Maybe it's because the Super Bowl is in New Orleans today, or maybe it's because it's been so cold and I'm just missing my roots a bit, but I just had to make a pot of gumbo today. I have eaten gumbo my entire life. My grandmother could make the blackest roux without burning it. I have tried and tried to get mine as black but to no avail. Gumbo is as unique to the cook as their finger print. You will never taste two that taste exactly the same.Roux can be a tricky thing to make. It takes time. I found this wonderful product that allows you to side step the roux making process and get right to putting the gumbo together. It's called Kary's Roux. Here is a link to the company's website, http://karysroux.com/index.html. There you can find some recipes and a little information about the company as well as contact information. I found this website where you can order the roux, http://www.virtualcajun.com/Roux-Kary_s_Roux.html along with many other Cajun inspired products.
2 pounds of fresh shrimp
1 pound of oysters, omit if you don't like oysters
1 pint container of premium crab claw meat
king crab legs(I usually buy 4) I would rather have the blue crabs from the Gulf coast, but they are a little hard to come by here in Chicago
1 bunch of green onions
1 16 oz. bag of chopped okra or fresh if it is in season
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 cup of chopped parsley
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
Begin by heating oil in pot and adding onions and green peppers. Saute until onions are tender. Add garlic. Saute just long enough to begin to release the flavour of the garlic. Add Kary's Roux and immediately add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Also add 12 teaspoon of sugar. This will cut any acidic taste that the tomatoes might have. Stir well. Add water(or chicken broth) and stir well. Add bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 1 hour. Mid way through cooking time, add okra. Right after you add the okra, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar. This will keep the okra from getting slimy. The soup will have a dark rich look.