Growing up in the South, a girl isn’t considered a good cook unless she knows how to make a proper roux for a good pot of gumbo. It never ceases to amaze me how something as simple as flour and oil can cook for a few hours and become something as delicious as the base for this most wonderful of dishes.
I got this recipe years and years ago at my local grocery store – it was on one of those cards that they put up in a display at the seafood case. It is very, very simple, and once the roux is done, you can just go in and stir the pot occasionally until you can’t wait another minute.
Since no one in our family is really fond of crab or oysters, I have always left them out. As with any recipe, feel free to adjust to your family’s tastes!
The longer this cooks, the more the flavors marry together, so be patient 😛
1/2 c flour
1/2 c oil
1 large onion
1 pod garlic
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 lb. crab meat
2 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tails removed
1 lb. oysters with oyster water
2 bay leaves
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 qt. water (or more)
Salt and pepper
Cooked rice (for serving)
1. Make a roux by adding 1/2 c flour to 1/2 c of well-heated vegetable oil. Stir until a dark nutty brown color. DO NOT BURN!!!! *** Lower heat and add water gradually.
2. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and parsley. Cook 30 minutes (or longer).
3. About 1/2 hour before serving, add crab meat, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce to taste. Cook 15 minutes.
4. Turn heat up to high, add shrimp and oysters; cook 5-10 minutes more, or until the shrimp turn pink and the oysters start to curl. Do not overcook the shrimp and oysters.
5. When shrimp are done, remove pot from heat. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Put a generous scoop of rice into a bowl, ladle gumbo over rice, and top with file to taste.
*** A friend on another blog gave a really good tip for cooking roux that works, if you have extra time to spare: Add equal amounts of flour and oil to a cast-iron pot, cover, and cook at 350F for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Comes out perfect, and no burned roux!
At the same time that I picked up the recipe for Gumbo, I also picked up a card which had a recipe for Jalapeno Hush Puppies. Paul and I don’t like spicy food, so I’ve always left them out, but I know that a lot of people really like them, so I’m including them in the recipe.
Jalapeno Hush Puppies
1 1/2 c. WHITE cornmeal (don’t use yellow cornmeal, as it will cause puppies to disintegrate!)
1/2 c. sifted flour
2 T. sugar (optional; adjust to taste)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. onion, finely chopped
1 c. whole milk
1 egg, beaten
3 T. vegetable oil
1/2 c. Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
Oil for frying
1. Combine dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and stir until blended.
2. Using a fork or a scoop, drop heaping portions of the mixture into hot, deep fat (350 degrees). These will puff up when frying.
3. Fry each hush puppy approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn once during cooking. Drain on paper towels.
Knowledge is power…………now that I know you know how to prepare shrimp gumbo the way it should be prepared with a proper Roux, I can put you on the hook for a genuine Creole dinner (with Creole hush puppies) when we attend Michael’s graduation in May-June timeframe and visit with you and your clan……your Dad……..
Heck, I’ve known how to make a roux since 1980…..
Looking forward to seeing you both!