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Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo and a Story

This is a recipe with a story behind it.  And it’s a wonderful story.

First, let me remind everyone that here at Bayou Woman, we’ve cooked shrimp stew and chicken and andouille gumbo, both pretty good representations of down-the-bayou cooking. But today, I’m going to make it easy for all of you who hail from places north, east and west to make a surprisingly tasty gumbo without having to make the (in)famous roux.

Okay, now, the rest of you just stop with the head shaking and jaw flapping because I can already hear your outrage, complaints and objections.  But bear with me, because this dish has a special place in my heart and is at the top of the list of our family favorites, including The Captain, who’s been eating genuine bayou cooking his whole life.

The Story.  Back in the mid eighties, my father was forced into early retirement at the age of 55 and decided to invade Mom’s kitchen by trying new and adventurous recipes.  And this is one of those recipes.

The original recipe was formulated by two little old women in Shreveport, Louisiana, and they called it “Oven Jambalaya”.  In case you don’t know, jambalaya is the South Louisiana rice dish comparable to fried rice, but darker and more spicy.

So Daddy proceeded to make it according to their recipe, but he wasn’t really crazy about it. Rather than trash the recipe altogether, he decided to make it on top of the stove, cook the rice separate, and serve it over the rice.  That is the way I first tasted it, and it was delicious.

I then brought the recipe home to bayou country and made it for my family, including The Captain, who suggested I take some to his dad, “The Old Man”.  At this point, I must remind you of a slight language barrier between me and the bayou people back then.  They spoke better French than English, and I spoke almost no French at all.  The exchange went like this:

Me:  “Here, I brought you some  jambalaya to try.  It’s a recipe my daddy makes.”

The Old Man:  “Dat don’t look lak no jambalaya mais, cher!”

Me:  “No, it doesn’t, because Daddy decided to cook the rice separate.”

The Old Man: “La Vieux, donner un cuillere pour assayer ca ici.”  (“Old Lady, give me a spoon for me to try this.”)

He tastes.  I wait.  He indulges.  I wait.

He breaks into a huge smile and says, “Mais I know what dis is.  Dis is a Redneck Gumbo!”

Every time I cooked this meal, I sent him a plate, and he lovingly shortened the name to “Redneck” and we still call it that.  MuzicMan, my son-in-law, recently tried it for the first time and loved it, too.

The Recipe:

redneck.gumbo 002

1 pound shrimp, peeled
1 pound andouille (or smoked sausage), sliced
1 can French onion soup
1 can beef broth
1-2 cans water
1/2 stick butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
small can sliced mushrooms (optional)
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
serves 4-6 (easily doubled)
caution:  do not add salt,
as the soup, broth, and sausage make this recipe salty enough

Bell pepperThe bell pepper is not in the photo because sometimes I cheat and buy the “trinity” already chopped and in containers.

Trinity saute`Saute` vegetables in butter until starting to soften being careful not to burn the butter.

Add sausageAdd sliced sausage, stir, and simmer a while longer.

Add shrimpNow add the shrimp and let them simmer until slightly cooked . . .

Shrimp pinklike this . . . a pretty salmon color.

Add liquidsNow, add the liquids, with one can of water (and add more water later if the sauce tastes too strong for you).  Stir until all elements are blended well.

Add cayenneNow add the cayenne pepper and drained sliced mushrooms, if you desire.

Cover, and simmer on low for about half an hour.

Redneck Gumbo servedServe over cooked rice, with a side of creamy bayou potato salad, and French bread.

So if you haven’t tried to make gumbo because the roux was too intimidating, I just set you free from that fear!  I’m looking forward to reports from those of you who rushed right out and found the ingredients to make this easy and pleasing dish!


The Prize:

Every comment (except mine) on this post will be entered into a random drawing for this Community Coffee canister!  Winner will be announced Saturday!

Bon apetite!


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  1. Yep. Looks like you must post the potato salad recipe. I’m going to cook this when Fiddler gets back. You know I’ve never made it for my family.

    1. Boiled red potatoes, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. It is supposed to be plain and not take away from the flavor of the gumbo. It is like creamy mashed potatoes with a little punch!

  2. I’ll just sit quietly and wait for that Mark guy, shoepik, to post.
    I got make some tater salad sick of store bought.

  3. Sounds good. I’ll give it a try pretty soon. BUT…I’ll never call it Gumbo! LOL! I’ll have to rename it “Faux Gumbo”. Hey, I like the way the new name sounds. I hope the recipe lives up to the new name. LOL!!!!!

