seafood gumbo

Thursday, January 23

Our weather has been absolutely gorgeous in Texas the last few days – sunny and high 60s. This is my kind of January. I’ve mentioned this before but good weather and sunshine always puts us in the mood for a little home cooking. David was on board too. He even suggested the menu and bought all the ingredients himself for this one. I love seeing him develop his skills in the kitchen – and in my opinion, there is nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen!

This recipe is for my southern friends who love that cajun flavor and spice. And spicy it is!  We served it with a little St. Arnold’s beer and some warm, crunchy bread to scoop up the extras. It is warm, satisfying and perfect for the cooler winter months and the last few remaining football games. I even brought leftovers for lunch the next morning – and it was even tastier! Enjoy!

Seafood Gumbo
{slightly adapted from Peace Meals cookbook}

1/2 cup veggie oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
2 T chopped fresh garlic
1.5 t chopped fresh thyme
4 dried bay leaves
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 t cayenne pepper
3 quarts seafood stock (we used chicken stock)
1 pound andouille sausage
1.5 pounds small shrimp, boiled and peeled
3/4 pound okra
gumbo file, for taste
diced green onions, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Gradually whisk in the flour. Cook for 20 minutes or until the roux is the color of peanut butter, whisking constantly. Add the celery, onions and bell peppers. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender; the roux will cool slightly as the veggies are added and darken as the veggies release their natural sugars. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste and cayenne. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occassionally. Add the seafood stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, skimming the surface. Add the crab, shrimp and oysters. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with file and green onions.

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