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Creole Seafood Gumbo                                                               Yield: 1½ gallons
From The Recipe Files of: George C. Panayiotou

Make a roux: Melt 1 stick butter and 1 cup all purpose flour in heavy skillet. Cook and stir constantly until medium brown. Careful not to scorch roux. Set aside.

INGREDIENTS:
1 GALLON STRONG CHICKEN STOCK
3 MEDIUM ONIONS, ¼ INCH DICED
2 MEDIUM GREEN BELL PEPPERS, CLEANED AND ¼ INCH DICED
4 CELERY STALKS, CLEANED AND ¼ INCH DICED
1 POUND CUT OKRA, THAWED IF FROZEN
1 ½ TEASPOONS DRY OREGANO LEAVES
1 ½ TEASPOONS DRY THYME LEAVES
4 BAY LEAVES
1 TABLESPOON ZATARAINS LIQUID CRAB BOIL
1- 6 OUNCE CAN TOMATO PASTE
2- 10 OUNCE CANS ROTEL TOMATOES AND CHILIS (MILD OR ORIGINAL FLAVOR)
1 POUND CANNED DICED TOMATOES WITH JUICE
1 POUND SMALL SHRIMP, PEELED AND DEVEINED
2 POUNDS CRABMEAT, LUMP OR LEG MEAT, PICKED FOR SHELLS
2 PINTS RAW OYSTERS WITH LIQUOR, COARSE CHOPPED
SALT AND BLACK PEPPER
1 TABLESPOON ZATARAINS POWDERED GUMBO FILE DISSOLVED IN 1 CUP TAP WATER

PROCEDURE:
IN A 3 GALLON POT, BRING CHICKEN STOCK TO A LIGHT BOIL, REDUCE HEAT, COVER.
IN A LARGE SKILLET, MEDIUM HEAT, ¼ CUP VEGETABLE OIL: SAUTE ONIONS, PEPPERS, and CELERY AND OKRA 3 MINUTES. STIR FREQUENTLY
ADD OREGANO, THYME AND BAY LEAVES TO VEGETABLES. CONTINUE COOKING AND STIRRING OVER MEDIUM HEAT UNTIL SOFT. ABOUT 3 MORE MINUTES
ADD COOKED VEGETABLES, LIQUID CRAB BOIL, TOMATO PASTE, ROTEL TOMATOES AND CHILIS and DICED TOMATOES TO HOT STOCK. SIMMER, UNCOVERED 15 MINUTES
ADD RAW SHRIMP, CRABMEAT, OYSTERS, SALT AND BLACK PEPPER. SIMMER 20 MINUTES UNCOVERED. STIR FREQUENTLY. TASTE FOR MORE SALT OR BLACK PEPPER
WHISK DISSOLVED GUMBO FILE INTO GUMBO.
ADD ½ RESERVED ROUX, RAISE HEAT TO LIGHT BOIL, COOK STIR 5 MINUTES ADD MORE ROUX IF THICKER GUMBO IS DESIRED.
LADLE INTO SOUP BOWL. TOP WITH ½ TO 1 CUP COOKED WHITE RICE. SERVE WITH A BOTTLE OF HOT PEPPER SAUCE AND SALTINE CRACKERS

NOTES:
before adding to hot gumbo. Use bacon dripping instead of vegetable oil for more flavor Don’t allow vegetables to scorch while cooking.
Use original (very hot) or mild (not so hot) Rotel tomatoes with chilies.
Gumbo file doesn’t like liquids and balls up unless first dissolved in tap water and whisked vigorously
Gumbo freezes well. Portion into smaller plastic containers and freeze.

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