Prep 45 mins
Cook 3 hrs
You can use whatever you want, or throw in a pint of oysters, add a pound of firm white fish fillets, or use chicken instead of andouille...or leave out any other meat than seafood. Gumbo is as forgiving as any other stew, as long as you start out with a decent roux. The trick to roux is low and slow...if the heat is too high, you'll scorch it and then it's good for nothing but the trash. You can also add as much or as little of your favourite hot pepper sauce (I usually toss in some Tabasco toward the end) depending on how hot you want it. If you're serving folks who like thicker gumbo, pass additional file powder at the table for them to mix into their individual bowls.
- 1⁄3 cup butter
- 3 -4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 (16 ounce) bagfrozen chopped okra
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 (16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 -3 tablespoons crab boil, tied in cheesecloth*
- salt and black pepper
- 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over
- 1 lb bay scallop
- 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon file powder
- Defrost any seafood (fresh is always better, but it happens) and the okra.
- Melt butter in a shallow pan, add flour and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until very dark but not scorched (about 25 minutes); set aside.
- In large Dutch oven, saute onion, celery and okra in oil until limp.
- Add roux, broth, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil packet, and salt and pepper to taste; simmer two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add andouille sausage and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add seafood and simmer 15 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. DO NOT BOIL. Stir in file powder for the last 5 minutes of simmering.
- Serve over bowls of rice.
- *To make your own crab boil: Tie the following spices in a muslin bag or in cheesecloth: 3 bay leaves, a small piece of dried ginger, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon dill seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, and 1 teaspoon allspice berries.