Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gumbotto Recipe - My Rendition of a Gumbo Inspired Risotto

The other day I was watching Food TV and gumbo was featured a few times.   It was the day of Snotober in the NYC so I figured that I wanted to do something warming like gumbo for dinner.    Sadly then two shows later Food TV did something on risotto.  I wanted to make that as well!   It then hit me to try to make a gumbo inspired risotto.

Now I know there are plenty of recipes for Gumbo Risotto but I just wasn't in the mood for the tomato base.  I decided to just take the key ingredients I like of gumbo and incorporate it into some form of seafood risotto.   So here is what I came up with:


2 andouille sausage
4 diver scallops
6 tiger shrimp
2"x1" block of slab bacon
1 salmon fish head
1 extra large shallot
1 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
bunch of fresh cilantro
chili flakes
4 cups fish stock
4 cups of water
2 pinches of paprika
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of risotto rice
kosher salt
cracked black peppercorn
half of a fresh lemon
some parmesan reggiano
olive oil

Here was the plan.  I wanted to make my own fish stock base by putting a fish head in 4 cups of water and bringing it to a boil.    I removed the fish head and add 4 cups of store bought fish stock to it.   Whamo!   Fresh fish stock sorta.

I must admit the kid in me was excited to just be messing with a fish head :)


I then uncased the andouille sausage and cubed the bacon.  I tossed the andouille and bacon in the sautee pan with olive oil and made sure the sausage was brown and the little bacon cubes were nice and crispy.  I seasoned that to make sure the flavors come together.  Once the meat was done I took it from the pan and set it aside.   I added the shallots, garlic, and chili flakes into the sauté pan in the meat grease.   A little bit of seasoning to bring it together.  Once they were lightly sweated I tossed in the risotto rice and lightly toasted it for 2 mins.  I deglazed the sauté pan with two ladles of fish stock and began to work the risotto.

Good risotto is "worked."   You ladle in more and more stock and in between ladles you are tossing and moving the risotto.   When you do this the rice releases its starch and the risotto comes together much much more creamy.   "Working risotto" is a bit of a trick you need to practice and learn but once you hit your stride.  But when you do hit your stride you get AMAZINGLY creamy risotto.   This is why risotto is a comfort food....  it is made with love and care.

You work anywhere between 8-12 ladles of stock in to make a risotto.   You add some parmy cheese into it about 2x while you are working it.  Add enough cheese to add flavor but dont overwhelm it as you are going to put some cheese on it at the end.  You really got to make sure the risotto has the right creaminess and right texture.  This just takes practice!

I then heated up another sauté pan and dumped in the butter.    I tossed the scallops and shrimp in salt, pepper, paprika and a bit of fresh squeezed lemon.  I tossed them in sauté pan and spooned the hot butter atop them.    The shrimp I cooked to just done and took out.   I let the scallops get that perfect brown crust to them and took them out nice and done.   You really got to be careful not to overcook the scallop and shrimp.    The get rubbery if you over cook them.   This also takes practice.

I then finished the risotto by folding in som fresh chopped cilantro, the cooked andouile sausage and bacon.  

I plated the risotto down first with and on top of it put a bit of fresh parmy cheese and fresh cilantro.  I then added the scallops and shrimp to be served along side of it.

What I got was simply delicious.    It had the flavors of gumbo that I was graving and the risotto I was seeking.  Yum Yum Yum.   I have never made the gumbo risotto recipes that are online but let me tell you that this Gumbotto is worth making.


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