Seafood Gumbo, and gumbos in general, go back a long way along the Gulf of Mexico coast. This rich, classic Cajun stew is a welcome taste of sausage, seafood, and fresh vegetables in a spicy, flavorful broth.
1/2 pound andouille or other smoky sausage
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium bell peppers, red or green, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 cups unsalted seafood (preferred) or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon file powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 pound peeled and de-veined medium shrimp
1/2 pound crab meat, free of any shell bits
1 dozen shucked oysters, in their liquor
9 or 10 green onions, sliced
cooked white rice
In a heavy stock-pot or Dutch oven, brown the sausage over medium-low heat. Remove the sausage from the fat, and reserve it. Look at how much fat is left, and add enough vegetable oil until it measures 1/4 cup. Warm the oil and drippings over medium-high heat, then sprinkle in the flour. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture over high heat until a medium-brown roux forms in the pan.
When the roux reaches the right shade of brown, reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Continue cooking and stirring for about 3 minutes.
Slowly pour in the stock, stirring as you pour. Add the file, bay leaf, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes.
Stir in the reserved sausage, crab, shrimp, oysters, and green onions, and heat them through.
Serve the gumbo hot over white rice in large bowls.
Variation of above recipe:
To make gumbo-stuffed peppers, mix some rice with the gumbo. Bake seeded, cored bell peppers (1 for each person) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes in a dish with some stock in it. Spoon the gumbo into each pepper, and bake for another 25 minutes.