Make no mistake, not all gumbo recipes are alike. This Seafood Gumbo recipe comes from famous New Orleans chef Poppy Tooker. Shrimp, small blue crabs, onions, celery, okra and, of course, hot sauce meld together to create a memorable addition to your Thanksgiving feast or any gathering. Serve this classic Louisiana gumbo over cooked rice and watch it disappear!
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- Shell and devein the shrimp, peel the onion, and cut the green tops off the scallions. In a stockpot, combine the shrimp shells, onion skin and scallion tops. Cover with the water, bring to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock and discard the solids.
- Chop the onion and scallions, and set aside separately.
- In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup of the oil until very hot. Add the okra and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large (10 or 12 quart) Dutch oven or soup pot, stir together the remaining ½ cup oil and the flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture (the roux) is the color of milk chocolate, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the roux darkens to the color of bittersweet chocolate, about 10 minutes.
- Add the celery and bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the okra, gumbo crabs, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and reserved shrimp stock. Add the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for at least 45 minutes.
- Ten minutes before serving, stir in the shrimp and scallions. Discard the bay leaf and season with hot sauce to taste.
Tip: If you can’t find “gumbo crabs” (small blue crabs), use two regular-size blue crabs or 12 ounces of claw or lump crabmeat. And you can use thawed frozen okra (2, 10 ounce packages) instead of fresh.