Comfort food is a much-needed escape from the emotionally exhausting days during this world pandemic that is COVID-19. I’ve been baking more than I have in years, and I’m finding comfort in my kitchen, working with the limited-supply ingredients I have on hand.
This week, I wanted a comfort food that was a bit healthier than the mac-n-cheese and piles of cheesy enchiladas that have been coming out of my oven recently. I turned to a favorite dish from my time in Louisiana, making a version that can be easily altered for Whole30. In fact, this is the style of southern cooking that makes an appearance almost weekly during any Whole30 I’ve completed.
I spent a few years living in South Louisiana, and the best kitchen skill I took away was certainly learning to make a roux. This 30-Minute Seafood Gumbo might be looked down upon by many traditionalists, but the caramel color you can achieve in a short period of time gives this recipe that deep flavor that satisfies my need for comfort.
- 1 pound seafood (I used a mix of shrimp and Alaskan Pollock)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (use Arrowroot for Whole30)
- ½ cup vegetable oil (use olive oil or ghee for Whole30)
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ½ green pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cups seafood stock or veggie broth
- 2 cups frozen okra
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (check label for Whole30)
Heat a dutch oven to medium-high heat on the stove. Start your roux by adding flour and oil to the pan, stirring continuously for 5 to 7 minutes, as mixture starts to turn brown. Reduce heat and continue cooking until you get a dark caramel color on your roux, without burning (about 10 minutes).
Add onion, celery and green pepper (the holy trinity) to the pot and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes. Pour in 4 cups stock or broth and frozen okra, returning heat to medium-high until mixture comes to a boil.
Season with paprika, oregano, salt, pepper and dried parsley. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the gumbo to thicken.
Add seafood and Cajun seasoning, cooking uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until seafood is cooked through. Serve with rice (or cauliflower rice for Whole30).