July 19, 2012

Gluten-Free Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Gluten-Free Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Gluten Free?

I never thought I would make a gluten-free gumbo. As a matter of fact, I never thought that I would think about making a gluten-free gumbo. 😉

So, what happened?

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the food we eat. I have my wife to thank for that. She is a bit more health-conscious than I am, though I am all for REAL food. REAL food is what God made. In case you haven’t heard, God did NOT make high fructose corn syrup or MSG. Those were our own little inventions. And not good ones either.

Well, my wife came across an event that took place last week that really caught her eye… and mine. It was called The Real Food Summit.

You may recall an episode I did about a year ago (episode 106) on real food. Specifically, it was about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. And I loved it! I am also very happy that my friend Kelly the Kitchen Kop joined me on that episode. Kelly is all about real food. As a matter of fact, she promotes something called Real Food Wednesdays. I encourage you to check it out.

Anyway, some of the talks from The Real Food Summit got me thinking. I’ve always been against chemical-laden food. But I have had a few questions about wheat. I mean, Jesus ate wheat, right? So, how could it be bad?

Listening to The Real Food Summit talks, it dawned on me… The wheat that Jesus ate is not the same as the wheat that we are fed. Not at all. Perhaps we can thank Monsanto for that. But, in this case, I don’t think “thank” is the right word. Hmmmm….

Anyway, all of this real food thinking and talking led me to try my hand at a gluten-free roux for a gumbo. I published my recipe for Shrimp and Okra Gumbo back in January of this year. Summer is hot. And I don’t typically think about gumbo during the summer. But shrimp are plentiful and I love this gumbo. My wife recently purchased a gluten-free flour, and that got my wheels a’ turning….

So, here it is. My gluten-free Shrimp and Okra Gumbo.

If you try it, please let me know!


  • 8oz butter (I prefer Kerrygold)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 4 or 5 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 or 3 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 strips of bacon (I prefer Applegate Farms)
  • 2 lbs frozen okra, cut and thawed
  • 3 large homegrown tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 12 cups shrimp stock (can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Konriko Creole Seasoning (or similar seasoning)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 lbs medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (if the shrimp are too big, you can cut them into chunks)
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped (will need extra for individual bowls)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped (will need extra for individual bowls)


For the roux

  1. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the butter and heat until it is melted.
  3. Add the gluten-free flour and whisk to incorporate. Continue whisking for about 10 to 12 minutes. The roux will darken, but it will not get as dark as a standard roux made with standard flour. Don’t worry though. The roux will actually darken more once you add the veggies. Be careful not to burn the roux.
  4. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Stir well, and allow to cook down for 10 to 15 minutes. You want the veggies to soften and become translucent.
  5. Once the veggies have softened and become translucent, cover, remove from heat and set aside.

For the okra

  1. Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until it’s crispy.
  3. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  4. In the drippings from the bacon add the okra and cook down (“brown”) for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and jalapenos at about the 10 minute mark.

For the gumbo

  1. In a gumbo (stock) pot add the roux and the stock.
  2. Heat on medium-high heat.
  3. Add the okra.
  4. Stir well to help incorporate all the ingredients.
  5. Add the wine, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, and Konriko. Note: you might want to tweak the measurements for salt and spices to your own liking.
  6. Stir well, and bring to a simmer. Allow the gumbo to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low, continuing to allow the gumbo to simmer.
  8. Taste for seasoning and thickness. Make adjustments as necessary.
  9. When your rice is made and you are getting close to dinner time, you can add the shrimp. You have to be careful not to overcook the shrimp. They will only need about five minutes of cooking.
  10. Once the shrimp are cooked, you are ready to eat! Serve gumbo over rice in a bowl. Keep Tabasco or Crystal on hand in case anyone wants to add it to their bowl. Also have chopped parsley and chopped green onions available to add to individual bowls.

Listen to the Gluten-Free Episode of The Catholic Foodie (CF137):

To leave feedback for the Catholic Foodie, call 985-635-4974 and leave a message. You can also leave feedback for me at jeff@catholicfoodie.com.

Download episode 137 here or listen to it below:

Bon appetit!

Do YOU do the gluten-free thing? Tell me all about it! Let me know in the comments below!