently used copy of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. I bought it in 1984 when it first came out, interestingly enough, on a foodie trip to New Orleans. Sadly, Paul Prudhomme died in 2015, but he left an amazing legacy of Louisiana cooking. Another huge loss is that the iconic restaurant Chef Paul and his wife Kay started in 1979, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen has been closed permanently after being affected by the Covid-19 virus shut-downs in 2020. It was an awesome restaurant that was taken over by Paul Prudhomme’s niece and her husband and was one of my favorite places to eat in the Crescent City.
I’ve modified his recipes over the years, and now include my datil pepper seasonings instead of the seasoning blends Chef Prudhomme created, but the essence of the dishes is a tribute to the big man himself.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage
I know not everyone likes okra, and you can certainly leave it out, but it really adds flavor and thickness to this Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage. Filé powder, a common ingredient in gumbo is also called gumbo filé. It’s a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum). I didn’t include it in my recipe, but if you happen to have some, you can certainly throw a pinch in the pot.
OSA Gourmet Delectable Datil Salsa Seasoning combined with Gourmet Datil Garlic and one of our Datil Pepper Hot Sauces add a nice spicy kick to this beautiful pot of gumbo. I used the Smokin’ Hot Salsa Seasoning and Venom Datil Pepper Hot Sauce. A great combination. I know it’s not traditional Cajun seasoning, but hey, that’s what cooking is all about for me. I love to experiment with flavors and ingredients, taking my dishes to the next level. You can always use Creole Seasoning instead if that’s what you have in your pantry. Or season it with your favorite spice blends to create your own take on this gumbo.
Let’s get cookin’!
Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage is not an instant meal. It takes time to marry the flavors, and it’s always better the next day if you can wait that long to eat it. If you want to freeze your gumbo, leave out the shrimp. After thawing out the gumbo, you can reheat it slowly in a pot on the stove and add the shrimp once the gumbo is hot.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
Angela Bean - The Datil Pepper Lady
My spicy take on a classic Paul Prudhomme Cajun Louisiana Gumbo recipe. Delectable shrimp, okra and andouille sausage combined with sauteed vegetables and cooked in a golden brown roux. This gumbo is sure to please the spicy food lovers in your life. Serve over rice with crusty French bread to sop up all the delicious juices.
1TablespoonOSA Gourmet Datil Pepper Hot Sauceif desired
3 cupscooked rice
To make the roux: In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Slowly add in the flour, stirring or whisking CONSTANTLY. Continue cooking and stirring until flour and oil are combined and start to turn a golden brown. (Be extremely careful not to burn the roux or to splash it onto yourself)
Once the roux is the desired color, add in half of the onion, bell pepper, and celery and continue to stir for about one minute. Then add the rest of the vegetables, including the okra and the garlic and continue to cook and stir for another minute or two.
Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the seasonings and hot sauce if desired.
Place a second stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat and add the seafood stock. Bring to a boil.
Add the roux mixture, including the vegetables, by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring well after each addition.
Once all the roux is incorporated into the stock, add the sausage and lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
To serve, place 1/4 cup of cooked rice in the center of a bowl and spoon 1 cup of the gumbo over the top.
Be sure to serve with crispy baked French bread to sop up all the delicious juices.
Serve with OSA Gourmet Datil Pepper Hot Sauce on the side for those who want an extra kick of heat.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
*The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. For accurate nutritional information, calculate using the exact ingredients you use as brands vary in their nutritional values. Please consult your doctor for any questions or concerns you have about dietary restrictions.
Keyword Cajun, Gumbo, Stew
****How to Make a Roux****
I know this sounds complicated, but once you’ve made roux a time or two, you’ll see the benefit and you’ll certainly taste the difference a good roux makes in the flavor and texture of this dish. Roux adds a unique nutty, toasted flavor that’s characteristic of Louisiana cooking.
You will need a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron as it heats evenly and holds the heat well.
Using equal parts of oil and four, start by heating the oil over medium heat. (Louisiana cooks traditionally used lard or animal fat to make their roux. You can use vegetable oil, peanut oil, even olive oil. If you do decide to use olive oil, be careful as it has a lower smoking point than vegetable oil and will burn more quickly.)
Gradually stir in the flour a little at a time and whisk or stir continuously to avoid burning the mixture. (Be sure to use a long-handled spoon or whisk as the moisture in the flour when added to the hot oil creates steam and will definitely burn you if you aren’t careful).
Be careful not to burn the roux. If you burn it, you will need to discard it and start all over again. Trust me, you will not want to use a roux that has burned. How will you know it has burned? There will be black specks that start to appear as it cooks, and then it will literally turn black and start to have an awful acrid smell. Similar to burned popcorn.
The key is to stir it constantly. And I mean constantly. You cannot leave this for even a second.
There is no specific time-frame for making a roux. I usually count on 20-30 minutes, but it may be a little less or a little more. I usually make my roux the color of caramel or peanut butter when I’m making gumbo.
Again, just remember to watch this carefully and to stir, stir, stir.