Seafood gumbo from Jimmy Fitzmorris

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S GUMBO: Thank you to the many people who sent in recipes for Jimmy Fitzmorris’ gumbo recipe. It was the first one in his 1980 book, “Home Style Cooking.”

Seafood gumbo from Jimmy Fitzmorris

Makes 12 to 14 servings

5 pounds okra (fresh preferred)
2 tablespoons oil
3 large onions, chopped
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 teaspoons garlic powder
6 bay leaves
3 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
8 quarts water
5 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 sticks margarine
12 raw crabs, cleaned, cut in half
1 pound crab claw meat

Wash okra and dry it in paper towels. Remove stem and tips of okra pod and
slice into thin pieces. Into a 10-quart pot, add oil and place okra into it.
On a medium flame, cook okra, stirring constantly until the rope (sticky
part) disappears (about 1 hour). Then add onions to okra and simmer until
onions are soft, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce, garlic powder, bay
leaves, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, stirring
constantly. Reduce the flame and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Into a large skillet melt margarine and add crabs and shrimp. Saute for 10
to 15 minutes. Remove from the fire and add to okra mixture and simmer for
another hour or hour and a half. Turn off fire and add the crabmeat. When
serving, have gumbo piping hot and ladle into soup bowl over a scoop of
cooked rice.