One of my favorite meals is Gumbo. I’ve come across some good Gumbo. I’ve come across some gumbo you wouldn’t feed to a pig.
So I searched for the perfect recipe to start me off. There are some key ingredients I know make a meal taste great. So if a recipe has garlic and onions, I know I’m headed in the right direction.
I came up empty handed. I just wasn’t finding the right seasoning I know would make a perfect Gumbo. Then one day many years ago as I was watching the Food Network a show called Food 911 came on with Tyler Florence. He was rescuing a family who needed to improve there Gumbo recipe for a group of friends and family they were having over.
As I watched the show I could tell from the technique and the ingredients that was it the recipe I had been searching for. After the show I immediately got online to find the recipe.
I will say after 5 years I have tweaked the ingredients so much that I can say I have my own recipe. But the recipe below is the exact one for Food Network. I believe in making it your own, know matter how good it maybe. We all have individual taste.
P.S. The one thing that makes this recipe so great is you have to make a roux. Most of the people I know who have made Gumbo have never made it with a roux. They just put some okra in a pot with seafood, water, some old bay and gumbo file and call it a day. Gumbo is more then that and Tyler Florence got it down.
- 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, with heads and shells
- 1 blue crab
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 lemons, halved and squeezed
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 pound okra, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves striped from the stem
- 2 quarts Shrimp Stock
- 1 1/2 pounds reserved peeled shrimp
- 1 pint raw, shucked oysters (about 20 pounds unshucked)
- 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley and green onions, for garnish
- Crusty French bread
- Fire Water, recipe follows
To make the shrimp stock: Peel the shrimp, and toss the heads and shells into a large stock pot;
refrigerate the peeled shrimp until ready to cook in the gumbo. Add the
bay leaves, thyme, cayenne, Old Bay, and lemons to the pot. Cover with 2
1/2 quarts of cold water. Allow the liquid to slowly come to a boil, and then lower the heat. Gently simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Strain the stock into a heatproof container or another pot to remove the
chunky solids; at this point you should have about 2 quarts of flavorful broth to use in the gumbo. Cool until needed.
To make the gumbo, you must start with a roux base: Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot. Just as the foam subsides, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps – it may lock-up like cake frosting but just keep stirring through it. Cook the roux until it’s the color of a walnut and smells equally as nutty, this should take about 15 minutes.
Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and okra (if it ain’t got okra, it ain’t gumbo!); season with salt, cayenne, and Old Bay. Mix in the tomatoes,
bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and then,
until the vegetables are soft. Pour in the cooled shrimp stock and stir
to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gumbo is dark and
thick. Toss in the shrimp and oysters, cook about another 15 minutes;
To serve: Ladle the gumbo into shallow bowls and pile some rice in the center. Sprinkle the parsley and green onions over the top. Pass the French bread and hot sauce at the table.
Link to recipe: Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo with Okra