This one was about as close to sorcery as anything I’ve ever made. While gumbo technically can be made without a roux, it just isn’t the same. After visiting New Orleans last year, asking a lot of people, and trying a lot of gumbo, I’m convinced of that.
A roux consists of flour and oil: that’s where all the points come from here. I used 2 ounces of canola oil and 1/2 cup of flour (half of what I used before joining Weight Watchers). The rest of the thickening came from okra.
I ground my own lean chicken breast and seasoned it to make a chicken andouille sausage. This is really good by itself, so I saved some for other meals.
I also made my own stock from the shrimp shells; this is a big 0 because it was just vegetables, seasoning, and water.
The rest consists of bell peppers, onion, garlic, tomato, Serrano pepper, various seasoning, and File powder (sassafras flavoring…another gumbo requirement as far as I’m concerned).
The result is really good: it has that subtle “fried” flavor that a roux provides, but I’m comfortable enough with how healthy it is that I don’t feel bad about having seconds.
NOTE: the file powder doesn’t have any substitute, but this is still a very good gumbo without it. The fried shrimp on top of the gumbo is cornmeal-battered, and is not part of this recipe.
This is served with a piece of cornflake crusted shrimp and cauliflower rice.