Seafood Gumbo

 

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  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 separate onion for shrimp stock
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 lb. country smoked sausage
  • 4 cans cut okra, drained
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes with chilies
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider  cups vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shrimp stock
  • 3/4 oz. dried shrimp (VERY IMPORTANT!!!)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tbs. Kitchen Bouquet
  • Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3 lb. peeled shrimp (mediums)
  • 6 cups cooked long-grain rice

 

Directions: 

As we say here, "First you make the roux."  (For those who are new to Cajun cooking, the roux is a thickener with a nutty flavor made from equal parts flour and oil.)  Using a cast iron skillet (or other thick bottomed pot) Mix oil and flour together.  Over medium heat stir this mixture slowly and deliberately until it turns a light coffee brown.  It takes about a half an hour to get the right color.

When the roux is done add the seasoning vegetables and stir thoroughly.  Place mixture on the side.

Next in a deep skillet, cook sausage slices over medium heat till about 40% done.  The goal here is to reduce some of the fat content out of the sausage.  Once mostly cooked, drain the excess oil, and drop in the drained okra and the tomatoes.  Add vinegar, and cook over high heat until okra is soft (approx. 10 minutes)

Next in six to eight quart pot, begin to combine ingredients.  First pour in shrimp and chicken stock.  IMPORTANT:  BRING TO A BOIL.  Next add roux mixture and okra/sausage mixture.  STIR, STIR, STIR, until mixture is smooth.   Cook for 15 minutes and then add all remaining ingredients except shrimp and rice.   Simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

At this point, taste the gumbo and add more salt and pepper to taste.  Also, if the gumbo is too thick or thin, you can adjust by cooking longer (for thin mixtures) or adding water for thick mixtures.  The longer you cook during this time at a low heat the better.  This time allows the mixture to blend.  Thirty minutes is the minimum, but you may want to do for up to an hour.

Finally, 15 minutes before serving add shrimp and simmer. 

Serve over cooked rice and garnish with parsley.

Homemade Shrimp Stock:

In a six  quart stock pot, place shells and heads from shrimp, along with onions, black pepper/salt to taste, and carrots.  Boil mixture for 30 minutes.