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gumbo, y'all 
how to make a good Louisiana gumbo
1 2
continued from page 1

shrimp and okra gumbo
spice mix

2 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground white pepper

¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 large bell peppers
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 – 1½  lb. shrimp
2 cups okra

serves 4-6
time 45 minutes -  1 hour

1 Mix the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl.
2 Peel the shrimp. Set the shrimp to one side and toss the shells and bits into a pot. Cover the shells with plenty of water (at least 6 cups or so), bring to a boil, lower heat to a gentle bubble and simmer for about fifteen minutes. You’ll have a lovely, sweet, seafoody stock; strain and reserve the broth.
3 Meanwhile, clean the shrimp by slicing along the back, cutting just deep enough to get to the vein. Remove with a gentle tug and toss. If you’re fine with eating veined shrimp, of course, feel free to skip this step.
4 Heat a dollop of butter in a skillet over high heat, and sauté the shrimp for a few minutes, until just about cooked-through (they can be slightly raw in the center – you’ll cook them a bit more at the end). Set the browned shrimp aside.
5 Peel and mince the garlic and onion; dice the peppers. Cut off the okra stems and discard, then chop the remainder into slices. In the same pan you cooked the shrimp, sauté the okra slices in a little bit of butter or olive oil to help them lose some of their sliminess, about 10 minutes.
6 Time now to make the roux. Add 1/4 cup butter to a heavy stockpot and melt over medium heat. Add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon/spatula. The mixture will be a creamy pale color at this point. Continue stirring and cooking the roux, watching it carefully as it bubbles and begins to change color. It’s a good idea to keep the heat medium (or even medium-low) when you’re first learning to make gumbo; those more confident in their ability to know when the roux has reached the right point can up the heat to medium-high. It will generally take at least 15 minutes – and often longer – before the roux turns the color of chocolate.
7 As soon as the roux hits the right shade of dark brown, toss in the garlic, onions and bell peppers; this will stop the roux from cooking further. Add 2 Tbsp. of the spice mix. Stir it all up and cook for a couple of minutes, until the onions begin to turn translucent.
8 Add the shrimp stock; bring the soupy mixture to a bubble and simmer for about ten-fifteen minutes, until the veggies are good and softened, and the flavors have begun to meld. Taste, and add more spice as necessary. At this point, toss in the okra, and cook for another ten minutes or so. When the okra is tender, add the shrimp, and continue cooking for another several minutes, until the shrimp is heated through. Give the seasonings one final taste and adjust, if needed. Serve the gumbo over a big bowl of steamed rice.


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