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Seafood Gumbo - Two Recipes

Notes: The first recipe is taken from notes at a Cajun cooking demo at the  Smithsonian Folk Festival (late 1990's) in Washington, D.C.   The chef said chicken and sausage are acceptable substitutes, if you don't have crawfish tails, crabs, or oysters. If you're fortunate enough to find boudin (ground pork and rice) sausage, use that. Okra adds flavor and helps thicken the gumbo.  It is used in the second recipe instead of roux.

The second recipe from the Mystic Seaport's Seafood Secrets Cookbook,   ed. Ainslie Turner, 1990,  is less complicated and substitutes fish fillets for most of the shellfish. (Planter used fresh halibut purchased from Sanders' Fish Market, Portsmouth, NH.  It was excellent.)

Must be served either over hot rice; or, try a generous scoop of rice mounded on top. See ShrimpTips for peeling and deveining tips.    See also Gumbo and Etouffee for other Creole dishes.

1.  Smithsonian Folk Festival, late 1990's

Prepare veggies:
3 med onions
1 med bell pepper
2 banana peppers
1 stalk celery
3 cloves garlic

Saute all except garlic for 10 min. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

For the roux:
1 cp flour
1 cp oil

Add flour to hot oil and stir slowly till browned.  Burns easily, so constant stirring is necessary.

Put 4 qts water on to boil. Meanwhile,

Mix with 2 t creole seasoning (cayenne, black pepper or use leftover Paul Prudhomme's seasoning mix):
1 lb each shrimp, crawfish tails, crabs, and oysters, or
2 lbs chicken and 1 lb sausage, or
any combination of all, depending on preference

Saute for 3 minutes. Add to roux and cook for 5 minutes.

4 qts boiling water
1 can mushroom soup

Cook for 1 hr.

During cooking, cook 1 lb okra till tender. Use 1 T vinegar to cut goo from okra.

When the gumbo is cooked, add okra.
Serve over cooked rice.

2.  Bayou Seafood Gumbo II

Note: The recipe does not list crabmeat in ingredients, but mentions it in directions.  The preceding recipe uses roux and mushroom soup.  This recipe uses canned tomatoes and okra as a thickener.  

4 slices bacon
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb fish fillets, something firm and non-oily such as catfish, halibut or bass
2 onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
parsley, freshly chopped
1 lb okra, cut into 1/2" pieces
salt and Cayenne pepper

1-2 cans whole tomatoes

1 bay leaf
1 cp water

1. In large pot, cook bacon till crisp. Remove bacon, drain and crumble
2. Add all fresh vegetables. Saute in bacon fat for 5 minutes till tender.
3. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes till sauce is slightly thick.
4. Season with salt and Cayenne pepper and add water and bay leaf.
5. Stir in shrimp, crabmeat (see note above), and fish fillets and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
6. Ladle over hot rice and sprinkle with parsley and crumbled bacon.