Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo, Bourbon Street Style

"I recently returned from a visit to New Orleans, so I can say definitively that this tasted like the ones I had there. While there are different ways to prepare a gumbo, this one is all about the roux. NOTE: the file powder doesn't have any substitute, but this is still a very good gumbo without it. The fried shrimp on top of the gumbo is cornmeal-battered, and is not part of this recipe."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil. When the pan is hot, stir in flour using a hard plastic spatula to begin preparation of the roux.
  • While preparing the roux, heat a pot of water with a teaspoon of sugar in it until it boils. Add corn and heat until bubbling again, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Remove corn from water. When cool, cut kernels off the cob and set aside.
  • Also while preparing the roux, heat seafood stock on low heat with shrimp shells and tails and any liquids that were retained from the oysters. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat when the roux is ready. Strain the shells and any other particles from the stock and set aside.
  • Continue stirring and turning over the roux until the color resembles chocolate, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the shallots, celery, and bell peppers, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring into the roux to ensure that every part is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan and move the vegetables around so all of them have an equal amount of time on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the tomatoes, garlic, and chili peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, scraping and stirring as in the previous step.
  • Stir in the stock, corn kernels, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and Old Bay. Bring the liquid up to a boil, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  • While the stock is cooking, break the sausage into small pieces and cook in a separate pan until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towel, but leave the rendered fat in the pan.
  • Using the pan with the rendered fat, cook shrimp and oysters together with file powder on medium heat until cooked through, flipping over after a few minutes.
  • Fold the shrimp, oysters, and sausage into the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add water, increasing or decreasing to achieve desired consistency. Remove from the heat. Remove bay leaves and discard.
  • To assemble, ladle the gumbo into a bowl with rice.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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