Gumbo essentially offers a taste of New Orleans, but the time-honored, classic Cajun stew is often the source of a great debate among Southerners. Some opt for seafood, others for chicken and andouille. For this recipe, we chose to fill the gumbo with heady seafood ingredients such as fresh crabmeat, shrimp, and oysters. Thicken with okra as it simmers, or toss in some filé at the finish. So many possibilities! Most agree the secret to a good gumbo is in the roux, but even then there’s controversy over color. The magic of this recipe starts with a chocolate-colored roux. The next layer of flavor? The holy trinity of Cajun cooking: bell pepper, onion, and celery. Serve the gumbo in individual soup or gumbo bowls with hot cooked rice as recommended. It’s a comforting and spicy bowl full of seafood and veggies, and the perfect dish to serve at Super Bowl parties or large gatherings.
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup bacon drippings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
2 quarts plus 2 cups water
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pint standard oysters, undrained
1 (12-oz.) package frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 tablespoon gumbo filé
Hot cooked rice
How to Make It
Slice the green onions, reserving green tops.
Heat bacon drippings in a Dutch oven over medium; gradually whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until flour is chocolate colored (about 30 minutes).
Add the sliced green onions, bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, and tomato to the roux, and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add 2 quarts plus 2 cups water, parsley, table salt, ground black pepper, and ground red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Pick the crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.
Increase heat to medium-high, and add the shrimp, oysters, okra, and green onion tops; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in fresh lump crabmeat and gumbo filé; let stand 15 minutes. Add water, if necessary, for desired consistency. Serve over hot cooked rice.