I made gumbo for the first time this week (thanks to Lori Leger for the Cajun spices!). I love Cajun food and had a great bowl of gumbo a couple weeks ago, and was dying to replicate the recipe. I took one of Emeril's (figuring he knows New Orleans cuisine pretty darn well) and added a few tweaks to it, based on the restaurant one.
Here's Emeril's recipe. The one I had at the restaurant had ham hocks in it (which to be honest, the thought of even cooking with them had me totally grossed out, but I was a trooper, and decided to try it). Emeril starts with a roux--I browned the ham hocks in a little oil first, then took them out of the pan and followed Emeril's steps. I re-added the ham hocks with the sausage (I had to use kielbasa because I couldn't find andouille sausage). I also added frozen chopped okra, to beef up the vegetables. When the gumbo was done, I removed the ham hocks but diced up the meat and put that in. I kept the spice level low so the kids could eat it, so it wasn't as spicy as the one in the restaurant, but still smelled AMAZING and tasted FAB. My son loved it (DD wasn't home that night). My husband added some hot sauce to it, to increase the level of heat, but everyone had seconds.
If you want some more Cajun recipes, check out Lori's Blog on Cajun Cooking. I'm looking forward to trying more!
I served it with homemade cornbread that I brushed with honey butter while it was still warm. A hit all around, and definitely has me looking forward to my trip to New Orleans where I'll be speaking to SOLA on "Taking a Book from Good to Sold" on January 15th. If you're in the area, join me!