With these cold winter days upon us, I decided to make some homemade shrimp gumbo for my weekly clients to enjoy. Add some Cajun rice to the bottom of a bowl and top with the gumbo for a delicious and satisfying meal. 

Shrimp Gumbo

For the shrimp stock:

2 pounds unpeeled medium shrimp

8 cups of water

1 teaspoon peppercorns

4 garlic cloves, crushed

3 large celery stalks, chopped

3 bay leaves

3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

For the gumbo:

1 cup grape seed oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 chopped yellow onion 

1/4 cup chopped celery 

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper 

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 cup fresh okra, sliced 

3 cups shrimp stock (recipe above)

2 cups bottled clam juice 

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes with juice 

3 bay leaves 

1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley flakes 

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning 

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves 

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 

1 1/2 cups cooked smoked turkey sausage, sliced diagonally 

2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined 

Cooked Cajun rice (recipe below)

For the stock: To prepare the stock, peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover and refrigerate. Combine reserved shrimp shells, 8 cups of water, and next six ingredients in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 3 cups stock; keep warm. Reserve the remaining shrimp stock for another use.

For the gumbo: In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt 1 cup of grape seed oil. Add the flour and cook on low heat until the roux is dark brown, about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the onions, celery, peppers and garlic and sauté until translucent.

Mix in the remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 1 hour. Before serving, remove the bay leaves. Serve over Cajun Creole Rice.

Cajun Creole Rice

2 tablespoons butter 

3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice 

3/4 cup celery, diced 

3/4 cup green onion, diced small 

3/4 yellow onion, diced small 

3/4 cup red bell pepper, diced small 

2 cups brown rice, raw 

3 1/2 cups water 

Sauté vegetables in butter over medium heat until soft. Add the other ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 25 minutes.

Sources: Recipes adapted from pauladeen.com, myrecipes.com and Food.com.