Warm Up With Seafood Gumbo

4 years ago

Seafood Gumbo is the perfect example of a melting-pot dish.

A gumbo recipe starts with a roux*, which originated in France. Choctaw Indians donated the filé powder. The Spanish contributed tomatoes from South America. The Germans offered up sausage. West African slaves introduced okra.

You can see why there are so many recipes for gumbo, seafood or otherwise.

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo is a great weeknight meal. Add or subtract the shellfish, depending on what’s available in your market. But peeled and deveined shrimp are a must if you are going to give the gumbo some depth.This recipe has okra so you won’t need the filé powder (which acts as a thickener like the okra).

My Seafood Gumbo recipe is built around one I learned from my good friend chef Emeril Lagasse, and another I found in the Charleston Receipts Cookbook, which my pal DB gave me for Christmas.

Like I said,  gumbo is truly a group effort!

*Roux is a thickening agent made of equal parts of fat (like butter or lard) and flour. It is the basis of many sauces. 

Emeril and Chris 1

Seafood Gumbo

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

You’ll need…
¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
2 cups onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
5 bay leaves
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 16-ounce package frozen okra, chopped
3 cups water (or more if your gumbo is too thick)
1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound lump crabmeat
2 dozen shucked oysters (shuck them yourself or buy them already shucked)
½ cup chopped parsley

Let’s get to it…
Melt the butter on medium heat in a large stockpot or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. Whisk in the flour and stir constantly for 20 to 25 minutes to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate (see the image below).
Stir in the onions, bell pepper, celery, salt, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft.
Stir the tomatoes, okra and water into the vegetables and roux. Add the shrimp and crabmeat and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the oysters and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Top with chopped parsley. Serve with white rice.

Roux for Seafood Gumbo


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