Seafood Gumbo

At a Hog’s Breath Cafe in the Whitsunday’s in Australia I had the most wonderful Seafood Gumbo. I have read endless recipe books and checked recipe sites but have not found the recipe. Can anyone help?

In Louisiana we make our seafood gumbo’s with roux? It’s an old La. saying “first you make a roux”…which is what you do for seafood gumbo, to that you add your vegetables, chopped onions, bell pepper and celery and cook until they are wilted, add water and let that cook for awhile then add whatever seafood you want which is usually shrimp, crab meat and oysters in this part of the world. If you want more specifics, I can do that for you. Hope this helped!!

Thank you for your input. Can you tell me what goes into the roux. Is it just a white sauce one or something special?

A roux is just an equal mixture of oil and flour (veg. oil). For a gumbo I’d usually use 1 cup of flour to 1 cup of oil. Heat the oil in a heavy pot (not smoking but about med to med hi heat) Start stirring in the flour and scraping the bottom so it doesn’t burn. As you continue to do this, the flour will start to turn brown. It’s a rather long process and you have to be patient because if your heat is too hot, it will scorch. So you just keep stirring continuously and it will thicken as it gets darker. I like my roux to be the color of deep deep brown like a dark coffee then you add the vegetables, at this stage the roux will not darken any longer, just the vegetables will cook. Here in Louisiana we can be roux in a jar, I don’t know if you can find it in your part of the world. If not, I’d be happy to put some in the mail for you!!

Thank you. I certainly will give it a try. Thank you too for the offer to send me some roux but I live in Australia.

This gumbo uses a very small amount of roux, so that it remains light. You may omit the okra if you like, and thicken the gumbo with filé powder instead – it’ll still be good, but will have a quite different flavor.

* 1/2 cup oil
* 1/2 cup flour
* 2 medium onions, diced
* 2 green bell peppers, diced
* 3 ribs celery, finely diced
* 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
* 4 tomatoes (or 8 Roma tomatoes), seeded and diced (if you like tomatoes in your gumbo)
* 1 cup tomato purée (see above)
* 2 pounds okra, chopped
* 4 quarts shrimp stock, crab stock or fish stock
* 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
* 2 bay leaves
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 2 dozen oysters, freshly shucked, liquor reserved
* 4 blue crabs, cleaned (optional)
* 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
* 1 tablespoon filé powder (if okra isn't used)
* 8 cups cooked long-grain white rice

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and add the flour. Stir constantly until a light brown roux is formed, then add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté until the onions become translucent and the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée, if you wish, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the seasonings, and about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Add the okra, and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook another 30 minutes.

(If you wish a more rustic gumbo, you may add whole blue crabs. Remove the hard top shell from the crabs (reserving for stuffed crabs or for shellfish stock), and break each crab in two down the middle. Remove the claws. Add to the stock.) With the gumbo on very low heat, add the shrimp 10 minutes before serving, the oysters and oyster liquor 5 minutes before serving, and the crabmeat just before serving (don’t cook the crabmeat, just stir until it is heated through). Taste and correct seasonings.

If you don’t like okra, or if you just prefer to make a filé gumbo, remove from heat and sprinkle the filé powder on the surface of the gumbo, then cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Then uncover and stir to mix. Be careful if there are leftovers – filé doesn’t reheat all that well, and you must be careful to reheat gently. If the gumbo comes back to a boil after the filé has been added, it will get stringy.

Place about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice in each bowl and ladle the gumbo over and around it. Serve with plenty of french bread and good beer or white wine.

YIELD: About 10-12 entrée servings or 20-24 appetizer servings (omit hard shell crabs if serving cups of gumbo as an appetizer).

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/4 cup roux
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 3 cups okra, chopped
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 quarts water
* salt
* black pepper
* cayenne pepper
* 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
* 6 to 8 green onions, finely chopped
* 2 pounds shrimp
* 1 cup oysters
* 1 cup crab meat
* crab claws
* hot cooked rice

PREPARATION:
Add shrimp to roux and cook for a few minutes. Set aside. Cook okra and onions in hot oil. Add tomatoes and garlic when okra is almost done. Cook a few minutes longer, then add water, salt and pepper. Combine shrimp and roux mixture with okra; simmer about 10 minutes. Add oysters, crab meat, and crab claws; simmer for 15 minutes. Add parsley and green onions and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with hot cooked rice.

Roux Recipe

* 2/3 cup oil
* 2/3 cup flour
* 2 cups onion -- chopped
* 1 cup celery -- chopped
* 1/2 cup green bell pepper -- chopped
* 4 cloves garlic -- minced
* 1/4 cup parsley -- chopped
* 1/4 cup green onion tops -- chopped
* 1/4 cup hot water (approx)

Mix oil and flour together in a 4 cup measure. Microwave uncovered on high (100%) 6-7 minutes. Stir at 6 minutes - roux will be a light brown at this time and will need to cook 30 seconds to 1 minute longer to reach the dark brown color so important in making Louisiana gumbos and stews.

The Roux will be very hot, but usually the handle on your glass measuring cup will stay cool enough to touch. Add onion, celery and bell pepper to Roux in measuring cup. Stir and return to microwave. Saute on high (100%) 3 minutes. Add garlic, parsley and green onion to Roux, stir and return to microwave. Saute on high (100%) 2 minutes. You should have about 3 3/4 cups of Roux now. If any oil has risen to the top, pour this off. Slowly add enough hot tap water to bring Roux to the 4-cup mark. Stir and you will have a smooth dark Roux in only 12 minutes.

Roux freezes very well and you are ready at any time to put together a delicious gumbo or stew.

Roux

1/2 cup bacon grease, or if you must veggie oil(ugh!)
1/2 cup finely ground whole white flour, Plain

Roux is a cajun name for cooked, browned flour in animal fat, normally bacon grease, most important is the watching and the stirring of the cooking flour as this is done under med to high heat and the stuff Will burn if?n you don?t watch it close!

First heat up the ol? frying pan hot, add the grease, get it hot almost smoking, sprinkle the flour around in the grease and watch it burst into frying. Add slowly so as to get the stuff cooking without sticking it together. Brown to a dark brown consistency, do not burn, if so start over

Note* Roux is a thickening agent, like ArrowRoot, or Cornstarch but with flavor. Lightly browned for cream sauces n’ Gravies, darker for Tomato(red)sauces n’ Gravies, even darker for Gumbo’s, n’ onion or garlic gravy.

Thank you Kitchenwitch. As usual you have come up with the goods. This sounds exactly what I am looking for. You sure to rock.