Thursday, March 3, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Seafood Gumbo

Chick and I are well on our way to the Big Easy!  This week's recipe is all about the taste of New Orleans.

Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century.  It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener and the vegetables of the holy trinity (celery, bell peppers and onions).  There are several different varieties. Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, tomatoes and a thickener and Cajun gumbo is generally based on a dark roux and is spicier with either shellfish or fowl.

Scholars and chefs have offered various explanations for the etymology of the word "gumbo".  This dish was likely named after one of its two main ingredients, okra or file. Gumbo is often used as a metaphor for the mix of cultures that exist in southern Louisiana and this dish combines the culinary practices of the French, Spaniards, indigenous tribes and Africans as well as Italians and Germans.

This recipe might be a bit complex but well worth the effort.  I can't wait to eat a big bowl!


Seafood Gumbo courtesy of Louisiana Cooking


1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup AP flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 cups chopped okra
1 1/2 cups beer (light amber ale)
6 cups seafood stock (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons file powder
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
8 oz crab claw meat
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 pound shrimp (medium, peeled and de-veined)
1 pound red snapper fillets, chopped
2 (8 oz) containers shucked oysters
1 (8 oz) container jumbo lump crab meat
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Hot cooked rice
Garnish: Green onion


In an 8 qt stockpot, heat oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add flour, and stir together to form a roux.  Cook stirring often, until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 20 minutes (one says that it is the length it takes to drink a cold beer).

Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and okra.  Cook vegetables, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.  Add beer, stock, file powder, bay leaves, seasoning, crab claw meat, Worcestershire, salt and cayenne.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 1 hour.

Add shrimp, fish, oysters, and lump crab meat to mixture.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or untl the seafood is cooked through; add parsley.

Serve with rice and garnish with green onions.

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