Martin's Seafood Gumbo
In each of The Cajun Embassy books, I include a gumbo recipe. The following recipe is by Martin Taylor, the hero of “A Ticket to Paradise,” and it utilizes seafood. I’m from New Orleans where we include a lot of seafood in our gumbos and the roux is usually lighter. In Cajun Country where I now live, chicken and andouille sausage with a darker roux is more prevalent.
But here's a secret because time is never something I routinely lack. Cajun Power sells a gumbo starter for seafood gumbo that eliminates the need to make a roux. You simply open the jar and add water, stir well over heat and then follow this recipe from the yellow onions on down.
Martin’s Seafood Gumbo
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup flour
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 pound shrimp (about 30-35 shrimp), preferably wild Louisiana shrimp
1 pound crabmeat
1 dozen shucked oysters, liquid reserved
Crab pieces, if desired
2 (32-ounce) boxes seafood stock
Salt, pepper and/or Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste
2 cups cooked Louisiana rice
Green onions, chopped, for garnish
Directions: In a large soup pot, over medium heat, mix the oil and flour for a roux, stirring constantly, being careful not to let the roux burn. Keep stirring until you receive the right darkness of roux. The color and time it takes to finish the roux will depend upon your preference but a light roux is preferable for a seafood gumbo.
Add to the pot the chopped onions, bell peppers and celery, known as the “Cajun Trinity,” and stir. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender or until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the seafood stock and oyster juice and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Add the oysters and crabmeat and cook for 5 minutes. Add additional salt, pepper or Cajun seasoning to taste. Remove from heat, serve gumbo over rice and garnish with chopped green onions.
Note: A cast iron soup pot works best. You can also make your own seafood stock, but we listed boxed seafood stock that is easily found in grocery stores. Also, Walmart sells Guidry’s Creole Seasoning mix — the “Cajun Holy Trinity” of onions, bell peppers and celery — so for those who want to save time, substitute Guidry’s.
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