Ah, New Orleans. Mardi Gras, Jazz Festival, the French Quarter, Café Du Monde, fabulous restaurants and THE FOOD — oh yes, the wonderful Creole and Cajun, mouth-watering food.
One of my favorite recipes which I always made around Mardi Gras is seafood gumbo. When my friends and I got tired of being squeezed going through the French Quarter or standing four people deep on the edge of parades, catching beads and doubloons, we would head to someone’s house and make gumbo (not to be confused with “making groceries,” which is the local colloquialism for grocery shopping). So, folks, slip on those Green (Faith), Purple (Justice) and Gold (Power) beads and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler (Let the Good Times Roll)!
RONEE’S SEAFOOD GUMBO
1/2 Cup Diced Bacon
1/2 Cup Chopped Scallions
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
4 to 5 Tablespoons Regular Flour
4 Cups Water
2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 – 1# Cans Whole Tomatoes, Drained
2 Bay Leaves
1 1/2 Cups Boiled Ham, Cut into 3/4 in. Squares – (this can be deli bought)
1 10 oz. Pkg. Frozen Okra, Partially Thawed, Cut into 1” Pieces
2 pounds Medium Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Split Lengthwise
OR small shrimp, not split
1 6 oz. Pkg. Frozen Crabmeat, Partially Thawed
Served Over Rice
About 1 1/2 hours before dinner:
In a large pot sauté bacon until crisp; remove bacon bits and reserve.
In bacon drippings sauté scallions and garlic until tender, sprinkle in flour, stir until blended, while stirring gradually add water. Then add salt, thyme, pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves and ham. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Add okra in 1-inch pieces. Cook about 15 minutes more. Add shrimp and crabmeat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes more, or until shrimp is pink, and crabmeat is hot. Remove bay leaves and sprinkle with bacon bits.
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