Gumbo is a stewy soup that is traditionally served over cooked rice, whereas Jambalaya is a rice dish, rather like a hearty meat-and-vegetable-studded pilaf. Jambalaya is a product of the Spanish influence in Louisiana, and was originally meant to be a substitute for paella, which is a Spanish national dish. Both dishes typically contain some type of shell fish, such as shrimp or crawfish, and may include other meats such as chicken, sausage, beef and/or pork.
But enough about the derivation of these wonderful culinary delights. This recipe is for Shrimp Creole, and is actually fairly easy to prepare. You will spend a little time at the beginning doing some slicing and dicing, but from then on it is a one pot meal (excluding the rice) that simply needs time to cook and simmer and get all those wonderful flavors mixed together.
Makes 3 to 5 servings
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (or yellow or red)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cooked white or brown rice
1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large heavy skillet and cook the onion, celery, peppers and garlic over medium low heat until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, sugar, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking.
3. Increase the heat to medium. Mix the cornstarch and water, and stir into the tomato mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the shrimp are done, having a pink color.
Serve the gumbo ladled over a bed of rice, and garnish with some chopped green onions if desired.