Cut cost Emeril Shrimp Gumbo

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Joined Dec 7, 2009
I am diving back into cooking lately and love it. I am going with Emerils recipes as I loved his Chicken Marsalla. Making his Shrimp Gumbo I question how I can cut costs in the future without losing too much flavor. Do I need lump crab meat at $5.00 for 6oz. and fresh basil and thyme at about $6.00 total per recipe? Where would you look first to save money w/o losing too much goodness and flavor? There was a lower priced crab meat but I decided for the first time to go with the exact recipe and cut cost later.
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'm not familiar with Emeril's recipe per se. But, in general, gumbo, even a seafood gumbo, is inexpensive on a cost-per-serving basis.

That aside, five bucks for six ounces of lump crabmeat is a pretty good price. Around here, when it can be had at all, we're talking $19-$25/lb. Pasteurized "lump" in those vacumn bags is more than eight dollars for a six ounce bag.

At any rate, if the crab is too expensive, just leave it out. That's one of the great joys of gumbo; you do not have to follow a recipe at all. Gumbo was originally a dish of the people, who merely used whatever was available.

I don't understand the prices you're paying for fresh herbs, though. Even in those small clamshell packs (the most expensive way of buying herbs), I can't envision using $6 woth of herbs.

Given the bold flavors of Creole and Cajun spices, I'd also say you could probably leave out the herbs (certainly the basil) and not miss them at all.
 
199
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Joined Dec 7, 2009
Well I wont use the whole pack but then I need to find another recipe to use them in before they go bad. The lump crab was in a can a Walmart, maybe $4.50.

I am going to start growing my own basil. One idea I think will help is to have just around 10 good recipes I use alot and develop a list of very often used product so I can buy in bulk at the best prices.

My brother has a restaurant that was in the Wall Street journal, Salt in Boulder Colorado so a little of his lust for the trade has worn off on me.

Thanks so much for the response.
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
We have several on-going threads about growing your own herbs. Basil, as you can imagine, figures prominently on them.

You can find them over on The Chef's Garden forum.
 
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Joined Nov 6, 2004
Gumbo is really just one of those things to be made, and to be eaten. It's also a great recipe to start to cook without the constraints of a recipe. Build the recipe from the ground up...improvise, omit or add.

It's also a great dish to start cooking within season. If one bowl of gumbo calls for some fresh ingredients, know that the best time to cook with those ingredients is when they're in season. If they aren't in season, leave it out of the recipe unless it's one of the core ingredients (like oil, flour, the trinity, etc)

If you're growing fresh parsley, use it. Fresh thyme? Use it. If you have shrimp, crab or whateverelseyouhave? Use it. If you don't, omit those items.

Have fun!
dan
 

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