Seafood Gumbo From Tony Burke

Course : Cajun
Serves: 24
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1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon file powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 bunch oysters
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 pounds shrimp -- small to medium
2 tablespoons garlic chopped
1 pound crab -- claw meat
1 cup peppers -- bell, chopped
3 cups roux -- dark
1 cup celery -- chopped, with leaves
2 cups onion -- chopped
2 teaspoons oregano -- dried, leaves
3 1/2 pounds tomatoes -- canned
2 teaspoons basil -- dried
6 cups okra -- sliced
2 teaspoons thyme -- leaves, dried
1/2 cup oil
5 piece bay leaf
1 teaspoon pepper -- black
4 quarts seafood stock*
1 teaspoon pepper -- white

Preparation / Directions:

1) make seafood stock from shrimp carcasses or all of the above, substituting ham hocks, chicken backs, or necks, or other meats depending on availability. (For the 4 quarts of stock you will need about 4 pounds of shells, bones and meat.) Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer several hours. Strain the stock, discarding solids. (If time is a factor, simmer shrimp heads and shells and ham hocks in chicken stock for at least an hour.) 2) Cook okra in the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat, stirring and scraping until some of the sliminess is gone; about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, onions, celery, garlic, peppers, vinegar, the seasoning and herb mix and cook over low to medium heat for about 1/2 hour, stirring and scraping often. 3) Blend the roux into the okra and tomato mixture. Very slowly blend the stock into the mixture. Simmer about 1 hour. 4) Add crab and shrimp and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Add oysters and simmer about 5 minutes. Add green onions. Serve over rice with file powder added to taste at the table. (File powder should not be cooked.)

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