Seafood Gumbo

posted by Pat T 04-02-99 7:06 AM

A heavy pot is a must to make a proper roux. Mix the flour and oil thoroughly (equal parts of flour and oil - usually 1/2 cup of each) before you start heating the roux.

On medium-low heat, stir all over the bottom to be certain nothing sticks. Do not cook the roux fast. As you stir, the roux browns slowly. When the roux reaches the desired color you are ready to add your hot liquid. Do not add cold liquid because the roux will curdle.

Seafood Gumbo

5 lbs. peeled shrimp, cut in thirds
2 cups okra, sliced thin
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 cups minced green onions
2 cups celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup bell pepper, cut finely
2 of 3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cans chicken broth
8 cups boiling water
2 Tblsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
1 lb. lump crabmeat, carefully picked over - OR 2 cans white lump crabmeat
1 Tblsp. gumbo file' powder (sassafras)

First of all, gumbo should be a two day affair. Peel and cut all your shrimp and chop your vegetables one day; cover and refrigerate them. The next day, making the gumbo will be a happy thing. Start with two heavy iron skillets. In one, start the roux by combining 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup flour over a low fire (keep fire low), and stir constantly. It usually takes an hour to make the roux. Stir it until it becomes brown and flour sort of separates from the grease.

At the same time, in the other skillet, put in the other 1/2 cup of oil and saute' the okra and onions until they are wilted and soft. When the roux is brown, add it to the vegetables and mix well.

Transfer all to a large soup pot. Add the heated chicken broth, boiling water, half of the peeled shrimp, and all of the seasonings. Let this simmer for about 1 hour.

Cook the remaining shrimp in a saucepan with 1/2 cup boiling water and 1 Tblsp. salt until they are pink. Add shrimp and water to the gumbo. Remove from fire. Last of all add the crabmeat and file' powder.

Serve over rice which has been sprinkled with chopped green onions.

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