Cajun Seafood Gumbo

posted by Joy 10-21-98 7:10 PM

Cajun Seafood Gumbo

3/4 c vegetable oil
2 (16 oz) packages frozen, sliced okra (or 2 lbs fresh)
1 T white vinegar
4 qt water
2 lb cubed cooked ham
3 lg onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 head garlic, peeled but left whole
1 green pepper, diced
16 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 lb lump crabmeat
2 t Tabasco sauce
6 c cooked rice

Heat 1/2 c oil in a large skillet (not cast iron) over medium heat. Add okra. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is no longer ropy, about 30 minutes. Add vinegar and cook, stirring, for another 10 minutes, until the okra takes on a brownish color and is reduced to about 1/4 it's original volume. Put okra in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Meanwhile add the remaining 1/4 c oil to the skillet. Saute ham over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the ham to the stockpot.

In the same skillet, combine the onions, celery, garlic and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add vegetables, okra and tomatoes to the stockpot. cover and simmer over medium heat for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low. Add shtimp and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes. Add crabmeat and Tabasco sauce; simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve the gumbo in soup bowls with scoops of rice.

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