The other day, Mrs. Michael Lee West posted a picture of a yummy BLT much like this one and asked what was our favorite comfort foods. Well, I answered that Gumbo was one of my favs and she seemed to like that so what better place to post my recipe than on her very own Foodie Friday event.
My Granddaddy was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. He still visits a "lady friend", nicknamed "Babs", there. She's a fine lady and I think it's cute that my 80-something yr old Grandaddy still visits his home town and his high school sweetheart. My Grandaddy was raised by some very fine cooks. This was his daddy's recipe and my mom recalls Gumbo Sundays being an all day affair. Of course, Gumbo gets better with time so I like it best as leftovers. You can tweak seasoning and ingredients as much as you want. After all, this is Gumbo-everything goes into the pot! I hope you enjoy this authentic recipe. Happy "Foodie Friday", y'all!
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, not margarine
2 Medium onions, chopped
4 cups Okra, diced
1 cup Green bell pepper
½ cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 can diced tomato or 3 fresh peeled and diced
2 quarts water, add more if needed while cooking
2 cups chicken stock or 1 can.
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of sage
Creole seasoning to taste
2 lbs. medium sized fresh shrimp
1 pt. (12-16) Oysters, optional (Crawfish tail meat may be substituted)
1 lb. lump crab meat
optional- 1 lb. firm fish such as tilapia
Parsley for garnish
In a cast iron skillet sauté onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter until onion is clear; add okra and saute 'til vegetables are tender. Turn heat off veggies. In a separate cast iron skillet, add ¼ each of butter and flour to create a roux. Stir roux with a wooden spoon, continuously, until dark brown being mindful not to burn the roux.
In a stock pot add: tomatoes, water, stock, vegetables, and roux. Add seasonings. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add seafood and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until seafood is cooked through.
Serve over white rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and Gumbo file.