How to Make Shrimp Gumbo

Shrimp gumbo is a big hit in most Creole areas, though the rest of the world seems rather fond of it as well. The mix of a spicy gumbo base with simple shrimp teases your mouth with a rich array of flavors. However, if you're looking for traditional shrimp gumbo recipes, always make sure they call for okra or file powder to act as thickeners.

Classic Cajun Shrimp Gumbo
Ingredients You Will Need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups seafood broth (substitute with chicken, beef or vegetable broth)
2/3 cup peeled and chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup thinly sliced okra
2 lbs peeled, deveined, medium shrimp
2 cups cooked rice

Start the gumbo by creating some roux. Roux is basically flour and butter or oil cooked until light or dark brown. Add the oil to a heavy pot-one that fits at least three quarts-over medium heat. Heat the oil to boiling. Whisk flour into butter. Whisk frequently for six minutes to create a light roux. If the roux burns and has little specks floating in it, throw it out and start over. Remove roux from heat.

Add onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic to roux in pot. Place pot back on burner over low heat and sauté veggies, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Stir broth, tomato, red pepper, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, bay leaf and okra into pot. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Butterfly cut shrimp with a shallow slice down each back. Remove lid from pot and stir in shrimp. Cook until shrimp are firm and pink, about four minutes. Remove pot from heat and serve over cooked rice.

Makes eight servings.

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