Chef Judi's Unconventional Gumbo

February is jam packed with holidays including Marti Gras.  While making a true gumbo can be time consuming to get that dark roux just right, I found jarred Gumbo base at The Fresh Market. There are essentially two types of Gumbo. There is the creole gumbo, usually prepared with seafood and the low country gumbo, a little spicier with andouille sausage and shrimp.

LowCountry Produce sells both types of gumbo, all natural and no preservatives.

Chef Judi's Unconventional Gumbo

Serves 4


1 jar Low Country Gumbo

2 plus teaspoons canola oil

3-4 andouille sausages

1 Bell pepper minced

1/2 minced sweet onion

Salt, pepper and a pinch of Cajun seasoning if desired

20 large shrimp, raw but shelled

8-10 boneless chicken thighs

2 cups cooked white rice

Bottle of hot sauce ( place on table for those that like a spicier version) Corn bread


Heat large sauté pan. Brown andouille sausage on all sides. Remove from pan Slightly cool before slicing.  

In same pan that you browned the andouille sausage, add oil and saute boneless chicken thighs and sear o. Both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove Thighs and add a little oil if needed, scraping bottom. sauté green pepper and onion. Add jarred Gumbo sauce and chopped andouille sausage. Add uncooked shrimp and chicken thighs. Simmer until shrimp is just cooked, about 6-8 minutes. ( do not overlook shrimp or it will get tough)

Place a scoop of white rice in a large bowl. Pour gumbo over rice and serve with corn bread

Buttermilk and red pepper cornbread


• 1/2 cup butter

• 2/3 cup white sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup buttermilk

• 1 teaspoon dried dill

• ½ cup roasted red peppers diced

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 cup cornmeal

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, roasted red peppers, dill weed and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at