Gumbo is the name given to a wide array of rich soups served throughout the coastal South. Some are thickened with okra, some are thickened with a roux, a cooked mixture of fat and flour, and others by the addition of file (sassafras) powder. This version uses a combination of both okra and roux. In New Orleans and bayou country, the stockpot is generally filled with shellfish, while the prairie Cajuns prefer a hearty mix of chicken and smoked sausage. Both types of gumbo, however, are always served over steamed rice, along with plenty of hot French bread or cornbread.
1. To make the stock, peel and devein the shrimp and remove the heads. Place the shrimp in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Rinse the heads and shells in a colander, then place in a stockpot. Quarter the onion and garlic lengthwise, cut the celery in half and add to the stockpot along with 8 cups (64 fl oz/2 L) water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Return the stock to the pot, adding water if necessary to make 6 cups (48 fl oz/ 1.5 L), and set aside.
2. To make the gumbo, chop the yellow onions and celery. Seed, trim, and chop the bell pepper, Set aside. Peel and seed the tomatoes, then chop. You should have about 3 cups (18 oz/560 g) chopped tomatoes, Set aside. Trim the okra and cut crosswise into ½-inch (12-mm) slices, Set aside.
3. Heat a large, heavy frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat just until it begins to smoke. Add the oil and then carefully whisk in the flour and continue whisking until you have a dark brown roux, 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped yellow onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer.
4. Bring the reserved stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable-roux mixture to the stock by large spoonfuls, stirring each addition until incorporated before adding more. Add the tomatoes, okra, thyme, cayenne to taste, and bay leaves, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes longer, skimming occasionally to remove the excess oil.
5. Add the reserved shrimp, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer just until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in the green onions, crabmeat, and oysters and simmer just until the edges of the oysters curl, 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper or cayenne.
6. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Spoon the rice into warmed bowls and ladle the gumbo over the top. Serve at once.
Serve with a crisp white wine such as an unbaked French Chardonnay.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (413g)|
|Recipe Makes: 10 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 574 (89%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 63.7g||85 %|
|Saturated Fat 5.2g||26 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 37g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 18.6g|
|Cholesterol 19.1mg||6 %|
|Sodium 412.7mg||14 %|
|Potassium 618.3mg||16 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 11.3g||3 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3.9g||16 %|
|Sugars, other 7.4g|
|Protein 10.8g||15 %|
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Calories per serving: 646
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