Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wifezilla's Low Carb Faux-Gum-Baux

I had a craving for some kind of gumbo the other night. The thing is, Colorado isn't exactly known for its gumbo. Maybe you can find some good Cajun food in Denver or Boulder, but Fountain Valley isn't your go-to location if you are hankering for a taste of "Nawlins".

Then there is the problem of carb content. Regular gumbo starts with a thick flour roux, and some of the more popular recipes online even include sugar. You are also supposed to serve it over rice, another low carber's no-no.

"Proper" ingredients are an issue here in the cultural backwater that is Security, CO. Unless you are willing to drive to Whole Paycheck (aka Whole Foods) in Colorado Springs and blow an hour out of your day (along with most of your grocery money), you aren't going to be able to get andouille sausage or file powder. Old Bay Seasoning is about as exotic as it gets around here.

I figured surely there has to be a way to satisfy my gumbo craving with easy to obtain ingredients and without all the carbage. The following is what I came up with and my gumbo craving has now been totally tamed. In many ways this isn't a true gumbo. You will not find ocra in anything I cook because....eww. Just eww. The color is lighter than a true gumbo and it also isn't as thick. But it does have that yummy sausage, seafood and pepper flavor. To me, that is the most important part anyway.

Wifezilla's Low Carb Faux-Gum-Baux

  • 1 lb pork sausage (if you can get smoked, even better)
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp
  • 1 lb frozen cauliflower
  • 2 sweet onions - chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red (or green) pepper - chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery - chopped
  • 1 can baby clams (including liquid)
  • 7 oz can of green chili
  • 6 egg yolks (for thickening)
  • 1 cup chopped greens (spinach, kale, baby bok choy, etc...)
  • 1/8 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • Salt, Pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup quinoa (optional)
  1. In large soup pot, brown sausage. Drain browned sausage and place aside, leaving any grease in the pot.
  2. Add chopped onions to the sausage grease and cook until caramelized. Stir in celery and peppers to the cooked onions.
  3. Add 2 quarts of water to the pot and add back in sausage.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients except for the shrimp and seasonings.
  5. Temper egg yolks using hot stock then add to the soup pot.
  6. If using the quinoa, add now.
  7. When the cauliflower and quinoa are fully cooked and all flavors are blended, add shrimp. Be careful not to overcook. Add salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning (or some ground cloves and mace) to taste.
  8. Serve as soon as shrimp is thoroughly pink.
If you decide you want it more traditional, add some ocra (ew!) and serve over some cooked quinoa instead of adding it to the stock. Quinoa is lower in carbs and higher in protein than rice, but it is still pretty carby. Use sparingly.

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