I was craving some kind of gumbo-ish, chowder-ish, shrimp- and sausage filled dish yesterday, even though the weather was a sunny 75 degrees or so.
I decided to get faux Italian sausage, and I picked up a Boca box because it was on clearance. (Usually, I would get Applegate Farms, but it's pretty pricey.)
The potato dumplings were Dan's idea. I noticed last-minute, as I was slicing things in the food processor with the oil heating on the stove, that I didn't have any potatoes, and he suggested our instant potato dumplings my mother brought us. They are great as an easy side dish and made from dried potato flakes, potato starch, and seasoning salt.
You could easily substitute matzo balls, American dumplings, or regular potatoes in place of the potato dumplings.
Shrimp, corn, and "sausage" chowder with potato dumplings (serves 8-10)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 small or medium onion, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 spicy Italian sausage links (I used Boca's vegetarian Italian sausage, but you can use real sausage, too -- it would be even more delicious!)
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
8 ounces frozen corn kernels
8 ounces peeled shrimp
1.5 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon gumbo file (ground sassafrass leaves -- I like Tony Chachere's)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup soy creamer or light cream (I like the soy because it's a little sweet)
8 potato dumplings, cut into fourths or eighths (If you can't find the instant brand I use, Marena -- which I haven't seen it in the U.S. -- try this simple recipe)
1.) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large soup pot over medium. Add celery, onion, and red and green pepper, and cook about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.) Add chicken broth, corn, carrots, thyme, salt, pepper, and gumbo file, and bring to a boil.
3.) Simmer the two sausage links in 1/2 cup water in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain sausages, return to skillet with 1 teaspoon oil, and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes in all. Slice the sausage when cool enough to handle.
4.) Add sausage to the soup pot; bring to a boil. Turn heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer about 20 minutes, covered.
5.) Add the shrimp just as you turn off the heat, and cover. Let sit 5 minutes.
6.) Stir in creamer or cream, and add the hot potato dumplings.