I was so excited to see this recipe in this month's issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray: A simplified shrimp gumbo without the flour and just a handful of ingredients.
I made it for dinner tonight and it was as good as it looked in the magazine. The key to its success: No substitutions.
The article said to use kielbasa instead of the sometimes harder-to-find (and much spicier) andouille sausage. No way, I say. Gumbo should be spicy and this sausage gives it the intensely garlicky and peppery character that it needs. Chef Bruce Aidells makes a great andouille. Find a store at www.aidells.com.
The recipe also calls for fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. Use the Muir Glen Organic brand instead of regular ol' canned tomatoes.
You're supposed to add shrimp at the end. Please look for Wild Gulf Shrimp. You haven't had shrimp until you've eaten these: fresh, meaty, briny. The grey shrimp from Thailand just won't do.
I added two little twists: I served mine with brown rice and seasoned it with a little bit of Dean Jacob's Creole Gumbo seasoning. Yum. A trip to New Orleans in 45 minutes. Cool.