We prepared New Orleans seafood gumbo for our Brazilian friends Marcello and Moira from SARAVA, Isabelle and Bob from BICHO and Paula from PAJE’. We were all missing Mario from PAJE’.
RECIPE FOR NEW ORLEANS SEAFOOD GUMBO — Dorothy Darden, s/v ADAGIO Serves 6 people
20 ounces Okra — frozen or fresh, sliced thin. (We prefer fresh)
5 medium brown onions, diced
1 Ham hock, medium to large
3 cloves fresh Garlic, peeled and smashed
4-6 whole Cloves
4 T Crab boil in cloth bag
Ground black Pepper
1 small can tomato sauce or 1/2 can tomato paste
2 pounds frozen raw peeled Shrimp/Prawns
1/2 pound fresh or frozen Scallops (optional)
1/2 pound fresh picked Crab meat (If you can get it, otherwise it is optional)
Boiled white rice (We like Basmati rice with this)
Day 1 – Cut Okra into very small slices. Saute’ the okra and diced onions in a few tablespoons of Canola Oil in a large Teflon frying pan or Wok. Cook at very low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking until very brown, and well-cooked. This takes about 5 or 6 hours. Cool, then put the Okra and onions through a sieve or into a Blender or Food processor to puree’. Put into the refrigerator.
Day 2 – Put 8 cups of water into a large pot. Add to pot: Ham hock, garlic cloves, whole cloves and bay leaf . Simmer for about 6 to 8 hours on very low heat. Cool, then pour everything else into a colander, letting the broth strain into a large bowl. Take the meat off of the bone and discard everything else. Cut the meat into small pieces, and set aside 1 cup for the Gumbo. Put the broth and meat into the refrigerator over night. In the morning scrape the fat off of the top of the broth and discard the fat.
Day 3 – Put the ham broth and the okra/onion mixture into a large pot and simmer for 6 to 8 hours, on low heat, stirring frequently to keep from sticking and adding small amounts of water from time to time to keep the mixture from becoming too thick. At this point you have made the Gumbo Base. You can proceed to the Final Preparations step below, or you can store the Gumbo Base in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for a few weeks or months.
Final Preparations – Add to the Gumbo Base: tomato sauce or paste, the small pieces of cooked ham meat, 4 T crab boil secured in a gauze or fabric pouch so that only the flavors get into the broth. Be sure you don’t let the bits of crab boil get into the mixture. Simmer. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Season with a few sprinkles of creole seasoning and a few drops of Tabasco sauce, until it tastes the way you like it. About 15 minutes before serving, add prawns and scallops and cook until just done. Serve in flat bowls over freshly boiled Basmati rice, and sprinkled with fresh crab meat. Enjoy with a large green tossed salad.