Shrimp and Crab Gumbo
A flavorful Cajun shrimp, crab and rice gumbo, seasoned as spicy-hot as you like it with cayenne pepper to taste.
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, reserving shells
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 pound frozen Alaska king crab legs, rinsed
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup drained canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
Cayenne to taste
- In a 4-quart saucepan simmer reserved shrimp shells, bay leaf, and water, partially covered, 15 minutes and strain through a sieve into a bowl. Return shrimp stock to pan and keep warm.
- In a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) cook oil and flour over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a flat-edged metal or wood spatula, until roux is a couple of shades darker than peanut butter, about 30 minutes. Stir in onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened.
- Stir roux into stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Add crab legs and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in rice and tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 minutes.
- Transfer crab legs to a work surface. Cut shells open with kitchen shears and remove crab meat, discarding shells and cartilage. Tear crab meat into bite-size pieces and stir into gumbo. Add shrimp and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in scallion greens, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Gumbo may be made 1 day ahead, cooled, uncovered, and refrigerated, covered.
Makes 4 main dish servings.