2 cups + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 8-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 pounds okra, stemmed
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon fleshly ground white pepper
3 bay leaves
1½ gallons crab stock
2 pounds 40/50 count shrimp, peeled
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, cleaned
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups steamed white rice
Heat 3 Tablespoons of the oil in a stockpot, then add onions and celery. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until they’re tender and the onions begin to brown.
Add tomatoes and okra and simmer until the moisture has cooked out. Season with the salt, peppers and bay leaves, and add stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to a simmer and add shrimp, oysters and crabmeat to stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.
While gumbo is simmering, make a roux in a cast-iron or other heavy frying pan. Place pan over medium heat and add remaining 2 cups of oil and the flour to the pan, whisking until smooth. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the roux becomes a walnut color. If the pan starts to get too hot, remove it from heat, still whisking, and allow it to cool briefly. Be extremely careful not to burn the roux. Constant whisking will keep the roux from sticking. Note: A rich, dark roux is a crucial flavoring agent and provides structure for the entire dish.
Stir the roux into the soup a little at a time. When all of the roux has been incorporated, simmer soup for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove bay leaves.
Ladle the gumbo into soup plates or gumbo bowls and garnish with a large spoonful of rice.
Makes 2 gallons; serves 10 to 12.
This will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator or for 1 month in the freezer.
209 Bourbon St., 525-2021