Yummy Seafood Gumbo During National Seafood Month

Seafood Gumbo by Chef Lynn

 
This is my favorite time of year when fall begins and the weather starts to change. I absolutely love to prepare comfort foods, which includes for me:  gumbos, soups, and stews during the fall and winter months. I want to share with you one of my favorite winter recipes: Seafood Gumbo. I get so many requests to make a pot of gumbo that I often prepare a very, very large pot so that I will have plenty to share with family and friends.
 
Gumbo is a wonderful means of using leftovers, but historically the two main varieties include Creole or Cajun Gumbo. Creole gumbo most often consists of seafood, tomatoes, and filé, used as a thickener; whereas Cajun gumbo is usually identified by its dark roux, cooked until it is a color of peanut butter. The roux is used with okra as a thickener. Seafood is also popular in Cajun gumbo, but chicken or duck, and sausage are sometimes used too.

 

Don’t be afraid to try this recipe. It is fairly simple to prepare and to quote one of my favorite Cajun chefs, Justin Wilson…I Guar-Ron-Tee you would love, love, love it!

 Seafood and Andouille Gumbo Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of large deveined shrimp
  • 3-4 blue crabs (shells removed, cleaned and split in half)
Cleaned/Shelled Crabs and Shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning* (such as Tony Chachere’s® Creole Seasoning).
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 cups chopped okra, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, (stem, ribs and seeds removed), finely diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound andouille (or other smoked sausage), sliced crosswise into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or seafood stock (boil shrimp and/or crab shells and strain)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ -2 tablespoons Filé (optional)

Zatarains' GumboFile'

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot and add the flour
  2. Cook, stirring constantly to make a medium brown roux (the color of peanut putter) being careful not to burn. If there is the slightest indication of over-browning, dispose of the roux and start over. Even a slightly burned roux will ruin the dish.
  3. Add the okra, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and celery and cook until softened.
  4. Add tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, pepper, hot sauce, and broth or stock.
  5. Bring to boil and then reduce heat.
  6. Add crabs and sausage and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add shrimp (and other optional seafood like oysters, mussels, crayfish tails, etc) and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in enough file power to thicken. Do not boil the gumbo after adding the file power. 
  9. Serve the gumbo in warmed soup bowls over a spoonful of hot cooked rice.  

 Tips and Techniques

  • Gumbo is even better made one day in advance, as the flavor intensifies. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Remove the congealed fat before reheating. If you would like to freeze the gumbo, cool completely then store, tightly covered, in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Other seafood, such as peeled crawfish tails, lobsters and clams may be added to the gumbo.
  • Cooked seafood may be used too but the finished gumbo will not have the richness of flavor given by the crab cooked in it but will still be delicious. Just heat cooked seafood through in the finished gumbo.

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