Seafood and Ham Gumbo
This hearty gumbo, a favorite of Southern Louisianians, features shrimp, crabmeat and ham.
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound okra, trimmed and sliced
8 cups water - divided use
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 celery rib, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound crabmeat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet melt shortening over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion and sauté until golden brown. Add okra and sauté until lightly caramelized on the edges, about 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of water, scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits; set aside.
- In a large kettle, combine remaining water and sautéed vegetables along with tomatoes, ham, green bell pepper, celery, parsley, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp and crabmeat and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings.