Scallop Gumbo

Food & Fire has been a little shy on posts lately because our household has recently adopted the Weight Watcher’s PointsPlus® program and it’s taking some time to get used to it.  Never fear – this grillmeister will still be churning out some dishes that Jennifer Hudson would definitely not approve of, but I will also be working to adapt some of my recipes to be a little more “points friendly.”

You wouldn’t usually think of gumbo as a dish that could be lightened up without losing a lot of flavor, but this version from Mark Bittman is hearty without being too heavy.

1 pound scallops
1 link andouille chicken sausage (Amylu’s), chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour (Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, or water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 -2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves

Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Make a roux by whisking in the flour and cooking, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture darkens to a blond color and becomes fragrant (it should smell like popcorn or toast), about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and bump the heat up to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened – about 10 minutes.

Add the stock, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and Cajun seasoning. Slowly raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes to let all the flavors get to know each other. Add scallops and cook just until they are no longer translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serve in bowls as a stew, or poured over rice.

Nutrition
Makes 6 (1 1/2 cup) servings. 275 calories. 7 Weight Watcher points.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
W0w – sweet and buttery scallops in a rich sauce. The roux makes a big difference – it not only thickens the dish but helps to pull all the flavors together. It’s well worth the calories.

6 thoughts on “Scallop Gumbo”

  1. Wow, I’m definitely going to give this a try. Which stock did you use in this particular batch? Also, if you have any suggestions on a lobster bisque, I’m looking for some recipes to try.
    Good to see you back on the blog. I was getting worried. =)

  2. Thanks, it’s good to be back.

    I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of Penzey’s chicken base (one of the few gluten-free ones out there) to make 3 cups of stock.

    I’ve not made lobster bisque, but I bet this Bobby Flay recipe would be as good a place as any to start.

  3. Hitting middle age this year and my exercise level is tapering a little, I need to take some of your advice and start cutting back. The gumbo doesn’t look “lite” at all and that’s a great thing!

  4. Like you, we are now a GF household that has started to seriously look at calories for health reasons. (Adding insult to injury!) A 1/4 cup of oil and 2 TBSP of butter are probably “out of reach” for some of us who have started this journey…

    There are a couple of versions of fat-free roux out on the internet. Everyone swears on a stack of bibles that they impart similar flavor without the fat. One is called dry rub: http://www.gumbocooking.com/dry-roux.html

    Here is another similar gumbo recipe in this discussion thread which uses a chicken sausage: http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=82405

    We look forward to trying these out AFTER we reach our goal weight. Your gumbo is extra motivation to get there ASAP!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! Switching to a dry roux is a good idea. I’ve used them before and they do bump up the flavor. It would certainly cut the fat in this recipe, but I really like the glossy richness you get with a real roux.

      The nice thing about this recipe is that using scallops and just a little chicken andouille kind of balances the roux by cutting the fat, so the dish ends up lighter but still rich tasting.

  5. I really like Amylu’s chicken sausages. This gumbo looks really good and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with your positive “verdict”. As far as those weight watcher points go … eat a lot of lean meat, vegetable laden brothy soups.

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