Tag: Shrimp







By Samantha Schwalm



Gumbo is a heavily seasoned soup/stew that embraces everything good about Louisiana. It was created in Louisiana in the 18th century. The dish combines the culinarily practices of Africans, Native Americans, French and Spanish cuisines. Gumbo is known for its thick and dark broth. It gets this color from creating a very dark roux and from its thickening agent, file, which is ground sassafras leaves. Chef’s everywhere will tell you the darker the roux, the better the Gumbo. Depending on your preference, it is made with either seafood or chicken. I make mine with a combination of the two. In full disclosure, my Gumbo recipe is based off the recipe from M bistro, located inside the Ritz Carleton, in the French Quarter of New Orleans.



Ingredients: 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup flour 2 cups diced onion 2 cups diced green bell peppers 1 cup celery 1 lbs. good andouille sausage 1 tsp. Garlic powder 1 tsp. Onion powder 1 tsp. Thyme 1 tsp. Garlic 1 tsp. Hot sauce 1tsp. Worcestershire 2 tbs. Cajun seasoning 3 bay leaves 8 cups of chicken stock 1 lbs. raw shrimp (diced if you prefer) 1 lbs. of crawfish 1 lbs. cooked Chicken 2 tbs. File 3 cups of cooked rice 1 bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish.



* In order to be successful with this recipe, get your Mise En Pace (all of your ingredients organized) in order. You will want to make the Gumbo in a dutch oven. This recipe serves 10 – 12 people, so you want a larger pot. Gumbo can be made a day in advance, and it freezes beautifully.

 * Make a Roux. The key to a good roux is equal parts fat and starch. In this case, flour and vegetable oil. Do not leave your roux once you start making it. Place flour and oil into the pot over medium high heat and start whisking them together. Continue to whisk until roux turns a deep brown. This will take somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes.



 * Switch to a spoon. Add onions, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to stir until the roux becomes is a dark rich brown. It should smell nutty, and not burnt (almost like roasted chestnuts). This will take another 10 to 15 minutes.

* Add the sausage and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

* Next add the celery, peppers, garlic, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.



* Add thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the entire mixture to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim the fat off the top with your spoon.

* Add Worcestershire, file powder, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim fat off the top with your spoon.

* Add shrimp, crawfish, and cooked chicken. Cook for 10 more minutes, until the shrimp is bright pin and cooked through.

* Remove the bay leaves, serve with a scoop of rice, and garnish with parsley.






Romantic Dinner Recipe





By Samantha Schwalm 


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It is a time to appreciate all of our loved ones and family. It is also a reminder to love yourself. Not only should we do something special for our loved ones, but make time for something special for yourself. We cannot fully love others unless we love ourselves. When making meals, I always say the secret ingredient is love. This usually gets me big eye rolls from my children.  



A lovely simple Valentine’s Day menu of roasted beet salad and shrimp over risotto is perfect for these colder days. It will be a lovely warm hug for you and your loved ones!  The nice part of the salad is the beets may be roasted a few days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. It should only take about 5 minutes to put the salad together. The risotto is a little more laborious, but the entire meal can be prepared within an hour.  Here is what you need to begin…  



Roasted Beet Salad with Red Pears: 

2 beets (roasted with skins removed)  

3 tablespoons goat cheese  

2 cups of arugula 

1 pear  

4 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for roasting beets)  

2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar 

1 teaspoon honey  

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios 

* In a 425 oven place the beets with their skins on a baking sheet. Rub the beets with extra oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 hour, or until knife tender. * Let beets cool and peel off skin and dice.  

* On individual serving plate place arugula 

* Top with diced beets  

* Place half sliced pears on top with goat cheese and pistachios  

* In a small bowl place honey and balsamic, then whisk in the oil  



Risotto Ingredients: 

32 oz of chicken stock 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter  

1 cup of Arborio Rice  

1/2 teaspoon salt  

1/2 cup Parmesan 

* In order to have creamy risotto, you must bring the stock to a boil, and have it simmering in a saucepan over medium. Reduce heat and keep warm.  * Melt the butter in a large skillet or wide-bottomed pot (like a dutch oven). * Add the rice, and stir it into the rice. Continue to stir the rice until it becomes almost translucent. This is essentially toasting the rice to bring out a nutty flavor. 

* From this point on, you want to continuously stir the rice. This will make your risotto creamy and smooth.  

* Add 1 ladle of broth (½ cup to ¾ cup), and stir until completely absorbed.  * Repeat until rice is alienate (tender to eat), it will take about 15 to 18 minutes of total cook time for the rice. Turn off heat. 

* Add salt to taste and cheese (please note the cheese will add a salty taste). Stir gently for 2 minutes. Serve immediately in warmed bowls, with more grated cheese over top,  if desired  

Shrimp Ingredients:  

12 shrimp (3 to 6 per person, depending on size of shrimp)  

1 tablespoon thyme  

Juice of 1/2 lemon  

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter  

1 clove of chopped garlic 

2 tablespoons of Chiffonade basil  

* While the Arborio rice is cooking, you can sauté the shrimp  

* In a sauté pan, melt the butter and add garlic  

* Sauté for 1 minute, and then add shrimp  

* Sauté on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Until the shrimp are bright pink  * Place shrimp on top of the risotto and garnish with the chiffonade basil