The Papa’s Kitchen
LINDA’S SEAFOOD GUMBO
½ cup of bacon grease or butter
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 lg can (14oz) tomato puree
Kitchen Bouquet (darkening agent)
5-6 lbs of fresh, raw shrimp/peeled
1 lg carton of “jumbo lump” crabmeat
3 (14oz) Hillshire sausage (or one of your favorite) diced or sliced to your liking.
1 lg pack of frozen okra1 tsp of white vinegar
2 lg onions
4-5 garlic pods (or to taste)
Salt/pepper1 cup of chicken broth/stock (optional)
1tsp (or to taste) of Garlic and Onion powder, Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, SweetBasil, Rosemary
STEPS: In a large skillet(with heavy bottom like a cast iron) begin a roux with bacon grease (preferred) or butter (no oil) and slowly add the flour while stirring CONSTANTLY. (Use an all wire-whisk, NOT PLASTIC, it will melt) It is important to not burn the roux, use a low to medium fire. You want it to be the color of a pecan(golden brown) which usually takes about 45 mins. This is the secret to ALL Creole/Cajun cooking. Spices are always important, but a GOOD ROUX makes or breaks a dish!
AT THE SAME TIME: In the Gumbopot (which is the one you will be pouring the finished roux into) put a little butter or bacon grease and begin browning your onions then put in sausage. Let sausage cool for about 20 mins. (you could also boil sausage separately & use water when thinning roux) Pour in the frozen okra adding 1 tsp of vinegar to the pot. (Vinegar helps cut the Okra slime) Let this cook for about 45 minutes. Watch carefully, stirring every few mins.
Back to the ROUX: After you have a nice color for the roux, slowly add your tomato puree & HOT water. (whisking together carefully) When mixed nicely, you should have a medium-thick or paste-like consistency; measure in a tsp (or so) of Kitchen Bouquet to darken up the roux. Add in all of your seasonings at this point. Turn fire to low and stir for about 3 mins to blend in those flavors.
Transfer the ROUX into your Okra/sausage pot. You will be thinning this with hot water & sometimes I add about a cup of chicken broth/stock to deepen the flavors.
Let this cook slowly for about 2.5 hrs, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. About 30 mins before serving, add in your crabmeat & shrimp. REMEMBER: Gumbo is always better when made the day before your event so all those flavors have time to marinate into one fantastic experience!!