Now is the time for all good seafood lovers to go to the kitchen and create the greatest seafood gumbo of all times. I do not even pretend that what is prepared by my hands is even called gumbo so I am going to the Chef of New Orleans that is a native and resident expert of all things cooking in Louisiana kitchens, Poppy Tooker and her famous gumbo recipe. She is so good that Bobby Flay, Food Network chef, chose to "throw down" with Poppy to see who makes the best gumbo. The winner: "Poppy Tooker of New Orleans."
Her seafood gumbo ingredients are:
1/2 cup oil
1 cup of flour
4 gumbo crabs
2 pounds shrimp
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper. chopped
2 pounds okra, sliced 1/4 inch
oil for frying okra
1 1-pound can of crushed tomatoes, Hunts
1 gallon shrimp stock
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bunch green onions
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
Now for the quick method to prepare:
Peel shrimp and combine peels, onion skins and tops in a stock pot. Cover with water and boil for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve.
Fry okra in very hot oil until lightly browned (or roast).
Make a DARK roux with the flour and oil, cooking to the color of milk chocolate brown. Follow directions to make the roux that has been in previous articles of Burgoo. You can find them on the web site: dddnews.com. This roux will take some stirring and time. Be sure not to burn for all you then is throw away everything and start the roux over again.
Then add onions, stirring together until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper. Sauté for five minutes, then add the gumbo crabs, tomatoes, okra, herbs and shrimp stock. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 45 minutes or longer. You do not make "greatness" in five minutes.
Ten minutes before serving add shrimp and green onions, Add Crystal Hot Sauce and salt as needed. Serve on top of cooked Louisiana rice, maybe Missouri or Arkansas rice, but no Viet Nam rice. Stay local, it is the best.
Remember a trip to New Orleans will do you no harm.
Have a Happy.