    1. I thought about mock gumbo, but Faux Gumbo is great!!! Just be sure you remember the story behind it!!!

      PS I love it made the original way—-oven jambalaya!

  4. Ok, I’ll let you slide on this one because it looks like real gumbo. I like mine kind of liquidy. However, the mushrooms just arent going to make the cut.

  5. OK, sent my husband to the store for the fixins and I am off to start cooking. Looks so good!

    1. Teresa, I want you to be the first one to come back here and tell us if you liked it. My feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t, because it does have a very different flavor from regular gumbo! Thanks ! BW

      1. It was AWESOME!! My family loved it, the only negative comment my family gave was, “Next time make it with more cayenne.” My family loves hot! Thank you for the recipe, it is now part of my regular line-up. Two thumbs up!!

        1. Teresa. two thumbs up? WoW!! That is fantastic! I’m so glad they like it! Remember, they can always add “Louisiana Hot Sauce” to their bowl!! That’s another staple item down here in bayou country!

          1. Louisiana Hot Sauce isn’t just a staple down in bayou country. I buy that stuff by the biggest jar in the stores! My husband, daughter, son and two grandsons love it!

            The 12 yr old had me get some of the little bottles of it that are sold at Bass Pro when he was only about 7yrs old. He carried it in his lunch to school!

            About the linguini, I love to try different foods. I am Cherokee, Black Dutch and Irish. Many different types of foods run in my family. Always said I would try it once and twice if I liked the taste.

              1. True Louisiana Hot Sauce…just one brand! But, there are a lot of want to b’s. We have about 30-40 brands of hot sauces in the three stores here. We have a lot of hispanic foods and they make up about 75% of the brands.
                I also make my own salsas and my own version of hot sauce that I can for my family & friends. I think I have 1 jar of hot sauce and about 5 pts of salsa left out of about 5 cases I canned a couple of years ago.

                I have a pt. of pico sauce in the fridge that I made this past weekend. Hubby will probably finish it off this week.

              2. Cammy, I am liking you more and more, girl. I haven’t canned my own salsa in years since I don’t have fresh tomatoes of my own. Well, about hot sauce. There are several Louisiana brands that are good. Tabasco is good, but I can appreciate different flavors the others have to offer. I feel a blog post coming on . . . . . about La. hot sauces!!!

              3. Yes, Cammy, it is very interesting. If anyone else is interested, you can learn a ton of neat stuff about the McIlhenny family and their famous Louisiana Hot Sauce here

              4. I noticed the potato salad in your bowl in the picture, only southern cajun do dat. If you are from north of I-10, potato salad is a side dish, if from south of I-10 its as much part of gumbo as the rice.

                Did you know that the founder of Tabasco was also one of “The Presidents 100”. That means he was recognized as one of the 100 best marksmen in the country. Its an extremely large deal to this day to shooters.

                A suggestion to produce, check the farmer’s market in Houma. Usually its a Saturday morning thing where the local farmers bring their produce to sell. Better prices, quality, and quantiles than you’ll ever see in a store. Seems It was on Coteau Rd. but no telling where its settled to now. It saves a heck of a lot of time not to mention all the weather problems. Plus you can get the produce when you want them, not just when they need pickin.

              5. Hey Foam – Houma Indians put potato salad right in the gumbo bowl, too! Interesting about McIlhenny! That family is also responsible for the nutria being here. Wish they would have used them for target practice, though! (sorry, couldn’t resist). The only market I know of is now on Tunnel Extension on Wed.

    1. I see by your email name that you must like to travel? Just give me a call before you come so I can throw something on the stove for ya, Pam!

    1. LilSis, we could have made some at your house the day after Shrimp Camp Dularge! I’m thinking I might make this the signature gumbo for Camp Dularge and use Steffi’s name: Camp Dularge Faux Gumbaux

  6. I always thought he called it redneck jambalaya.Thats how it is listed in church cookbook. May make some soon ash. I have also made it with any combination of chicken,sausage, and shrimp. Always have to put a little on the side for deron before adding the shrimp at the end.

    1. BigSis, when Daddy put it in the church cookbook, he decided to use Mr. David’s moniker but I couldn’t convince him to change the word jambalaya to gumbo!

  7. I usually cook up a big pot of gumbo or shrimp spaghetti or something on Sundays to tide me over for the week. This is definitely on the agenda this weekend! Or maybe the weekend should come early this week? And cheating with Guidry’s is always on my agenda, but I’m a Yankee so that’s like an automatic pass right? Plus the Guidry’s containers are perfect for the leftovers.

