I found fresh, not-horrible-looking okra in the grocery store the other day and couldn't believe my eyes! My husband and I debated over how to fix it... fried? (my favorite) okra and tomatoes? (his favorite) We ended up going with gumbo. I haven't had good gumbo in years and my craving was satisfied with this recipe.
How to find a good gumbo recipes? I did an ingredient search on All Recipes for "gumbo", "roux", and "file"... not many results with those terms, but I combined a few recipes to make something I think is delicious and authentic.
Get out a big pot and...
Make a medium roux with:
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup butter
Make, what the cajun folks call, "The Holy Trinity"...
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, saute your vegetables in 1 Tbs. butter:
• 3 stalks chopped celery
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 1 bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 poblano pepper, chopped
When the your roux is medium brown, add the sauce and spices:
• 8 cups water (even better with chicken or beef broth)
• 8 ounce can tomato sauce
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
• 1 Tbs. dried parsley
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• a bay leaf
Add your sauteed veggies to the pot, then add the star of the show:
• 1 pound okra chopped into medium coins
Select your seafood/meats of choice - about 1 or 1 1/2 lbs. altogether:
• breakfast sausage cooked & crumbled
• salad shrimp
• crawfish if you can get it!
Canned seafood can work too!
• 1 can minced crab, 2 cans clams + juice
I threw in a can of corn because I had some.
And of course,
• 1 Tbs. file powder (an authentic cajun thickener... not completely necessary, but nice when you can get it)
• If you like it extra spicy, sprinkle with Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning to taste. We used that stuff like salt and pepper growing up. I don't think this recipe requires it, especially if you use spicy sausage, but leaving it out would be like leaving out my firstborn child at the dinner table.
• Serve over rice