I love to eat and sometimes, I go through mini food phases. At the moment, I want gumbo and of all things, macaroni and cheese!
I've never made gumbo before and I've only had it once or twice (from a soup can!), so I want to challenge myself to make the real deal gumbo and satisfy my craving for a good soup. I decided I would rely on an Emiril inspired Food Network recipe for seafood gumbo.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups clam juice
8 ounces fresh okra, tops trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 blue crabs, quartered, optional
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 dozen shucked oysters, liquid reserved
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound lump crabmeat
Serving suggestion: cooked white rice
1. "Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the flour on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flour is a dark nut brown."
Let me tell you, when you open that oven, do it slowly or you might end up inhaling a ton of flour.
2. "Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil with the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, pepper, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing them through your fingers into the pot with their juices and cook for another 5 minutes. Gradually sift the browned flour in the pot until the vegetables are coated, cook for 2 minutes more. Slowly pour in the stock and clam juice, stirring constantly. Add the okra, bay leaves, lemon juice, salt, cayenne, thyme, and crabs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes."
Add the shrimp, oysters with their liquid, green onions and parsley; cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Add the lump crabmeat and season the gumbo, to taste. Serve with rice.
While baking the flour, melt butter. Cook vegetables until clear. I couldn't find a poblano pepper, so I added jalapenoa pepper. You might want to also chop everything well ahead of time, so you don't scramble (lesson learned).
I added bell pepper too
There's no way I'm buying living crabs! They scare me. Instead, I bought canned blue crab.
If it wasn't for this recipe, I would've never known about "Clam Juice." I actually only used two bottles for the recipe which was about 2 cups.
What's more convenient than frozen okra? I shouldn't have used the whole bag, but I did because I thought it would add more vegetables to the soup. However, I now realize I can't tolerate slimey foods, so I ended up having to pick out half the okra in my soup once it was done. A little goes a long way!
Boil and then simmer for the next 15 minutes ...
I had so much soup, I had to split it into two pans!
1 pound of shrimp costs about $6.00 ... It isn't a cheap recipe to make. That's for sure ...
The seafood gumbo recipe I attempted tonight was actually faster than most recipes, although it did take me quite sometime to make. I started cooking since about 0630 p.m. and finally ate half an hour ago. I'm happy to say that I could at least squeeze in a workout tonight. I can't believe it's already time to go to bed. The day definitely creeps up on you.
The soup turned out great, with the exception of the additional okra. I also discovered that I don't like oysters either. But everything else was perfect and the time spent making it was worth the wait.
I would make this recipe again. I love the crab in the soup and it's wholesome too. I can't wait to share it with everyone tomorrow!