Valentines Day Gumbo & Souffle <3

Hey everyone! no posts from South Carolina I know, but we were so busy having a good time that we didn’t really have a chance to cook anything, well except an amazing lasagna for dinner which I hope Julia will put the recipe on here, also she made some pretty delicious scones for one of our hikes. Other than that….

All of us having fun on our hike the Saturday we arrived..I’m the one that looks like a little boy 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day whatever it is you celebrated tonight I hope it was with people you cared about. I happen to spend it with one of my friends making shrimp and sausage gumbo and souffle. Originally I had saved this recipe to make for a special occasion with a guy I was seeing, because I’m Mexican and that’s the way we show we care about people, we feed them until they need to go up a size 🙂 but since that never happened my friend Vicki got to try my very first go at gumbo. I did make some mistakes even though the recipe is pretty foolproof but thats what cooking is all about. First I didn’t let my roux brown enough but despite that it had pretty good flavor, I was a bit afraid I would burn it.


America’s Test Kitchen Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo



  • 8 Oz. Clam Juice
  • 3 1/2 Cups Ice Water
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (Bleached)
  • 2 Medium Onions, Chopped Fine
  • 2 Medium Red Bell Peppers, Chopped Fine
  • 10 Oz. Frozen Okra, Thawed and Cut (If using fresh okra trim the caps and slice to 1/4″)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Cut 1/4″ Thick
  • 6 Medium Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Tsp. Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp. Table Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (This was enough spice for my audience, but feel free to adjust to taste)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3/4 Lb. Smoked Sausage (Andouille or Kielbasa)
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Minced Parsley (I am not a big parsley eater so I used cilantro instead)
  • 4 Medium Scallions (White and Green Parts Sliced Thinly)
  • 2 Lb. Medium Shrimp



  1. Peel and reserve shrimp shells, bring the reserved shrimp shells and 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a stockpot or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 20 min. Strain stock and add clam juice and ice water (you should have about 2 qts. of tepid stock between 100 and 110 degrees fahrenheit) discard shells and set stock aside.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 200 degrees fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer1 1/2 – 2 minutes. ***I would brown my sausage here before I add my flour just to give it a bit of a flavor boost but its not necessary, if you do remove sausage before adding flour***  Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour gradually with a wooden spatula or spoon working out any small lumps. Continue stirring constantly, reaching into the corners of pan until mixture has a toasty aroma and is a deep reddish brown about the color of an old copper penny about 20 min. ***I did not let my flour brown enough, it started to smell nutty and I was afraid I would burn it but next time I make it I will let it get to this point*** (The roux will thin as it cooks, if it begins to smoke, remove from heat and stir constantly to cool lightly.)
  3. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, okra, garlic, thyme, salt and cayenne, cook stirring frequently until vegetables are softened about 8-10 min (or 10-15 min if using fresh okra) ***I don’t like celery so I skipped it*** Add 1 qt. of the reserved stock mixture in a slow and steady stream, stirring vigorously, stir in remaining quart of stock mixture and increase heat to high; bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium-low and skim off foam from the surface, about 30 min.
  4. Stir in the browned sausage, continue simmering to blend flavors about 30 min longer. Stir in shrimp, simmer until cooked through about 5 min longer. Off heat stir in parsley ***or cilantro*** and scallions, adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne, serve.
  5. Traditionally gumbo is served over white rice.


Chocolate Souffle

I made this for the first time in a big souffle pan today and it was delish, since I was doing most of the cooking at my friends house I did as much of the prep as possible at home, part of that prep was making the custard for the souffle. According to the recipe it can be made up to 1 day ahead if kept refrigerated but then must be brought to room temp before using, I only made it a few hours before I was going to use it and it turned out a-ok. Because I did this recipe in two different places I don’t have any pictures for the process but I do have a finished product and it looked so pretty.


For the Chocolate Pastry Creme

  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Table Salt
  • 4 Oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Oz. (1 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extrac

For the Meringue

  • 8 Large Egg-whites, at room temperature (super important, mine stayed out most of the day)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Oz. (1/4 cup) Confectioner’s Sugar Plus Some for Dusting



  1. Prepare the ramekins or ramekin depends if you’re making individual servings or just one big one like I did. Position your rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Generously butter ramekins and cover with sugar, shaking out any excess. ***If you’re making individual servings it will make 8-6 oz. ramekins***

For the Chocolate Pastry Creme

  1. In a 3 quart saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Over medium heat, whisk until the mixture bubbles about 4 minutes: its ok if its lumpy at this point. Continue simmering while whisking until smooth and very thick, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, butter and vanilla until smooth and glossy.***I used the Martha Stewart method here where you add the vanilla to the milk before it cooks and butter to pan once thick and then pour mixture over chocolate*** Transfer to a large bowl and set in ice bath, whisk often until cooled, about 1o min. If making ahead cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t get a skin and refrigerate if making a day ahead you can leave outside if you will use it that same day.

For the Meringue

  1. In a stand or with hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg-whites at high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the motor running add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the bubbles become smaller and the whites almost form soft peaks. 30-60 seconds more. With the motor still running, add the confectioner’s sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time and beat until the whites hold a glossy pointed stiff peak when you remove the beater, about 30 seconds more. If the peak drops finish whisking them to stiff peaks by hands to avoid over beating


For the Souffle

  1. Stir in the pastry cream with a large silicone spatula to loosen it, then stir in 1/3 of the meringue until combined. Gently fold in another third of the meringue by starting at the edge of the bowl, rotating the bowl and repeating this motion until the meringue is mostly incorporated. Its ok to have a few white streaks at this point. Add the remaining meringue and fold until just combined, leaving no white streaks visible.
  2. If baking individual ramekins divide the mixture evenly and smooth the tops with an offset spatula if using 1 big individual just pour mixture and smooth. Run your finger about the edge of the ramekin to create a shallow trench. Put ramekin(s) on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the souffle comes out with just the tip still wet, 15 to 20 minutes. Dust the souffle with confectioner’s sugar if you like and serve immediately with sauce of choice, if using.


Giant souffle before serving 🙂






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