Indispensable to a good gumbo, okra are slender, ridged green seedpods with pointed ends. Sautéing the okra before adding it to the other ingredients turns it a lovely golden brown and lessens its viscous quality. A dash of filé powder acts as a thickener.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.com
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 pound okra
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juices
- 5 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning blend
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup fresh-cooked crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell fragments
- 1 teaspoon filé powder
- Cooked white rice for serving
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Dice the onion and the green and red bell peppers. Set aside.
- 2 Trim the stems from the okra pods, then cut the pods crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick.
- 3 In a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Add the okra and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- 4 In the same pot over medium heat, warm the remaining 6 tablespoons oil for 2 minutes.
- 5 Whisk in the flour until incorporated. Cook the mixture, or roux, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until dark brown, about 4 minutes. Do not let the roux turn black.
- 6 Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- 7 Add the reserved okra, the tomatoes with their juices, stock, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
- 8 Stir in the sausage, shrimp and crabmeat and cook until the sausage is heated through and the shrimp are pink, 3 minutes more.
- 9 Sprinkle in the filé powder and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
- 10 To serve, spoon white rice into warmed bowls, ladle the gumbo on top and garnish with the parsley.