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Keith's Seafood Gumbo

Ingredients

Lots of diced onion
Lots of chopped garlic
Celery
Green onions
Red & green bell pepper
Fresh Tomato (Creole gumbo has this; Cajun gumbo does not.)
Fresh Basil
Thyme
Parsley
Tarragon
Ground fennel seed
1 or 2 bay leaves folded in half (optional)
Fresh red cayenne pepper—chopped fine
Okra—Frozen cuts okra works great and is often more available than fresh
Seasoned hen stock, or seafood stock, or both
Shrimp
Oysters (With their water)
Cubed fish—Tilapia or grouper hold together well
Crab would be a great addition 

Directions

I 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!


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