Poppy Tooker’s Seafood Gumbo Scott and I stopped by the Crescent City Farmers Market at the American Can Company last week but because we didn’t get there till 6pm, most of the vendors were closing up shop. As we were walking out, a woman with a bunch of zip lock bags asked if we wanted gumbo crabs…for free. I felt the universe was challenging me to revisit a dish I had so poorly executed in the past. I thanked her and took a bag of crabs. With the help of Poppy Tooker’s recipe, this yankee made right with the gumbo gods. Thanks Poppy!
1/2 cup oil 1 cup flour 4 gumbo crabs 16 ounces crab claw meat 2 pounds shrimp 1 onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 2 pounds okra, sliced 1/4 inch oil for frying okra 1 1-pound can crushed tomatoes 1 gallon shrimp stock 1 clove garlic 2 teaspoon thyme 1 bay leaf 1 bunch green onions Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
Method of Preparation:
- Peel shrimp and combine peels, onion skins and tops in a stock pot. Cover with water and boil for 20 minutes.
- Strain and reserve.
- Fry okra in very hot oil until lightly browned (or roast).
- Make a dark roux with the flour and oil, cooking to the color of milk chocolate brown. Add onions, stirring together until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper. Sauté for five minutes, then add the gumbo crabs, tomatoes, okra, herbs and shrimp stock. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 45 minutes or longer.
- Ten minutes before serving add shrimp, crab meat, and green onions. Add Crystal Hot Sauce and salt as needed. Serve on top of cooked rice.