Here is my dad’s gumbo recipe, which he gave me when my husband and I were surviving our first winter together in NYC. (How does anyone stand a Northern winter without gumbo?). For a seafood gumbo, omit the chicken, sausage, and eggs, and add shrimp, crab claws, and even flakes of fish towards the end of the recipe so you don’t overcook it.
This will serve 6-8 people with enough leftover to freeze (trust me, you’ll want leftovers!). To make a larger gumbo increase the flour, oil, and vegetables by a half a cup. Mise-en-place (ingredients prepared ahead of time) is very important; once your rue gets going, you won’t have time for much else.
Cultural note: The stewed tomatoes and boiled eggs are a touch that’s all Dad. I have a New Orleans friend who chastises me for such unauthentic additions, but it just shows you how personal gumbo really is. Dad always told me that the poor farmers would add boiled eggs to their gumbo when they couldn’t sacrifice a chicken. How lucky are we that we can enjoy both? I’m not sure where the tomatoes came from--I always like to think it’s the Italian in him that calls for it. Both additions add so much flavor and texture--I can’t imagine a gumbo without them!