Oh boy! I really evolved as a cook last night. I've wanted to make gumbo for a long time, but since I've only tasted vegan gumbo a scant few times since moving to New Orleans in '01, it wasn't something I really knew how to make it (I worried about burning the roux and getting the right texture and flavor). My friend Noy made a delicious gumbo z'herbs last week, and then at last week's Totally Vegan Potluck, Andy, The Asian Cajun, brought a vegan chick'n and sausage gumbo. I was inspired! I prepared by reading a lot of traditional gumbo recipes, and then I stocked up on local okra, red onions, and peppers and then made another batch of Julie Hasson's sausage (this sausage is delicious and so very easy to make!).
The list of ingredients is extensive, but if you plan ahead with the sausage, the actual gumbo won't take too long to make. We ate about two hours after I started everything, and that includes making the roux, chasing the dog out of the recycling 85954X, simmering time, putting up some brown popcorn rice and baking MORE cookies.
Vegan Sausage Gumbo
Makes 6 generous portions
2 quarts vegetable broth
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1/3 cup canola oil (plus more to fry Gimme Lean)
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups sliced frozen okra
small strip nori 2"X4" sliced
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 tube Gimme Lean Sausage*
1/4 recipe Julie Hasson's Sausage (two tubes), sliced into thin rounds
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste.
1-2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's salt free seasoning
- In a big pot, bring the stock up to a simmer while you make the roux. The roux was easy, just whisk the flour and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, CONSTANTLY, until it browns. It took me about ten minutes, and turned a nice coffee/chocolate color. Don't stop whisking, or it'll burn, and once it starts to brown, watch closely. Mine turned from light to dark almost at once.
- Carefully add the roux into the simmering broth and whisk to blend well. The gumbo will thicken, but not as much as you might think.
- Add the chopped vegetables (pepper, onion, parsley, celery, tomato, okra), seaweed, liquid smoke and salt. Keep simmering and stir every now and again so it doesn't stick.
- Fry up the Gimme Lean in a small bit of oil with lots of Tony Chachere's (1-2teaspoons).
- Add the Gimme Lean and the sliced sausage to the pot.
- Let the gumbo reduce and simmer for at least 45 minutes, but stir frequently so it doesn't burn.
- Season to taste with more salt and Tabasco. Serve over rice with more chopped parsley on top.
P.S. This is considered a creole gumbo since it's got tomatoes. Just so ya know.