Here's a great winter recipe. This isn't my usual quick and easy recipe, but it's also not overly complicated or time consuming. And it is delicious!
Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo
8 tbsp butter – divided
1 16-oz pkg frozen, sliced okra, defrosted
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp flour
2 15-oz cans chicken broth
3 cans Del Monte Cajun-styled stewed tomatoes
2 bay leafs (remove these before serving gumbo)
½ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
1 ½ to 2 lbs raw, shelled shrimp (30-50 per pound)
24 shucked oysters
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it hot)
Freshly cooked rice
In a heavy 10-inch skillet melt 4 tbsp of butter over moderate heat. When foam subsides, add the okra. Stirring constantly, cook until okra stops ‘roping’ (I’ve never had it stop ‘roping’, so I cook it for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know what ‘roping’ means when you cook it). Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
Over moderate heat, melt remaining 4 tbsp of butter in heavy 4-qt soup pot. When foam subsides, add onions, green pepper and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft, but not brown. Add flour, cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
Still whisking, add chicken broth in a slow, thin stream.
Then add okra, tomatoes, bay leafs, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
At this point, if you are making it the day ahead, you may cool the soup and keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving. Then reheat and continue:
Add shelled shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes. Add oysters, simmer 2-3 minutes, until they plump up and edges curl. Remove from heat. Discard bay leafs. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and cayenne. Stir to mix in seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serves 10-12, with white rice.
***Be sure and remove the bay leafs before serving. Bay leafs should not be eaten, as their pointed spines can cause perforations of the intestines and, thus, medical problems (I know, not a pretty thought, but just for those who don’t know and wonder why they should be removed).