of diced onion
Lots of chopped garlic
Red & green bell pepper
Fresh Tomato (Creole gumbo
has this; Cajun gumbo does not.)
Ground fennel seed
1 or 2 bay leaves folded
in half (optional)
Fresh red cayenne pepper—chopped
Okra—Frozen cuts okra works
great and is often more available than fresh
Seasoned hen stock, or
seafood stock, or both
Oysters (With their water)
Cubed fish—Tilapia or grouper
hold together well
Crab would be a great addition
like to have all my veggies chopped and neatly arranged ahead of time.
First you make a roux. It’s up to you, of course, but I use 1 stick
of butter and a little olive oil with an equal portion of flour. Play
chicken with it until it is dark. Add onions and cook until translucent.
Gradually add stock. Now add other veggies and herbs in order of what
cooks fastest. I like to save out some garlic and basil and the tops
of the green onions to add in the last 15 to 30 minutes for some top
flavor. Bring to simmer and cook on medium-low for 40 to 45 minutes.
Add salt or soy sauce to taste. Add seafood and everything else. A little
chanting or singing will add character to the pot. You do remember “Like
Water For Chocolate” don’t you? I guess that’s it, serve over whole
rice, and share with friends. Enjoy! Tony Palombo (I know it’s an Italian
name, but he is from South Louisiana) just showed me that if you put
the rice in the bowl, then shake the gumbo file over the rice, then
ladle on the gumbo the file won’t float on top. Now you’re really in!