A spicy soup base made with spices and aromatic vegetables is combined with a dark roux and seafood gumbo stock in this thick stew which is allowed to simmer before adding oysters, crab, and shrimp.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons file powder
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 7 cups Seafood Gumbo Stock
- 2 cups shucked oysters
- 1 cup crabmeat
- 1 pound small shrimp - peeled and deveined, shells reserved for stock
Combine the red, white, and black peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and salt; set aside.
In a heavy pot, 5 quart or larger, heat oil over medium heat, warming the pot first. Add onions, celery, and green pepper. Turn heat to high. Stirring frequently, add garlic, file, hot sauce, and the pepper-herb mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add tomato sauce, and stir as it reduces over high heat. Add Seafood Gumbo Stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, add shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat. Cover, and wait 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve.
File powder is a seasoning made from the ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It's an integral part of Creole cooking, and is used to thicken and flavor Gumbos and other Creole dishes.