    1. I do love the way that Diane girl thinks, don’t y’all? And I also love it that you call yourself a Yankee and you know we still love you!!!

  8. Oh my goodness that sounds so easy and delicious.
    Tomorrow when I shop I plan on purchasing the shrimp and sausage……the rest of the ingredients I already have!
    Thank you for being so kind to share your heritage cooking with us Northerners!

    Liz in PA

  9. Looks so good! I wish my hubby loved gumbos and jambalaya like I do.
    I have some good, smoked venison sausage links in the freezer still. Wonder how they would go with the shrimp?? I think I have all the ingredients except the green onions. I used the last of the winter onions today in a Taboli salad. I do my shopping on Sunday evening. Will have to add some onions to my list.

    Wendy, I need a good linguini recipe with shrimp or clams in a nice white sauce with some mixed vegies and artichoke hearts. Do you have one on here that I have over-looked?

    1. I can’t even say linwhatever and articwhatevers much less cook them!!!! No, I’m sorry, Cammy. Are you sure you don’t have something that delicious lurking in your recipe arsenal? LOL! That sounds very Italian, doesn’t it? I bet you one of the readers here could whip some up for you, though. Hey, Choupiquer, can you help a girl out?

      1. I’ve got a recipe for Shrimp Fettuccine that’s easy & delish. I’ve often substituted Angel Hair Pasta or Vermicelli when I didn’t have the Fettuccine. I think Linguine could be used also. I’d serve the veggies on the side though.

  10. This WILL be tried in the Wolf household, probably this weekend. the pictures made my mouth water. Another terrific post, BW!

  11. Since I’m not sure when we’re going to get there for you to cook for us, I’m planning this for the week-end. Yes, the roux is scary. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the ‘exotic’ name.

  12. I could NEVER forget your blog my friend! I am gonna have to get me some of that gumbo ingrediants me dear!!! And hook my up for that cute little prize!!!!

  13. The recipe sounds very tasty. The picture is well done but to me gumbo is more like soup than rice & gravy. If one really wanted to enjoy the “full” gumbo taste, the ratio should be somewhere around 1 part rice and 3 to 4 parts liquid & ingredients. Personally, too much rice detracts from the main attraction!! Alas, does anybody else feel the same?

    1. Well, Tar Baby, I really like mine “souped” up in the plate, but for the photo, I had to show the folks the shrimp!!! I think everybody has their druthers. For instance, The Captain always eats more rice than whatever goes on top, whether it’s white beans or smothered shrimp. Oh, there I go again with another shrimp recipe idea!!!!

  14. Hannah bought the needed ingredients last night while grocery shopping. We’ll be using the wild hog smoked sausage in place of andouille. Did you say how many this serves?

  15. Hi, thanks for visiting me! That sure does look yummy!! And pretty easy. I can make a decent roux, but I often cheat and use the Tony’s Roux from the store. ha.

  16. OK … I’ve been suffering with morning sickness for weeks, and nothing seems appealing. This has peaked my interest, and I’m actually going to try to cook it this weekend.

    1. Sorry about the queasiness but hopefully this will fix you up. Don’t kow if this suits you, but whenever I had that, a little bit of lemon lime snowball fixed me right up! LOL! Or home made lemonade—-you could get it at Cane’s!

      1. Funny you should say that … I’ve been eating coconut snowballs, but also getting lemonade from Cane’s!

        I tried peppermint tea this morning, and it worked like a charm!

  17. That looks soooo good, looks like I made it back on line, just in time! Just out of curiosity, do you have any suggestions for seasoning additives in case some readers can’t get the andouille sausage? The flavorful spices in the andouille are unique and bring its own depth to the dish. Other sausages would be well substituted in flavour & texture, but the loss of spice, can you offer any additional additives to make up for it? I know, only a southern yankee would ask such a question…lol
    Deb in TX…finally back on line

    1. Deb, the original recipe calls for just plain old smoked sausage. I later switched it to andouille just to try it. All you have to add would be some Tony Chacerie’s Cajun Seasoning or equivalent. This recipe is very hard to mess up!!!

  18. Putting a word for Crystal hot sauce. Young upstart sriracha is supposed to be good but not Loozy. Always heard up here that Louisiana Hot Sauce was pretty much fake. You got Aldi’s down there?? Their hot sauce is good.

    Blu be’s cooking Camellia red beans and has nearly perfected the Yankee version. Crock potting all night.