Seafood Gumbo

If you go to a lot of places and order gumbo you’ll get the standard chicken sausage and shrimp gumbo. Maybe you’ll get some okra. Maybe you’ll get some Filé. But if you don’t live on the gulf coast it’s hard to find a place that will make you a true gumbo made for kings, a full-on seafood gumbo. This is one that you want to make in a huge batch for someone’s wedding or a birthday. It’s so good it’ll get eaten up in one sitting, but it takes about a day’s notice to make it. Here’s how you do it:

Seafood gumbo:

5 lbs whole medium size brown gulf coast shrimp
12 whole gulf coast blue crabs
1 pound fresh backfin crab meat
1 lb Andouille sausage
1 package dried shrimp
All purpose Cajun seasoning
Low salt seasoning

4 onions
1 1/2 large bell pepper
3 lemons
3 ribs bunch celery
3 carrots
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Merlot wine
2 14.5oz cans crushed tomatoes
Fresh thyme
24 oz cut and baked okra
1 bunch green onion

Make the Seafood stock:

Step 1. Crabs
Grab the legs and pop the heads (back shell) off the crabs. Pull the dead man fingers off (crab filters) and discard. Take some kitchen shears and cut the flappers (legs) off. Not the main claws, just the legs. Take the bottom plate off and cut the eyes/face off with the shears. Wash the everything off in the sink and get the guts out. Cut the remaining carcasses with the claws still attached in half with the shears.

Step 2.

Fill a very large stock pot with 1 gallon of water and turn on high to bring to a boil. Put half the shrimp shells/heads, half the crab back shells, and a handful of the flappers in. Add around a tablespoon of the all purpose cajun seasoning into the pot. Now for the Mirepoix. Add a whole quartered onion, 3 large quartered carrots, 3 large quartered pieces of celery, and a large clove of garlic. Add 3 bay leaves. Stir it up good and let it simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.

Make the Seafood Reduction:

Step A.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a stock pot. Add half of an onion, rough chopped and 4 cloves of garlic, rough chopped. Sauté until you can really smell it and the onions are starting to become translucent, then add 2 cups of water. Add half a teaspoon of salt and 5 cracks of black pepper and a teaspoon of cajun all purpose. Add the other half of the shrimp shells/heads and crab flappers. Add 1/2 cup of Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Add 3 quartered lemons. Add 5 bay leaves. Bring down to a summer and add 1/4 cup of merlot wine. Let it cook down for about 30-40 minutes. Strain all the juice from the larger pot through a drive into a smaller pot. Reduce to around 6 tablespoons or very thick.

Strain seafood stock and start sautéing your Andouille sausage.

Add the reduction to the seafood stock and stir it in, mixing thoroughly.

The roux: add 1 cup grape seed oil to a pan and bring to a medium heat. Add 1 cup flour and stir. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the same of cracked pepper to the roux. Add 4 stalks of chopped celery to the roux. Add 1 1/2 chopped bell peppers to the roux. Add 2 medium chopped onions to the roux. Add a pinch of salt and a couple of shakes of pepper. Sauté and then add 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic. Transfer the veggies/roux to a large gumbo pot.

Heat the veggie mix and slowly ladle in the seafood stock as it heats. Add about half of the stock and bring up to a boil. Add in two 14.5oz cans of crushed tomatoes. Add 5 bay leaves and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add a tablespoon of the low salt cajun seasoning. Add package of dried shrimp. Add the rest of the seafood stock. Add in your baked okra and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add in the crab body-claws. Boil for 10 minutes. Add another 1/2 gallon of water and sausage. Boil for 2 hours. Add in all the peeled shrimp and 1 bunch of green onions. Add in the backfin crab meat. Add another teaspoon of salt and some more pepper. Add another tablespoon of the all purpose cajun seasoning. Turn off heat and let cool down to room temperature.

Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the next day on a low heat and serve with rice.

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