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Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Inspired by The Prudhomme Family Cookbook, 1987, page 194
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword hot, okra, rice, roux, shrimp
Servings 12 main dish servings

Equipment

  • shrimp peeler/ de-veiner
  • heavy stock pot
  • Cast-iron Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds small shrimp peeled and shrimp shells used to make stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper may use more
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion in all
  • 2 cups finely chopped bell peppers
  • 1 cup vegetable oil in all
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds okra, sliced 1/4 inch (about 6 cups) can use frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 quarts Seafood Stock in all
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped green onions tops only

Instructions

  • Place shrimp shells in large pot and cover with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until stock is needed.
  • Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, and the garlic powder. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine 1 cup of the onions with the bell peppers and set aside.
  • Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 2 quart cast-iron Dutch oven over high heat until oil is hot and just short of smoking, about 4 minutes. Using a long -handled metal whisk or wooden spoon, very gradually stir the flour into the hot oil. Cook, whisking constantly or stirring briskly, until roux is medium red-brown, 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let mixture scorch or splash on your skin. Reduce heat to low and cook until roux is dark red-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more, whisking or stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add the onion and bell pepper mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Continue stirring until roux stops getting darker, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
  • In a 6-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil with the okra, tomatoes, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the remaining 1 cup onions, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper. Place over high heat and cook about 20 minutes, until sticking is excessive, stirring frequently (almost constantly toward end of cooking time) and scraping pan bottom well each time. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook and stir about 5 minutes more. (The procedure of stirring and scraping the pan bottom is a major factor in making this dish so good!)
  • Remove the shrimp shells from the stock. Add 3 1/2 cups of the stock to the okra tomato mixture and stir until all sediment on pan bottom is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the roux by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until roux is blended in before adding more. Add the remaining 2 quarts stock, the chopped garlic, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the green onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Now turn heat to high, stir in the shrimp; cook just until gumbo comes to a simmer and shrimp are pink and plump, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook shrimp. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  • Serve 1 1/2 cups gumbo over cooked rice.

Notes

This recipe is best made with fresh gulf shrimp.  If not available, buy Texas Gulf Shrimp with peel on the in the frozen case.  i never buy farm raised or from any foreign country, only Gulf shrimp will do.