This is a serious multi-tasking kind of recipe. I don’t typically make/write recipes that require dirtying lots of dishes or require multiple steps or too many ingredients, because I know most people (including myself, most days) just want to eat something a.) that tastes good b.) is good for us and c.) doesn’t require washing more than 3 dishes. I absolutely, positively abhor washing dishes. Let me get back on task here, what I’m trying to say is…I’m not trying to scare anyone off, but this should be made on a “I can’t wait to cook an awesome meal” kind of day. We didn’t need a roux for this recipe. I thought I would have to experiment with some arrowroot powder but the okra does a nice job of thickening the gumbo. Oh and let me mention, this makes a TON…get ready for leftovers!
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 T butter, cubed
- 3 leeks*
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 green pepper
- 1 lb. Andouille sausage, chopped
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
- 6 c shrimp stock** (any stock will work)
- 1/2 lb. okra
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 T Old Bay
- 2 t Quatre épices***
- 3 green onions
Get your oven to 450°F. The food processor is going to be your BFF for this recipe. Get it out! Cut out the core and leaves of the cauliflower. Roughly chop and, in batches, process the cauliflower until it resembles rice. Place on a baking sheet. Toss it around with the butter and some s&p. Roast the cauliflower rice until it’s a nice pale yellow-ish color and doesn’t taste cauliflower-y, making sure to toss it one or two times while it’s roasting. About 25 minutes.
While the cauliflower is going, add the andouille sausage to a soup/stock pot, at least 5 quarts. Saute until it’s browned, remove from the pan and place on a “holding” plate. Add the chicken and saute until it’s done…if you’re a little shy of done, no worries, it’ll continue to cook in the soup. Remove the chicken and add to the plate with the sausage.
Add the green pepper, celery stalks and leeks to the food processor and blend until everybody is in small, itty-bitty pieces. Add to the stock pot and saute until everybody has softened. Pulse up the canned tomatoes in the food processor too–I don’t like when they’re too big in the soup, I like them evenly sized and textured within the soup. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the sausage and chicken, and simmer until the okra has softened, about 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to taste the okra for the correct done-ness–soft, but still has a crunch to it.
To serve, place a scoop of cauliflower rice in the center of a bowl, ladle around the gumbo and sprinkle with green onions. You will have more gumbo than cauliflower. So leftovers will be “soup.”
*Leeks are dirty little suckers. To clean them: Cut off the root and to the top where it starts to get really, really green. Slice lengthwise and toss into a bowl of water. Use your hands to jiggle them around and that should remove virtually all the dirt.
**So here’s the deal with shrimp stock: I made the faux-viche one night and used shell-on shrimp. I saved the shells, added them to 3 quarts of water, simmered for 3 hours, strained and discarded the shells. Incredibly easily, and might I add, very resourceful.
*** Quatre épices is a french seasoning mix: white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves. It’s not a necessary component, but it’s a nice addition. I found mine at World Market.