First, the beets. I was feeling guilty that these poor beets had been kicking around the refrigerator for so long, so I decided to just roast them (covered, with olive oil at 425 degrees) and eat them for lunch or something. There happened to be some Consider Bardwell Farm feta cheese (crazy salty and delicious) on hand, so I tossed the roasted beets with olive oil, a dash of balsamic, pepper, and the feta, and served over lettuce. A great beet salad with the bonus of freshly roasted, slightly warm, beets. Highly recommended for a snowy afternoon.
Since my post about it, Brian and I have been back to Marlow and Daughters a few times. We are loving their selection and quality, and the sausages are divine. Sausage is so flavorful, and such an important part of the flavor of a sausage dish, that it is really important to start with something you love. The best solution would be the make your own, but that process is an absolute mystery to me. Not that I wouldn’t like try, I just haven’t yet. Until then, we are lucky to have a great butcher right in the neighborhood.
Which leads to me to the gumbo. Except what we made wasn’t really gumbo since it didn’t have okra, fille, or a roux. While it was not a real gumbo, it was easy to make and really good. Like, really good. The andouille flavor was smokey and great. I used the traditional combination of onion, celery, and red pepper, but added a couple carrots to counter the acidity of the tomatoes. We threw in some shrimp and thyme, too. This might be my favorite stew of the winter. Have it for dinner and let me know what you think, please.
2-3 links andouille sausage
1-2 lbs. shrimp
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 large can whole tomatoes
4 cups strong stock (shrimp if you have it, but chicken is fine)
1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 dried thai chillies
6 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, drizzle in some olive oil and saute the andouille over medium high heat. Remove from pot and set aside. If there is excessive fat, skim a little off; otherwise, add the onion, celery, carrots, pepper, and garlic, and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.
Bring ingredients to a rapid boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Add the vermouth and sausage and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper, and possibly another splash of vermouth. Add the shrimp and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serve in a large bowl over lightly salted rice.