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Seafood Gumbo: Date Added: 8 May 2011
Listed in: Seafood
Ingredients

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
2 medium onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tomatoes (or 8 Roma tomatoes), seeded and diced (if you like tomatoes in your gumbo)
1 cup tomato purée (see above)
2 pounds okra, chopped
4 quarts shrimp stock, crab stock or fish stock
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 dozen oysters, freshly shucked, liquor reserved
4 blue crabs, cleaned (optional)
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 tablespoon filé powder (if okra isn't used)
8 cups cooked long-grain white rice

Cooking Instructions

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and add the flour. Stir constantly until a light brown roux is formed, then add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté until the onions become translucent and the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée, if you wish, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. (I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm not one of those people who likes tomatoes in my gumbo, but lots of people do. Your mileage may vary.)

Add the seasonings, and about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Add the okra, and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook another 30 minutes.

(If you wish a more rustic gumbo, you may add whole blue crabs. Remove the hard top shell from the crabs (reserving for stuffed crabs or for shellfish stock), and break each crab in two down the middle. Remove the claws. Add to the stock.) With the gumbo on very low heat, add the shrimp 10 minutes before serving, the oysters and oyster liquor 5 minutes before serving, and the crabmeat just before serving (don't cook the crabmeat, just stir until it is heated through). Taste and correct seasonings.

If you don't like okra, or if you just prefer to make a filé gumbo, remove from heat and sprinkle the filé powder on the surface of the gumbo, then cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Then uncover and stir to mix. Be careful if there are leftovers -- filé doesn't reheat all that well, and you must be careful to reheat gently. If the gumbo comes back to a boil after the filé has been added, it will get stringy.

Place about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice in each bowl and ladle the gumbo over and around it. Serve with plenty of french bread and good beer or white wine.

YIELD: About 10-12 entrée servings or 20-24 appetizer servings (omit hard shell crabs if serving cups of gumbo as an appetizer).

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Seafood Gumbo
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