Trudy"s article on soups the other day inspired me to share this recipe. My past post of recipes has not garnered the desired response, so if this one does I'll post some more.
True Gumbo requires the following; lots of pots, pans, knives, spoons, and kitchen space, not to mention the patience of Job.
You start with a good rue. This will be the first test of patience, I reccomend a good single barrel bourbon to quell the nerves.
First thing, find a nice heavy glass, fill with ice and bourbon, maybe wave a little water over the glass, take a good strong sip, and then break out a large frying pan, set your stove on med high, and add 1 cup of decent olive oil.( to the pan) Get the oil hot, and then start adding a cup of flour to the hot oil, a little at a time, mixing the flour into the oil before adding more, stirring slowly and continuously with one hand, your drink in the other.
Once all of the flour is in, keep stirring until you have a carmel colored paste. Put this to the side and heat up another pan, coated with olive oil. Put your drink down, wash your hands and add in 2 finely chopped onions ( vidalias if you can get em), 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, and 1 finely chopped green pepper. Refresh your drink and simmer all of this down to next to nothing, add in 1/4 cup of wochestershire sauce, and 1/2 a bottle of Tiger sauce and then combine this with the flour mixture.
You have now spent about 2 hours just preparing the rue! Take another drink ( or, if you're like me, refill your glass again). Now call everyone you know and tell them tommorow afternoon is a Gumbo Gatherin'.
Next you need a big stock pot, on the order of huge. If that's not in your arsenal of kitchen weaponry, get 2 crock pots out, set initially on high and add 1 gallon of fish stock ( or chicken stock ) . To make fish stock get 3 cleaned and gutted fish, put them in a pot of salt and water and boil them to death, once they're beyond falling off the bone tender, drain the water into another bowl, and throw away the fish. ( fer goodness sake make sure no fish bones make it into the gumbo )
I reccomend a First Aid Kit be close by for this part; Add to the stock 2lbs of cut okra ( 4 bags of the frozen is your best bet) 4 large cans of stewed tomatoes ( the kind with italian seasoning and green peppers ain't a bad variation) and about 2lbs of sausage ( cheap ol' smoked sausage, andoule, or even lil smokies) cut into bite sized pieces. Once this is hot stir in 1/4 cup of Old Bay seasoning, and add the rue, once the rue disolves set the stove on simmer, no lid, and go to bed, or cut the grass, watch a couple of movies, just do something for at least 6 hours.
MMMMMMMMMMM, smells good in the house, don't it? Now it's time to get busy, no time for a drink now, you're gonna add 1lb of lump crab meat, 1lb of diced clams, 2lb of peeled crawfish, 2lb of peeled shrimp. Make sure all of the seafood is peeled before you start adding, if you're not experienced it'll take an hour to just clean the crawfish ( I've thrown in squid, oysters, chicken, salmon, whatever, the crawfish and crab are required tho) The whole mess will be ready in about an hour.
It's time to drink a lil more, while you're waiting, ice down a cooler of beer ( I reccomend a Pale Ale, or an IPA ) and steam a big batch of white rice to serve the gumbo over. My recipe is not too spicy, so have some hot sauce on hand for those who need it, oyster crackers are OK as well.
This will feed 10 to 20, depending on their capacity. If you don't have enough friends to consume this all at one time, well, do some math and reduce the volume.( It freezes well, so you can break out the leftovers for the next gathering)